<![CDATA[rss-All News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[All News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Trump praises Sisi, says relations "never been stronger"]]>
During the meeting, Trump welcomed the Egyptian president, saying "It’s great honor to be with President Sisi, our great friend of Egypt."

"We have very special things happening, as our relationship has never been stronger.
We’re working with Egypt on many different fronts, including military, trade, and whatever else we can work on. It’s an honor to be with you again," Trump said.

Sisi expressed his pleasure to meet Trump, saying "Being here and having this meeting really states the magnitude of Egyptian and American relationship."

"I commend you for all the accomplishments that have been achieved in the United States within less than two years," Sisi said. He added that Egypt has "a long stable relationship {with the U.S.} for 40 years now, and during President Trump’s rule, Egypt has received more support."

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Trump also congratulated the Egyptian leader for "the outstanding job with respect to terrorism, saying "you’re working very hard on that. It’s not easy. You’re at the forefront but you’ve done an outstanding job."

Sisi asserted that Egypt "will be able to eliminate terrorism" with the help of the United States. He pointed out that fighting terrorism "has been an obligation that {Trump} made very clear since taking office and during presidential campaign," stressing that Egypt "supports you in this."

Trump noted that the U.S. "has done very well" in combating terrorism in the Middle East, pointing out that they "whipped out ISIS in Syria."

"You’ve been very outstanding and we’ll work with you," Trump said to Sisi.

Meanwhile, Trump also held a series of bilateral meetings with leaders from South Korea and France where he discussed the U.S. role in the world.

Earlier Monday, Sisi delivered a brief address at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which is held on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York. Sisi said that Mandela's life represented the hope of African people for dignity and independence, saying other African icons also played the same role including late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

"Today's gathering provides a great opportunity to provide our children with better education and to reduce the rate of unemployment among the youth," Sisi said.

He also stressed the importance of protecting the youth against the danger of extremism and terrorism.

Sisi to meet Trump for fifth time in 2 years

CAIRO - 24 September 2018: Once more, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in New York, which is considered their fifth encounter within only 24 months.


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9/25/2018 1:37:29 AM
<![CDATA[Nasser Documents: The personal diaries of the late president]]>
The signing and content discussion of the book will be attended by Gamal Khaled Abdel-Nasser, editor of the book, and Hussa Eissa, former minister of higher education and professor of the international law at Ain Shams University.

Gamal Khaled Abdel-Nasser is the grandson of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, son of Khalid, Nasser's eldest son.

The book was released by Falouga Publishing House.

The diaries include Nasser's note from the 1948 Palestine War, his book 'Phiolsophy of the Revolution,' among many others.

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9/24/2018 5:32:42 PM
<![CDATA[Sherine Abdel Wahab to release her new album on October 8]]>Abdel Wahab released one month ago her latest song titled “Zaman” (The Old Days), which is part of her new album

The new album was slated for release by a telecoms company, but one of the songs was leaked and uploaded onto Instagram.

The star had uploaded the album’s commercial poster on different social media platforms. The song “Zaman” is written by Amir Tema, composed by Khaled Ezz and distributed by El Nabulsi.

Abdel Wahab performed a big concert at The Hilton’s London Park Lane on August 25 during Eid el-Adha.


Abdel Wahab is an Egyptian singer, actress, TV host and a former judge on MBC's “The Voice”. She is considered one of the most prominent female artists locally and in the Pan-Arab region.

Abdel Wahab has released a plethora of successful songs, including “Masha’aer’’ (Emotions), "Albi Leek" (My Heart is For You), “Garh Tany” (Another Wound), “Lazem Ayesh” (I Have to Survive) and “Batmenak” (I Am Assuring You) among others.

She acted in only one movie, “Mido Mashakel” (Troublemaker Mido), alongside Egyptian megastar Ahmed Helmy. Her only soap opera, “Tare’y” (My Path), was released in 2015 and achieved great success.

Abdel Wahab is famous for her emotional, melodious voice that has a significant touch of intimacy. She is consistently hailed as one of the most talented and successful singers of her generation, often dubbed as “The Queen of Emotions” for her popular romantic ballads.


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9/24/2018 5:10:22 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. Company to supply new treatment for eliminating HCV among adolescents]]>


Zayed added that a U.S. company manufacturing treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) will establish a partnership with Egypt on vaccines and immunizations, and a meeting will be held with the company on the sidelines of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s visit to the US to attend the events of the UN General Assembly.

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.

In February 2018, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of hepatitis C field inspections in 10 governorates as part of the ministry’s nation-wide initiative to eliminate the spread of hepatitis C by 2022.

The ministry announced that 17 governorates, including Qalioubia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Matrouh, Ismailia, Suez, South and North Sinai and Al-Wadi Al-Gedied have been targeted by the ministry’s walk-in HIV testing.

The medical examinations are conducted through an analysis of ELISA screening for virus C using dried blood samples.

Egypt was aided by the appearance of new drugs that came on market in December 2013. Until then, Egypt depended only on injections of interferon, with a low success rate and debilitating side effects.

In 2014, Egypt sealed a deal with U.S.-based Gilead for the government to buy the new drug, Solvadi, at a price of $300 for a one-month box.

Treatment expenses have been reduced by 85.5 percent, from LE 10,545 ($581) to LE 1,527 per unit, as a result of using locally manufactured medicine. By the end of March 2017, 1,055,266 patients received treatment at state expense, with a total cost of LE 3,167 billion.

Additionally, Zepatier, a breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C, was approved in February 2018 by the Ministry of Health to treat virus C.

The medicine is not included in the treatment system at the expense of the state and health insurance due to its high price, as the value of the treatment course costs up to LE 50,000.

It is totally different from other medicines in the market, as it cures early cases without severe liver fibrosis. It also cures patients who did not respond to previous treatments and suffer from other diseases such as diabetes, high / low blood pressure, and heart diseases, as well as patients with renal diseases and renal failure.

The medicine is given alone, without the addition of any other drugs and the duration of treatment is only three months; therefore, it is considered the most appropriate drug for virus C patients with kidney failure as it is completely safe for kidneys. There is no clear Egyptian alternative to it so far.
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9/24/2018 5:04:31 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi meets Lebanese president, U.S. figures in New York]]>
The two presidents discussed means of boosting bilateral relations, as well as the latest developments in the Middle East region.

The talks focused on how to end regional crises and alleviate the suffering of the peoples of brotherly countries.

Sisi also met the Prime Minister Bojko Borisov and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg as well as a number of US figures at his residence in New York this evening after his summit with US President Donald Trump.

In the same context, for the fifth time within only 24 months, Sisi will meet with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in New York, on Monday, within the few coming hours.

On the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73), the two leaders will set together to discuss the current political situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Qatari dispute, and other issues of mutual interest to both countries.

Egypt is one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving US$1.3 billion in US military aid annually.

Sisi’s first meeting with Trump was held on September 20, 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign in New York, also on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly then.

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Sisi said he had “no doubt” that Republican presidential nominee Trump would make a strong leader.

In April 2017, President Trump welcomed Sisi to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with the Egyptian leader on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation.

“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sissi,” Trump said, sitting next to his counterpart in the Oval Office.
“He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. . . . We have strong backing,” he added.

Trump and Sisi appeared focused on security, and they sought to demonstrate warmth, shaking hands during their brief remarks to reporters. This meeting represented an end to the coldness with which Egypt was treated by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who never invited Sisi to Washington.

“Since we met last September I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your {Trump’s} unique personality, especially since you are standing so strong against terrorism,” said Sisi.

“Very strongly and openly you will find Egypt beside you,” he added.

In September 2017, Sisi flew to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Sisi met Trump and discussed Egypt's efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation as an essential preliminary step to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Trump praised Egyptian President’s efforts in reviving the Middle East peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. ]]>
9/24/2018 4:47:18 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to meet Trump for fifth time Monday in New York]]>
On the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73), the two leaders will set together to discuss the current political situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Qatari dispute, and other issues of mutual interest to both countries.

Egypt is one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving US$1.3 billion in US military aid annually.

Sisi’s first meeting with Trump was held on September 20, 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign in New York, also on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly then.

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Sisi said he had “no doubt” that Republican presidential nominee Trump would make a strong leader.

In April 2017, President Trump welcomed Sisi to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with the Egyptian leader on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation.

“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sissi,” Trump said, sitting next to his counterpart in the Oval Office.
“He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. . . . We have strong backing,” he added.

Trump and Sisi appeared focused on security, and they sought to demonstrate warmth, shaking hands during their brief remarks to reporters. This meeting represented an end to the coldness with which Egypt was treated by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who never invited Sisi to Washington.

“Since we met last September I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your {Trump’s} unique personality, especially since you are standing so strong against terrorism,” said Sisi.

“Very strongly and openly you will find Egypt beside you,” he added.

In September 2017, Sisi flew to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Sisi met Trump and discussed Egypt's efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation as an essential preliminary step to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Trump praised Egyptian President’s efforts in reviving the Middle East peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

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9/24/2018 4:28:08 PM
<![CDATA[Court upholds rulings against defendants in Kerdasa massacre ]]>
The final rulings against 156 defendants includedsentencing 80 defendants to life imprisonment, 34 defendants to 15 years in jail, one teenagerdefendant to 10 years in jail, and sentencing 20defendants to death.

The incidents date back to 2013, following the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, where 14 police officers were brutally killed.

The case included a total of 156 defendants, where 21 of whom were acquitted. The defendants were charged with storming a police station in Kerdasa, a stronghold of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood at the time, and killing 14 police officers and two passers-by. The case is known as the “Kerdasa massacre” in the Egyptian media.

The incident occurred in the aftermath of the violent dispersal of the Rabaa and El-Nahda sit-ins, staged by the Brotherhood to demand the reinstatement of former President Mohamed Morsi.

The initial death sentence was issued against the 20 defendants in April, and the court then referred the case to the Grand Mufti for consultation.


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9/24/2018 4:15:31 PM
<![CDATA[$30M trade surplus between Egypt, Pakistan]]>
He clarified that trade exchange between both countries reached $200 million during 2017.

This came during Antar's participation at the Egyptian-Pakistani summit celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations between both countries, in the presence of Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed, deputy minister of transportation, and Ambassador of Pakistan Mushtaq Ali Shah, in addition to General Director of SASSI Maria Sultan.

Antar emphasized the importance of the partnership between both states, referring to the Egyptian Suez Canal and the Pakistani GWADAR as two of the most important ports that boost trade exchange between both countries.

"Both governments want to advance joint cooperation through linking the Suez Canal with the GWADAR in a way similar to the linkage between Pakistan and China, which contributed to doubling the volume of trade exchange between them,” Antar stated.

He noted that the Egyptian government seeks to enhance the cooperation with Pakistan in the fields of communication, navigation, banking, insurance, information technology and global trade.

He further added that the Ministry of Trade and Industry took a number of steps that supported the Egyptian economy, which include launching a new strategy that aims at enhancing industrial and global trade, and launching the investment map which introduced about 4,000 investment opportunities in eight main industrial sectors in Egypt’s governorates.
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9/24/2018 4:15:24 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi invites Kuwaiti emir to attend Youth Forum in November]]>
Egypt's Ambassador to Kuwait Tarek al-Koni called on Kuwaiti youth and distinguished young people specialized in entrepreneurship, arts and culture to participate in the second edition of the World Youth Forum that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh from November 2 to 6.

The Egyptian ambassador said that the conference represents an international forum that brings together a selection of the world's youth to present their ideas with an aim to issue recommendations and initiatives in the presence of leaders and intellectuals from all over the world.

The Egyptian Embassy is in contact with the Kuwaiti authorities to guarantee a unique Kuwaiti participation in the conference, Koni said.

He pointed out that the conference has received applications from more than 35,000 young people who are willing to attend the forum from 156 countries worldwide, noting that the conference will bear costs of their participation.

Egypt and Kuwait have good relations at many levels; in January 2017, Egypt and Kuwait signed in Cairo a legal and judicial cooperation agreement on civil, commercial, criminal and personal status issues, as well as on the transfer of sentenced persons.

Kuwait has been backing the Egyptian state at all levels since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Also, Kuwait took part in Egypt's Economic Development Conference (EEDC) held in Sharm El-Sheikh in March 2015, which aimed at boosting the Egyptian economy.
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9/24/2018 3:59:32 PM
<![CDATA[Bourse loses EGP 3.8 bln]]>
The market capital lost EGP 3.8 billion to reach EGP 784.7 billion amid transactions that hit about EGP 744.1 million.

The EGX 30 benchmark index dropped by 0.42% to close at 14,200.68 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading smaller and mid cap enterprises (SME) decreased by 0.02% to 687,81 points, while the broader index EGX-100 went down 0.24% to 1,751.37 points. ]]>
9/24/2018 3:53:25 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives at UN Headquarter to participate at Nelson Mandela Summit ]]>
Sisi will also participate at the Nelson Mandela Summit.

Like Sisi, other world leaders have arrived at the UN Headquarters in New York.

On the sidelines of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, the Nelson Mandela peace summit will be held, and a number of leaders and heads of state are set to attend the event in honor of the African leader's efforts.
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9/24/2018 3:47:37 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ghufran organizes exhibition in Broken chair courtyard exposing Qatari regime human rights violations]]>
Created by Daniel Berset, the Broken Chair simpolises the struggeles of mine victims.

After a treaty (known as the Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty) to ban the use of anti-personnel mines was signed and came into action in 1997, Handicap International NGO commissioned the Swiss artist to create a piece of art that would draw attention to the victims of landmines to encourage nations to sign on to the treaty and stop using them.

Al-Ghufran’s exhibition comes as part of a wider move by the tribe to recover its rights on the margins of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, shedding light on the human rights violations committed against the tribe by the Qatari regime.

“The international community must stop turning a blind eye to the human rights violations committed against Al-Ghufran tribe by the Qatari regime, said Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghafzani, one of the members of the oppressed tribe who participated in the exhibition. He added that the international community needs to document and declare all violations committed against the tribe; violations, which, according to him, break all international norms, treaties and conventions.

Al- Ghafzani added that the delegation in Geneva is trying to communicate with the international community and make its voices heard worldwide, efforts that they are doing through exhibitions, meeting officials, holding seminars, press conferences, and so on, adding that they will not stop until they have their rights back.

Gaber Al-Areq Al-Ghufrani added that they are trying through the exhibition to reach everyone involved, from advocates to the appropriate authorities, stating that they attempt to talk to everyone that goes into the sessions. “We are talking to everyone who comes in and out of the United Nations building about our crisis and our stolen rights; after taking our nationality away, there is nothing else we can lose.”

The members of the tribe demand that the international community take a decisive stand against the Qatari regime, which violated international covenants and norms, through its discriminatory policies against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

On September 17, delegation had met with Chief of Middle East and North Africa Section. UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Al-Nsour, when the latter received a letter from the tribe summing up the violations that they have faced since 1996.

The letter asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations.

The letter also revealed that the authorities are well aware of the violations occurring, “We assure you that the Qatari authorities, ranging from the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the President of the National Committee for Human Rights, senior security officials and dignitaries, are aware of the discrimination members of Al Ghofran clan are subjected to and those senior officials are deeply involved in this crime,” the delegation stated, continuing, “Qatar officials are working to hide his crime from the eyes of international justice and human rights organizations, and the deliberately intimidate those trying from within Qatar to raise complaints to International bodies and human rights organizations.”

Fearing for their lives and their ability to voice their opinions or “demand their rights through the National Human Rights Committee in Doha” due to security personnel traching and monitoring their actions, which they say they have evidence off, the delegation spoke of the evidence they have of Qatari authorities treating their people with the utmost levels of brutality and monstrosity.

As part of their on-going efforts to restore their legitimate rights, on September 21, during a seminar titled ‘Human Rights in Qatar’, the delegation also called on Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take serious steps in addressing and documenting the human rights violations that were committed against the tribe, and to present them in front of the international community to hold Qatar accountable.

The delegation explained that they only resorted to international organizations after years of being ignored and omitted by their government, the government of Qatar, and after they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council is in cahoots with the regime.

During said seminar, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, called on the people of Qatar, for support said, “We call on the elders of the honourable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry. We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin after the Qatari government has let us down and accused us of untrue claims and stropped us of our rights.”

He went on to plead his and his tribe’s case to the people of Qatar, “We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways, ones that would shock human consciousness; they have stripped us of our dignity, in way that you know and others that you do not know.”

Adding, “We did not choose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations except after the government of our country closed all ways of appeal and did not engage or listen to our demands that we had submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar.”

Along the same lines, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghofzani called on the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar to stop turning a blind eye to the regime's violations of the right of Al-Ghufran tribe and to document and declare said violations; which he describes to be, violations of all basic international norms, conventions and treaties.

Similarly, Hamad Khaled Al-Ghufrani explained that although the Qatari law states that indigenous people who have settled in Qatar since 1940 cannot have their nationality stripped—a law that applies to them, they have had their nationality stripped, faced forced displacement and have had the most basic services taken away from them: Education, healthcare and other public services.

“Even those who suffer from chronic illnesses of other illnesses, including my son who suffers from autism, were left untreated by Qatar, “ Al Ghufrani stated.

The OHCHR, which implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “carries out a range of country specific and regional activities to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. It provides support for legislative initiatives and pursues thematic work on issues such as extractive industries and on the rights of isolated indigenous peoples,” as per the OHCHR’s website.

“In addition, the Office assists the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the organisation of its annual sessions.”

Exhibiting their case to the world

On September 19, Al-Ghufran, staged a sit- in front of the Broken Chair, which stands across the United Nations Palace in Geneva, to denounce the crimes of the Qatari regime who has revoked their nationality, displaced and tortured members of the tribe.

The tribe called on the international community to take a decisive stand on the Tamim regime, whom, they claim, have violated a number of international conventions and treaties through its racist policy against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

The delegation also held a protest on September 18, to urge the United Nations to investigate the Qatar regimes’ crimes against humanity, including stripping them of Qatari nationality

“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountale for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights,” Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, a member of the tribe, who took part in the stand, stated.

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Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights. - Egypt Today

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The tribe representatives had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017 - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today


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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussing their deteriorating situation. - Egypt Today

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Members of the delegation in Geneva - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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The tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today
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9/24/2018 3:40:08 PM
<![CDATA[Maldives opposition wins election in potential blow to China]]>
Incumbent Abdulla Yameen, who had cultivated ties with both Beijing and Saudi Arabia, conceded defeat after the Election Commission said Solih had won Sunday’s election by a margin of 16.7 percent.

The Maldives, a string of palm-fringed islands and atolls lying 325 miles (523 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of India, is best known as a luxury holiday destination.

But the Muslim nation of less than half a million people has suffered a turbulent transition to democracy following the end of three decades of authoritarian rule in 2008.

“This is a moment of happiness, a moment of hope,” Solih told reporters in the capital Male. “This is a journey that has ended at the ballot box because the people willed it.”

India and The United States congratulated Solih, popularly known as “Ibu”, on his victory even before Yameen conceded.

“This election marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives, but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership.”

Both New Delhi and Washington had been concerned by China’s growing influence in the Maldives and its lurch toward more hardline attitudes on religious issues during Yameen’s five years in power.

China, meantime, has helped build an extension to the international airport in the Maldives, and a bridge linking it to the capital, Male.

Before the election, the opposition said it would review the Chinese investment, partly out of concern over the level of debt entailed, with experts warning that the government could fall into a debt trap.

Exiled former prime minister Mohamed Nasheed - an ally of Solih - told Reuters in June he wants to renegotiate these deals.

The Chinese investment in Maldives is seen as part of its “String of Pearls” strategy, developing a network of friendly ports in the region from Sri Lanka to Pakistan.

India and Western nations have worried that the strategy ultimately aims to help China’s military extend its reach.

Since coming to power in a contested election in 2013, Yameen has been criticized for jailing opponents and restricting election observers and the media, and there had been fears that Sunday’s election would an unfair contest.

But Yameen soothed concerns over the risk of another messy transfer of power in a televised address to the nation.

“Maldivian people have decided what they want. I have accepted the results from yesterday. Earlier today, I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the Maldivian electorate has chosen to be their next president. I have congratulated him,” he said.

Voter turnout was 89.2 percent, the Elections Commission said, adding the official results would be released by Sept. 30.

The country has been in political turmoil since February, when Yameen imposed a state of emergency to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition leaders, including Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader and former president.

Yameen also jailed his half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who led the country for 30 years. He is being held in a prison on a remote island along with the former head of the top court and ex-ministers.

The opposition has said it would make the release of all political prisoners, including Gayoom, a priority.

Mohamed Shainee, the minister of fisheries in Yameen’s government, said on Twitter it was “the beginning of a new chapter” for the country, asking voters to “forgive our wrongdoings”.

The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, quoted Maldives’ ambassador to India as saying Solih would assume power on Nov. 17 after Yameen’s five-year term ends.]]>
9/24/2018 3:28:22 PM
<![CDATA[Putin tells Assad will give Syria S-300 air defense system: Syrian presidency]]>
“President Putin ... informed President Assad that Russian will develop the Syrian air defense systems,” the Syrian presidency said in a statement.]]>
9/24/2018 3:24:33 PM
<![CDATA[A child from Al-Ghufran tribe tells Sky News Arabia about violations seen at hands of Qatari regime]]>
The 13 years old was born in a hospital in Qatar, and went to Geneva to present his case and that of his fellow brothers and sisters in the tribe to the UN.

“I came her to Geneva to try to restore my nationality and to pursue my human rights. … I do not know what I did to have my nationality stripped away when I was only one or two months old.”

“We want to live the rest of our lives in Qatar, that is every Ghufrani child’s dream,” said the child.

The child, who had the chance of living in his country taken away by force, said that he wished to grow old in his country to have the right to stay in his nation, his country, Qatar.

“I wish to return to my country and enjoy my right as a citizen,” he said.

Commenting on this, his father said in the video, “I fear that my son will not have the chance to see his nation, to grow in it; I wish for him to have the chance to live there.”



Previously, during a press conference held September 20, titled, ‘Qatar: How to protect the Al-Ghufran tribe?’, in Clube suisse de la presse, on the margins of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the child said, “My nationality was revoked when I was younger than a year,” and presented his passport, along with that of his father and grandfather.

“I did not have the right to grow up in my country, I was not given the right to stay in my nation. I could not be in my country. I wish to return to my country and enjoy my right as a citizen.”

Similarly, on September 17, the child spoke during the a meeting that saw the tribe submitting a complaint to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, regarding the systemic discrimination they are suffering at the hands of the Qatari authorities.

The child, who looks no older than 15 years of age, started his speech by saying, “I am Mohamed Bin Gazer…, small is age but old enough in my demands to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

The child, who spoke elegantly and brought the room to a near standstill, went on to say that he wishes for his, and all the tribe members’, return “home”.

He heartbreakingly spoke of the difficulty he and others face by having to stay away from their home, from their country, and wished that he would have his Qatari citizenship back and that he could return home; a place he feels emotionally attached to.

“All I demand in front of the UN Commisioner and the office of human rights, as well as all international human rights organizations, is that they help me to return my citizenship. I repeat my demand: All that I wish for is the return of my citizenship,” the child spoke.

He continued to urge Qatari human rights organizations to help the tribe out, reminding them that Qatar signed the International Convention of Human Rights in 1995.

“All that I wish for is to live with dignity in Qatar.”

“I want to end with a line from a famous poem: “My Country is dear even if it oppresses me … my family is precious even if they disavow me.”

On September 17, delegation had met with Chief of Middle East and North Africa Section. UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Al-Nsour, when the latter received a letter from the tribe summing up the violations that they have faced since 1996.

The letter asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations.

The letter also revealed that the authorities are well aware of the violations occurring, “We assure you that the Qatari authorities, ranging from the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the President of the National Committee for Human Rights, senior security officials and dignitaries, are aware of the discrimination members of Al Ghofran clan are subjected to and those senior officials are deeply involved in this crime,” the delegation stated, continuing, “Qatar officials are working to hide his crime from the eyes of international justice and human rights organizations, and the deliberately intimidate those trying from within Qatar to raise complaints to International bodies and human rights organizations.”

Fearing for their lives and their ability to voice their opinions or “demand their rights through the National Human Rights Committee in Doha” due to security personnel traching and monitoring their actions, which they say they have evidence off, the delegation spoke of the evidence they have of Qatari authorities treating their people with the utmost levels of brutality and monstrosity.

As part of their on-going efforts to restore their legitimate rights, on September 21, during a seminar titled ‘Human Rights in Qatar’, the delegation also called on Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take serious steps in addressing and documenting the human rights violations that were committed against the tribe, and to present them in front of the international community to hold Qatar accountable.

The delegation explained that they only resorted to international organizations after years of being ignored and omitted by their government, the government of Qatar, and after they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council is in cahoots with the regime.

During said seminar, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, called on the people of Qatar, for support said, “We call on the elders of the honourable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry. We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin after the Qatari government has let us down and accused us of untrue claims and stropped us of our rights.”

He went on to plead his and his tribe’s case to the people of Qatar, “We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways, ones that would shock human consciousness; they have stripped us of our dignity, in way that you know and others that you do not know.”

Adding, “We did not choose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations except after the government of our country closed all ways of appeal and did not engage or listen to our demands that we had submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar.”

Along the same lines, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghofzani called on the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar to stop turning a blind eye to the regime's violations of the right of Al-Ghufran tribe and to document and declare said violations; which he describes to be, violations of all basic international norms, conventions and treaties.

Similarly, Hamad Khaled Al-Ghufrani explained that although the Qatari law states that indigenous people who have settled in Qatar since 1940 cannot have their nationality stripped—a law that applies to them, they have had their nationality stripped, faced forced displacement and have had the most basic services taken away from them: Education, healthcare and other public services.

“Even those who suffer from chronic illnesses of other illnesses, including my son who suffers from autism, were left untreated by Qatar, “ Al Ghufrani stated.

The OHCHR, which implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “carries out a range of country specific and regional activities to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. It provides support for legislative initiatives and pursues thematic work on issues such as extractive industries and on the rights of isolated indigenous peoples,” as per the OHCHR’s website.

“In addition, the Office assists the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the organisation of its annual sessions.”

Exhibiting their case to the world

On September 19, Al-Ghufran, staged a sit- in front of the Broken Chair, which stands across the United Nations Palace in Geneva, to denounce the crimes of the Qatari regime who has revoked their nationality, displaced and tortured members of the tribe.

The tribe called on the international community to take a decisive stand on the Tamim regime, whom, they claim, have violated a number of international conventions and treaties through its racist policy against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

Created by Daniel Berset, the Broken Chair simpolises the struggeles of mine victims.

The delegation also held a protest on September 18, to urge the United Nations to investigate the Qatar regimes’ crimes against humanity, including stripping them of Qatari nationality

“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountale for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights,” Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, a member of the tribe, who took part in the stand, stated.

2
Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights. - Egypt Today

9
The tribe representatives had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017 - Egypt Today

14
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

6
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today


8
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

1
A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussing their deteriorating situation. - Egypt Today

4
Members of the delegation in Geneva - Egypt Today

5
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

11
The tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today

15
Al-Ghufran tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today
]]>
9/24/2018 3:18:03 PM
<![CDATA[Light festival dazzles visitors in Portuguese holiday town]]>
The event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cascais every year, aims to “celebrate colors and forms in all their nuances, senses and aspects”, according to the organizers.

It also hopes to highlight the historical heritage of Cascais, a former fishing village that became a first-class travel destination by the end of the 19th century.

This year’s installations included an interactive skate ramp that flashed with different colored lights and shapes as skateboarders rode over it.

“There are so many different things so your mind is just kind of watching it,” said Terry Reel, an American tourist visiting Portugal. “It’s just so delightful.]]>
9/24/2018 2:57:37 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ambassador to Norway inaugurates ancient Egyptian artefacts exhibition in Oslo]]>
The three-month exhibition showcases Egyptian artefacts from across the world's largest museums including London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Paris's Musée d'Orsay and the US Metropolitan Museum of Art, alongside two original copies of the book "Description de l'Égypte."

Over 300 people attended the opening ceremony including ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and individuals from the Egyptian community in Norway.]]>
9/24/2018 2:56:27 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of Education exempts some students from paying school fees]]>
The students, who will be exempted from school fees entirely, include the children of those who died during the 2011 revolution; the children of the martyrs of the Armed Forces, police and judiciary; the children of those who died in terrorist attacks; children from families who receive social solidarity pensions; the children of sole female breadwinners; and the children of special needs people.

In the same context, the Ministry of Education issued a decision that children of teachers pay 50 percent of school fees.

Previously, the Ministry of Education declared that private schools’ fees for the 2018/2019 academic year will increase.

The Ministry of Education remarked that the fees for Arabic private schools and co-operative schools will increase by 25 percent annually for fees less than LE 2,000, by 20 percent for fees between LE 2,000 - LE 3,000, by 15 percent for fees between LE 3,000- LE 5,000, by 10 percent for fees between LE 5,000- LE 10,000, and by 7 percent for fees of more than LE 10,000.

As for international schools, the ministry remarked that the fees will surge 7 percent instead of 14 percent, and the increase will be applied starting from students enrolled in the 2015/2016 base year.

The ministry referred that regulations were set to operate private and co-operative schools transport services and identify the services' fees for the 2018/2019 academic year.

The transport services will increase by 45 percent for prices starting from LE 1,000 - less than LE 2,000, by 40 percent for prices from LE 2,000 - less than LE 3,000, by 35 percent for prices from LE 3,000 - less than LE 4,000, and by 30 percent for prices of LE 6,000 or more, considering that this increase is applied to schools that did not undergo a revaluation of expenses.

Concerning school textbooks, the ministry pointed out that the cost of textbooks shall be calculated where 10 percent administrative expenses will be added to the actual cost of the books.

The ministry stressed that buying additional books is optional while ministerial books are obligatory, and that private schools are not allowed to sell or make summaries, references or booklets for textbooks without taking permission from the competent authority of the ministry.

The Ministry of Education explained that school uniforms should not be sold inside schools or be changed for at least five years, referring that schools will be monitored regularly to ensure commitment.

In 2017, the Ministry of Education took action to control private and international schools' rising fees.

The increase is inevitable given the fact that these schools want to mitigate the negative consequences of the floatation of the Egyptian pound. Indeed, international schools with foreign staff members have been especially hit by the effects of the floatation. Parents fear that schools will place disproportionately high increases on the tuition fees. ]]>
9/24/2018 2:56:18 PM
<![CDATA[Dead dolphin found in Alex to be embalmed: NIOF]]>
Having examined the dead dolphin, several bruises were found on its front side, which indicates that it died after it bumped into a boat, said Suzan Khalif, the head of the institute in a press release on Monday.

The dead dolphin which weighs about about 70 kg and is 2.4 meters long, would be easy to embalm, Khalif also said.

It belongs to a species of common short-beaked dolphins called (Delphinus delphis), she added.]]>
9/24/2018 2:53:58 PM
<![CDATA[Construction works at Rawdat Al-Sayeda project finished ]]>
The project will be submitted in November, and the company responsible for the project is currently installing the sewage networks, water supply lines, and electricity grids in Rawdat Al-Sayeda to finalize the project.

im2
Rawdat Al-Sayeda project in Sayeda Zainab to house slum residents have been finished-Press Photo

Rawdat Al-Sayeda, formerly Tal Al-Akareb, covers about 7.5 feddans (1 feddan = 1.038 acres). It had been a slum area before the government demolished the houses there to replace them by residential buildings, in line with the state’s initiative to develop slums.

In this regard, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, who also serves as the housing minister, has followed up on construction works at Rawdat Al-Sayeda project in Sayeda Zainab.

During his meeting with representatives of the construction company responsible for the project, Madbouly called for intensifying efforts to complete the project, saying that the government has paid the company all its dues.

Madbouly also affirmed the completion of the project's water, waste water, electricity and natural gas infrastructure, adding that the project is part of the state’s efforts to provide a good living for residents of unsafe areas.

im3
Rawdat Al-Sayeda project in Sayeda Zainab to house slum residents have been finished-Press Photo

In April, Madbouly rebuked the project’s directors for not adding side windows to the project’s new buildings, necessary for hanging laundry.

Madbouly previously called for adding side windows to the project’s units in order to allow residents to hang their laundry. Residents would otherwise use the front windows, which would disfigure the area.

Hanging laundry on balconies is prohibited in many Arab countries, including Morocco and Kuwait, and fines have been levied on violators. In Dubai, a fine of AED 500 ($136) is issued to offenders.



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

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

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

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

Al Mahrousa 1 and 2 projects

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

Al-Asmarat 3 project

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

Together to develop slums in Al-Salam 2 project

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

Maspero Triangle project

Major General Mohammed Ayman Abdel Tawab, deputy governor of Cairo, said the government has been demolishing houses and shops in the Maspero Triangle in attempts to redevelop and modernize the three streets of the Bulaq Abul Ela district. ]]>
9/24/2018 2:52:02 PM
<![CDATA[Pressure on FIFA to strip Qatar of 2022 World Cup builds]]>
Since late July 2018, evidence has built up that Qatar may have sabotaged—or at least sought to—other countries’ bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Claims were made clear after ex-FIFA President Sepp Blatter said late July that an investigation should be launched into the role played by ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in swinging the FIFA towards choosing Qatar.

“Allegations that Qatar paid a PR firm and ex-CIA operatives to spread propaganda about rival bidders have ignited concern over how the tournament was awarded. Former FA chief executive, Mark Palios, said that even if Qatar were not stripped of the World Cup, they could still be banned from international football post-2022,” write The National.

“The Football Association was forced to respond to the growing chorus of speculation from within the sportl and in the media. A spokesman said it would not comment on the hypothetical role that England would play if the host nation for the 2022 World Cup was changed.”

Moreover, leader of England’s 2018 World Cup Bid, Lord Triesman, called on FIFA to consider stripping Qatar of the 2022 World Cup.

“If Qatar is shown to have broken the Fifa rules, then they can't hold on to the World Cup. I think it would not be wrong for Fifa to reconsider England in those circumstances. We have the capabilities,” Triesman said. “Fifa's obligation is to look at the evidence thoroughly and rapidly and have the courage to take what may be a difficult decision.”

To muddy the water further, Monday saw a delegation from Al-Ghufran tribe lodged a complaint Monday to the President of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in Zurich against the practices of the Qatari regime against their tribe, demanding Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup.

The tribe’s demands come after the Qatari regime committed serious human rights violations against them and built the facilities for the World Cup on land that was forcibly taken away from the tribe.

In their hand-delivered letter, Al-Ghufran tribe revealed that the violations by the Qatari regime did not stop at the illegitimately revoking the citizenship of 6,000 citizens with no legal basis, it also included taking away the tribe’s land by force and exploiting it for the purposes of building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup.

“This is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens],” Al-Ghufran added.

“This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

Al-Ghufran revealed that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

“The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare,” added Al-Ghufran.

The complaint also referred to other practices and serious violations committed against workers working on the construction of sports facilities.

The sons of Al-Ghufran tribe demanded that FIFA reject the establishment of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 unless the Government of Qatar restores the Qatari nationality to all those affected from the tribe and returning their land, which were forcibly robbed, to them. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

Al-Ghufran tribe also said that if the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

They also called on FIFA to force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

If the Qatari regime rejects the demands, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the “humanitarian and moral crimes” committed by the Qatari regime.

This is the letter, as acquired by Egypt Today:

A collective complaint to the President of the International Football Federation against the practices of Qatar

Regarding: Human rights violations by the state of Qatar, including stripping some 6,000 citizens from their nationality without legitimate cause.

Submitted by: The sons of the Al-Ghufran tribe, who have been, illegally and illegitimately, stripped of their Qatari nationality

Our suffering at the hands of the Qatari government started in 1996 when they issued an inhumane and immoral decision oto drop the nationality of about 6,000 individuals from our tribe without a fair allegation or legitimate investigation or rule of law; instead, it was decided via one decision that did not rely on laws. These individuals mow live displaced between a number of countries, without a nationality; some of them went to neighboring states and some of them stayed within Qatar, marginalized and without rights, identity or work, living without any of the rights that were mentioned in treaties and conventions, like access to education, healthcare or the right t own property. In fact, they have had a significant number of land plots taken away from them, many of which were used by the Qatar regime for building sports facilities to serve the 2022 World Cup.

Your Excellency the President of the International Federation of Football, you are well aware of the continuation of the state of Qatar in this injustice towards its own people and stripping them of their nationality and right to own property. Meanwhile, this is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens]. This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

We would like to let you know that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare.

Not to mention the other practices and serious violations committed against the workers who are keen to ensure the completion of sports facilities; without you redirect intervention to protect said workers, they would be in great risk. All this confirms that the State of Qatar is pursuing policies that have nothing to do with human rights, and at the same time it praises human rights day and night and claims to be the guardian of freedoms in the region.

And for all the above … and for many reasons that you see … and because your organization was established and founded with the view of protecting rights before sponsoring games, we demand the following:

1- We call on FIFA to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup unless it listens to the demands of Al-Ghufran tribe, or else FIFA would be jointly responsible for the actions of Qatar against Al-Ghufran tribe.

2- Restoring Qatari citizenship to all Al-Ghufran tribe members who have faced the injustice of having their citizenship stripped away.

3- Returning the land, which were forcibly robbed, to those who actually own it. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

4- If the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

5- The FIFA should force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

6- Allowing the Al-Ghufran tribe to present its humanitarian case before FIFA officials.

If these demands are not met, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the humanitarian and moral crimes committed by the Qatari regime.

Sincerely yours,
Al-Ghufran delegation
With no nationality and away from their home, Qatar

Al-Ghufran’s call to FIFA comes as part of a wider move by the tribe to recover its rights on the margins of the UN Human Rights Council.
]]>
9/24/2018 2:35:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt targets 6% growth rate in 2018/19]]>
Zohair added that the economic improvements came as a result of the political stability Egypt has witnessed.

As per Egypt’s vision 2030, he said that the three economic pillars of this vision are: infrastructure, logistic infrastructure and streamlining the procedures. Zohair stated that Egypt aims to be a trade hub in the Middle East and Africa.

Why Egypt?<\b>

The director of GAFI presented the advantages of investing in Egypt, referring to the unique location of Egypt as it connects three continents; Africa, Asia and Europe.

He added that Egypt has a huge market with a big population which makes it a perfect investment destination. Additionally, Egypt is a very competitive investment destination in terms of the cost of starting a business, he stated.

Zohair disclosed that the investment law protects investors' business and provides incentives to encourage investors to invest in Egypt.

This came during Zohair's participation at a panel entitled "Emerging Opportunities for Trade with Super Connectivity" at the Egyptian-Pakistani summit celebrating 70 years of diplomatic Relations “TDAS’18”.

The summit will take place on September 24 and 25.
]]>
9/24/2018 2:31:11 PM
<![CDATA[Qatar regime built World Cup 2022 facilities on land forcibly taken away: Al-Ghufran tells FIFA]]>
The tribe’s demands come after the Qatari regime committed serious human rights violations against them and built the facilities for the World Cup on land that was forcibly taken away from the tribe.

In their hand-delivered letter, Al-Ghufran tribe revealed that the violations by the Qatari regime did not stop at the illegitimately revoking the citizenship of 6,000 citizens with no legal basis, it also included taking away the tribe’s land by force and exploiting it for the purposes of building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup.

“This is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens],” Al-Ghufran added.

“This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

Al-Ghufran revealed that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

“The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare,” added Al-Ghufran.

The complaint also referred to other practices and serious violations committed against workers working on the construction of sports facilities.

The sons of Al-Ghufran tribe demanded that FIFA reject the establishment of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 unless the Government of Qatar restores the Qatari nationality to all those affected from the tribe and returning their land, which were forcibly robbed, to them. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

Al-Ghufran tribe also said that if the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

They also called on FIFA to force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

If the Qatari regime rejects the demands, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the “humanitarian and moral crimes” committed by the Qatari regime.

This is the letter, as acquired by Egypt Today:

A collective complaint to the President of the International Football Federation against the practices of Qatar

Regarding: Human rights violations by the state of Qatar, including stripping some 6,000 citizens from their nationality without legitimate cause.

Submitted by: The sons of the Al-Ghufran tribe, who have been, illegally and illegitimately, stripped of their Qatari nationality

Our suffering at the hands of the Qatari government started in 1996 when they issued an inhumane and immoral decision oto drop the nationality of about 6,000 individuals from our tribe without a fair allegation or legitimate investigation or rule of law; instead, it was decided via one decision that did not rely on laws. These individuals mow live displaced between a number of countries, without a nationality; some of them went to neighboring states and some of them stayed within Qatar, marginalized and without rights, identity or work, living without any of the rights that were mentioned in treaties and conventions, like access to education, healthcare or the right t own property. In fact, they have had a significant number of land plots taken away from them, many of which were used by the Qatar regime for building sports facilities to serve the 2022 World Cup.

Your Excellency the President of the International Federation of Football, you are well aware of the continuation of the state of Qatar in this injustice towards its own people and stripping them of their nationality and right to own property. Meanwhile, this is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens]. This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

We would like to let you know that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare.

Not to mention the other practices and serious violations committed against the workers who are keen to ensure the completion of sports facilities; without you redirect intervention to protect said workers, they would be in great risk. All this confirms that the State of Qatar is pursuing policies that have nothing to do with human rights, and at the same time it praises human rights day and night and claims to be the guardian of freedoms in the region.

And for all the above … and for many reasons that you see … and because your organization was established and founded with the view of protecting rights before sponsoring games, we demand the following:

1- We call on FIFA to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup unless it listens to the demands of Al-Ghufran tribe, or else FIFA would be jointly responsible for the actions of Qatar against Al-Ghufran tribe.

2- Restoring Qatari citizenship to all Al-Ghufran tribe members who have faced the injustice of having their citizenship stripped away.

3- Returning the land, which were forcibly robbed, to those who actually own it. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

4- If the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

5- The FIFA should force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

6- Allowing the Al-Ghufran tribe to present its humanitarian case before FIFA officials.

If these demands are not met, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the humanitarian and moral crimes committed by the Qatari regime.

Sincerely yours,
Al-Ghufran delegation
With no nationality and away from their home, Qatar

Al-Ghufran’s call to FIFA comes as part of a wider move by the tribe to recover its rights on the margins of the UN Human Rights Council.

On September 17, delegation had met with Chief of Middle East and North Africa Section. UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Al-Nsour, when the latter received a letter from the tribe summing up the violations that they have faced since 1996.

The letter asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations.

The letter also revealed that the authorities are well aware of the violations occurring, “We assure you that the Qatari authorities, ranging from the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the President of the National Committee for Human Rights, senior security officials and dignitaries, are aware of the discrimination members of Al Ghofran clan are subjected to and those senior officials are deeply involved in this crime,” the delegation stated, continuing, “Qatar officials are working to hide his crime from the eyes of international justice and human rights organizations, and the deliberately intimidate those trying from within Qatar to raise complaints to International bodies and human rights organizations.”

Fearing for their lives and their ability to voice their opinions or “demand their rights through the National Human Rights Committee in Doha” due to security personnel traching and monitoring their actions, which they say they have evidence off, the delegation spoke of the evidence they have of Qatari authorities treating their people with the utmost levels of brutality and monstrosity.

As part of their on-going efforts to restore their legitimate rights, on September 21, during a seminar titled ‘Human Rights in Qatar’, the delegation also called on Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take serious steps in addressing and documenting the human rights violations that were committed against the tribe, and to present them in front of the international community to hold Qatar accountable.

The delegation explained that they only resorted to international organizations after years of being ignored and omitted by their government, the government of Qatar, and after they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council is in cahoots with the regime.

During said seminar, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, called on the people of Qatar, for support said, “We call on the elders of the honourable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry. We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin after the Qatari government has let us down and accused us of untrue claims and stropped us of our rights.”

He went on to plead his and his tribe’s case to the people of Qatar, “We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways, ones that would shock human consciousness; they have stripped us of our dignity, in way that you know and others that you do not know.”

Adding, “We did not choose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations except after the government of our country closed all ways of appeal and did not engage or listen to our demands that we had submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar.”

Along the same lines, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghofzani called on the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar to stop turning a blind eye to the regime's violations of the right of Al-Ghufran tribe and to document and declare said violations; which he describes to be, violations of all basic international norms, conventions and treaties.

Similarly, Hamad Khaled Al-Ghufrani explained that although the Qatari law states that indigenous people who have settled in Qatar since 1940 cannot have their nationality stripped—a law that applies to them, they have had their nationality stripped, faced forced displacement and have had the most basic services taken away from them: Education, healthcare and other public services.

“Even those who suffer from chronic illnesses of other illnesses, including my son who suffers from autism, were left untreated by Qatar, “ Al Ghufrani stated.

The OHCHR, which implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “carries out a range of country specific and regional activities to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. It provides support for legislative initiatives and pursues thematic work on issues such as extractive industries and on the rights of isolated indigenous peoples,” as per the OHCHR’s website.

“In addition, the Office assists the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the organisation of its annual sessions.”

Exhibiting their case to the world

On September 19, Al-Ghufran, staged a sit- in front of the Broken Chair, which stands across the United Nations Palace in Geneva, to denounce the crimes of the Qatari regime who has revoked their nationality, displaced and tortured members of the tribe.

The tribe called on the international community to take a decisive stand on the Tamim regime, whom, they claim, have violated a number of international conventions and treaties through its racist policy against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

Created by Daniel Berset, the Broken Chair simpolises the struggeles of mine victims.

The delegation also held a protest on September 18, to urge the United Nations to investigate the Qatar regimes’ crimes against humanity, including stripping them of Qatari nationality

“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountale for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights,” Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, a member of the tribe, who took part in the stand, stated.

2
Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights. - Egypt Today

9
The tribe representatives had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017 - Egypt Today

14
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

6
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today


8
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

1
A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussing their deteriorating situation. - Egypt Today

4
Members of the delegation in Geneva - Egypt Today

5
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

11
The tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today
]]>9/24/2018 2:19:17 PM<![CDATA[Canada's Cirque du Soleil dazzles Riyadh after diplomatic row]]>
The acrobatic troupe performed in Riyadh to mark the Saudi national day, more than a month after the kingdom expelled Canada's ambassador and froze all new trade following Ottawa's vigorous calls for the release of activists jailed in the Gulf state.

Costumed performers slithered up ropes, swaying, twisting and doing mid-air acrobatics at a packed King Fahd sports stadium, with Cirque du Soleil saying the show was one of its biggest one-off productions ever.

More than 80 artists took the stage, with 250 costumes tailor made to conform to local traditions in the conservative desert kingdom, it said.

The announcement of the show was first made in Los Angeles in April during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's multi-city visit to the United States.

But diplomatic tensions had cast doubt over the show.

Canada has refused to give ground in the dispute, which erupted in August, vowing to always stand up for human rights globally, even as diplomats say high-level negotiations are ongoing between the two countries to resolve differences.

A furious Riyadh ordered Saudi students to pull out from Canadian universities, though more than 1,000 medical students have been granted an extension in a partial rollback.

The diplomatic rupture reflects Prince Mohammed's increasingly assertive foreign policy and it coincides with his growing clampdown on domestic critics.

National day was celebrated across the kingdom on Sunday with a raucous display of concerts and folk dance.

Some 990,000 fireworks were planned across 20 cities, including Riyadh, the information ministry said.

Iconic buildings in Riyadh were bathed in green light and stereos blared patriotic songs as revellers raced through the streets in cars bedecked with the national flag.

The ultra-conservative kingdom has cautiously begun introducing entertainment, including music concerts, despite the risk of riling sidelined hardliners.

It is part of Prince Mohammed's far-reaching liberalisation drive that has ended decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.

In February, Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.]]>
9/24/2018 2:01:14 PM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'The House With a Clock in Its Walls' leads with $26.8 million, 'Fahrenheit 11/9' falls flat]]>
Eli Roth’s adaptation of the popular children’s book picked up a better-than-expected $26.8 million when it opened in 3,592 locations. The fantasy film, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, didn’t face much competition. A number of holdovers filled out the top five as a trio of new releases came in way under expectations.

“The House With a Clock in Its Walls” topped “Hostel” as Roth’s biggest opening to date. The family-friendly film bowed with $3.1 million overseas for a global start of $29.9 million. Imax screens accounted for $2.5 million of its box office total.

Universal’s head of domestic distribution Jim Orr said the release date in a wide open market, along with the team of Roth, Black, and Blanchett, helped bolster the film above earlier projections.

“Obviously, we couldn’t be more pleased,” Orr said. “It’s always great to kick off your fall slate at No. 1.”

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a satirical look at President Donald Trump, fared the best among newcomers. The Briarcliff Entertainment political documentary landed in eighth place, coming in way under estimates with $3.1 million from 1,719 venues. Launching the film in over a thousand theaters might have hurt its box office potential. Most specialized films start small in a select amount of theaters before slowly expanding nationwide as word of mouth builds.

It was a good summer for docs — “RBG,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and “Three Identical Strangers” all hit double digits, but they all had modest expansions. Dinesh D’Souza took a similar route to Moore just a few months ago, opening “Death of a Nation” on over 1,000 screens. The pro-Trump doc was the worst showing for the right-wing conservative filmmaker, bowing with $2.3 million and picking up just $5.8 million. It’s a tough time to be serving up even more Trump. Moore’s 2004 film “Fahrenheit 9/11” is still the highest grossing documentary ever. It debuted with $23 million in North America and went on to earn $22 million globally.

“Life Itself,” a tear-jerker from “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman, didn’t even crack the top 10, pocketing just $2.1 million from 2,609 screens. That’s cause for concern, especially considering Amazon Studios paid $10 million for the star-studded drama with Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, and Annette Bening. It didn’t help that the movie was savaged by bad reviews ahead of its release. It currently holds a 13 percent average on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a B+ CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, Neon’s “Assassination Nation” scraped together a disappointing $1 million in 1,403 locations. Sam Levinson wrote and directed the edgy teen thriller.

Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor,” the neo-noir mystery drama starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding, landed in second place with $10.4 million in 3,102 locations in its second frame. To date, it has earned $32 million. In third is Warner Bros.’ “The Nun” with $10.2 million, taking its domestic tally to $100 million.

Fox’s “The Predator” dropped to No. 4 after leading the domestic box office last weekend. The sci-fi thriller earned $8.6 million for a domestic total of $40.3 million. Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians.” The acclaimed romantic comedy earned another $6.5 million, bringing its North American earnings to $159 million.

Actor Jack Black poses at the premiere for "The House With a Clock in its Walls" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
In limited release, Bleecker Street’s “Colette” earned $156,788 when it showed in four theaters. That translates to a solid $39,197 per theater. The biographical drama with Keira Knightley and Dominic West about the life of the French novelist who was forced to publish her novels under her husband’s name.

Annapurna’s “The Sister Brothers,” Jacques Audiard’s western dark comedy stars John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, picked up $122,028 from four locations for a per-theater average of $30,507.

Even with the sleepy weekend, the domestic box office remains up 8.5 percent, according to comScore. However, the frame is down 21.8 percent compared to the same weekend last year when “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” launched with $39 million.
]]>
9/24/2018 1:56:45 PM
<![CDATA[Talks held with U.S. to reverse PLO's office closure decision]]>
In an interview with Ra'y Aam (Public Opinion) on TeN TV, Abdel Fatah said that the Palestinian objection to negotiate with the U.S. concerning the Palestinian cause is the reason behind the U.S. administration's decision.

Abdel Fatah said that a large number of the Arab League leaders are communicating with the U.S. to control the consequences of the decision.

U.S President Donald Trump's administration ordered on September 10 the closure of the PLO's office in Washington, citing Palestinian leaders' rejection to enter into peace talks with Israel as the reason behind the decision.

The goal of that step is pressuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) to accept the peace plan formulated by the United States, siding with Israel in rejecting the two-state solution with Eastern Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state and Western Jerusalem being the capital of the Israeli state.

The U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem on December 6 without first reaching an agreement with the Palestinians crippled peace talks, giving rise to international moves in favor of the Palestinians.
]]>
9/24/2018 1:29:29 PM
<![CDATA[Local development min. seeks increased cooperation with UNDP]]>
Sharawy expressed the government's appreciation of the important role played by the UN and its agencies in supporting sustainable development projects across the Egyptian governorates, lauding the UNDP for being one the country's foremost credible partners.

He also hailed the efforts exerted by the UN and its bodies to improve services provided to Egyptian citizens.

During the meeting, the minister reviewed a number of development projects in some governorates, affirming the need for more support to the ministry's local development and decentralization programs and efforts to deal with development challenges such as overpopulation.

He also stressed the importance of developing Upper Egyptian governorates in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sharawy further asserted the state's commitment to the comprehensive development of Sinai and maximizing the benefits of the peninsula's resources.

For his part, the UNDP senior advisor asserted keenness on enhancing cooperation with the Egyptian government, especially with regard to Sinai development strategy, which is a top priority for the Egyptian state. ]]>
9/24/2018 1:06:57 PM
<![CDATA[Pogba takes aim at Mourinho's negative tactics]]>
The 25-year-old French World Cup winning midfielder said there were no excuses for not attacking in home games.

The draw -- played out in front of legendary former manager Alex Ferguson who made his first appearance at a match since undergoing emergency brain surgery in May -- left United in seventh, eight points behind leaders Liverpool.

"We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack," Pogba told the media after the match.

"When we play like (that) it's easier for us."

Asked what is stopping United attacking more, Pogba said: "I can't tell you because I'm a player. It's not me."

Pogba's criticism comes shortly after it appeared that he and Mourinho were mending their rift, with the Portuguese manager saying on Friday that success at the World Cup had sparked Pogba into performing well.

Pogba, who hasn't lived up to expectations since his then world record £89 million ($116 million) move from Juventus in 2016, had been angered by Mourinho's remarks in July that he had played much better at the World Cup because he was not surrounded by his entourage.

"I think teams are scared when they see Manchester United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake," said Pogba.

"Maybe the attitude should be better and we should play better because, again, we are at Old Trafford and we should just attack and press like we did against Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal last season."

Pogba laughed when it was put to him were United lacking pace and mobility.

"I'm not the manager, I cannot say that," he said.

"Obviously we should show more options but I cannot say that because I?m a player.

"That's my way of thinking ? we should move better, yeah."]]>
9/24/2018 1:03:49 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange between Egypt, Pakistan reaches $231M in 2017: Min.]]>
Saeed clarified that this volume doesn’t meet the ambitions of both countries, adding that the volume of investments does not reflect the finances, human resources and the competitive and service capabilities of the two countries.

This came during the minister's participation at the Egyptian-Pakistani summit celebrating 70 years of diplomatic Relations.

The minister reviewed the results of the Egyptian reform program, stating that Egypt recorded the highest annual growth rate in 10 years, reaching 5.3 percent, in 2017/18.

She added that the structure of the Egyptian economy has been changed to be led by investment and exports instead of consumption, representing 74 percent of the achieved growth.

“Non-petroleum exports increased 18 percent during the first nine months of 2017/18, recording $18 billion, up from $16 billion,” Minister Saeed said.

Saeed also referred to foreign reserves which hiked to $44.3 billion in June 2018, from $14.9 billion in 2014, to cover more than eight months of imports instead of only three months.

The minister further disclosed that the government targets to raise the growth rate to 8 percent in 2021/2022.

As per the industrial sector, Saeed said that Egypt targets to increase the industrial growth rate to 6.3 percent in 2018/19 and 10.7 percent in 2021/22.
]]>
9/24/2018 1:00:44 PM
<![CDATA[UK PM May's ministers still fully behind her Brexit plans: spokesman]]>
May's cabinet is due to discuss Brexit negotiations on Monday. Her Conservative Party is deeply divided over the direction talks with the EU should take.

The British prime minister, who has called for the EU to evolve their negotiating position, will also meet the European Parliament's chief Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt on Monday, her spokesman said.]]>
9/24/2018 12:58:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Pakistan celebrate 70 years of bilateral relations]]>
Titled "Women Trade and Enterprise- The Key to Development", the summit was held under the auspices of Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The summit reviewed the importance of the Suez Canal and the new Suez Canal as well as future cooperation with the Pakistani Gwadar in a meeting titled “The Suez Canal and Gwadar the Gateway”.

Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed, deputy minister of transportation, Chairman of the Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Antar, and Ambassador of Pakistan Mushtaq Ali Shah, in addition to General Director of SASSI Maria Sultan attended the summit.

Sultan said that Africa is the future, underscoring the importance of the Suez Canal.

She added that the summit targets boosting future economic relationships and establishing sustainable connectivity between both countries.
]]>
9/24/2018 12:50:27 PM
<![CDATA[Antiquities min.: Baron Palace renovation to be finalized within one year]]>
The 100-million-pound project will be finalized within a year, he said during an inspection tour of the underway project.

The project started in August 2017 to revamp the crumbling palace which was neglected for years.

The palace was built towards the end of the nineteenth century by the millionaire Belgian industrialist, amateur Egyptologist and founder of Heliopolis Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain.

Designed by a French architect with a penchant for reinforced concrete, the distinctive and historic Indian-inspired mansion's oriental style belies any number of intriguing features besides the material of its construction.]]>
9/24/2018 12:47:17 PM
<![CDATA[Agriculture minister urges action to face possible floods]]>
State bodies are always coordinating efforts to better deal with heavy rains and floods and prevent any harm to citizens or damage to their property and crops, Abu Stait said in statements Monday.

Hassan el Fouly, the director of the General Authority For Agrarian Reform, said directorates in Behaira, Alexandria, Beni Sweif, Fayyoum, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Luxor and Aswan are urged to coordinate action with the Irrigation Ministry to handle the floods, clean canals and make sure warehouses are fit to store production equipment. ]]>
9/24/2018 12:46:04 PM
<![CDATA[What you can do in a one day trip to Ain Sokhna ]]>
The beaches and the crystal clear water are the major reasons Ain Sokhna is famous for practicing water sports such as kite surfing, fishing, and scuba diving.

Rent a yacht for a day and go fishing, swimming and diving in the clear waters. Enjoy your time with your friends and family away from the hassle of the capital city.

Belagio compound in Ain Sokhna possesses a kite surfing center. The have a sandy lagoon with shallow water and they’ll help you kite surf in a suitable weather.

History tours are also available in Ain Sokhna; a visit to the Egypt Shore Excursions can take you back to the time of the Pharaohs.

The best reason for visiting Ain Sokhna is that it doesn’t only offer water sports but also land and sky activities. Experience wind surfing, underwater photography, as well as camping and desert safaris.

a
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9/24/2018 12:41:23 PM
<![CDATA[Memorandum demands to include Salafi movement as terrorist entity]]>
The memorandum stated that the Salafi movement has a terrorist agenda and it was founded after the 2011 revolution by terrorist leaders, some of whom fled abroad to join terrorist organizations such as Al-Nosra group and Al-Qaeda.

He clarified that the memorandum includes Khaled Saeed who joined Al-Qaeda in Libya, Ahmed Molana, Ashraf Abdel Moneim and most importantly, Hisham Kamal, a member of the Salafi movement who supports violence.

Mahmoud added that the Salafi movement established armed militias to destroy the country during the 2011 revolution and that the movement was the main source of support for the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group.

Mahmoud referred that the Salafi group and its leaders called for sieging the State Security Service in Nasr City and the Defence Ministry in Abassiya.

He explained in the memorandum that the Salafi movement also sided with the Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy which included a group of extremist religious parties to destroy the country and support the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

“They also participated in many terrorist acts such as storming the police stations and churches,” Mahmoud reported.

He also demanded at the end of the memorandum to include the movement in the terror list in accordance with Law No.8 of 2015 and to confiscate their assets and their headquarters.

On September 19, 2018, Mahmoud filed a lawsuit in demand of the termination of all Muslim Brotherhood members holding positions in the administrative body of the state.

Mahmoud said that former Prime Minister Hesham Qandil of the Muslim Brotherhood regime issued several decrees to give the members of the Islamist group access to leading positions at different ministries and government organizations.

He claimed that the majority of such people were appointed illegally, only to control the administrative skeleton of the state at ministries like the education, transport, higher education, and at town councils, their sole goal, according to Mahmoud, is to create a gap between the Egyptians and the authorities.

The lawyer added that the Islamists who were appointed in such way still occupy their positions although they belong to a terrorist organization per a judicial decree.

Mahmoud demanded the Interior Ministry to establish on a database, along with the Central Agency for Organization and Administration, to allow state organizations to dismiss those who are proved to be members of the terrorist group.

]]>
9/24/2018 12:37:46 PM
<![CDATA[IFC signs agreement with Banque Misr to support female entrepreneurs]]>
IFC clarified in a statement that this agreement aims to help expand the number of women-led businesses in its SME banking portfolio, as part of IFC’s wider efforts to boost financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in Egypt.

“IFC will work with Banque Misr to conduct market research on the needs of women in business, provide access to global best practice, and develop and implement a sustainable business model for its women banking program,” IFC's statement read.

The statement added that IFC will support the bank in helping informal micro businesses, often owned or led by women, move to the formal sector.

According to the statement, this cooperation aims to turn Banque Misr, into the country’s leading bank for women in business.

“Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of the global economy and helping sustain job creation, but only about 1 in 10 have access to the capital they need,” IFC Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa Mouayed Makhlouf said.

“IFC is working to address this gap in Egypt by partnering with financial institutions like Banque Misr to develop the strategies they need to serve this key untapped market segment,” he added.

IFC invested in Egypt $1.2 billion during the current year, which is the highest investment rate in the Middle East, especially after taking a lot of measures to improve the investment environment, Makhlouf noted earlier.

In August, Egypt signed a partnership agreement with IFC to support entrepreneurs and start-ups in Africa, boost innovation and drive economic growth.

As per this agreement, the Ministry of Investment and IFC will select 100 promising entrepreneurs from all over Africa to connect them with international businessmen, investors, financial institutions and decision-makers at the 2018 Africa Conference during December in Sharm El-Sheikh, under the patronage of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

IFC clarified that during the last two years, it provided around $65 million to technology companies and startups in the Middle East and North Africa, along with leading companies in business accelerators and funds such as Wamda and Flat 6 Labs and Algebra Fentures.

IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Sergio Pimenta said earlier that entrepreneurship is essential to create jobs, drive growth and foster innovation, adding that “overcoming the obstacles facing emerging companies will enable us to help Africa unleash its economic potential."

During 2018/2019, IFC plans to maintain its strategic focus on creating new markets across MENA by supporting the region’s fast-growing renewable energy sector and helping young entrepreneurs deliver innovations, as well as working to expand access to finance for small and medium sized businesses and helping empower women.

CEO of IFC Philippe Le Houerou said previously that it is committed to fund the Egyptian private sector with $2 billion by 2019, a value that can be increased for entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises.

Houerou explained that his organization is keen to support the participation of the private sector in the field of renewable energy in Egypt, and to provide technical support on the implementation of public-private partnership in this sector.
]]>
9/24/2018 12:28:39 PM
<![CDATA[1st Inter-Regional Smart Agriculture Forum opens in Khartoum with Egypt participating]]>
The three-day event is organized in tandem with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD).

The forum aims at emphasizing the role of the Information Communication Technology (ICT), mostly the internet of things (IoT) technologies in agricultural development within the Arab and African regions.

It also aims at appraising the "Smart Agriculture" role in bridging the digital divide within the two regions and empowering Arab and African farmers and workers through ICT use, to improve their practices.

It also seeks sharing knowledge and ideas about IoT technology; specifically opportunities, challenges and threats in addition to increasing the awareness of Arab and African governments about the need of developing a strong capacity building plans.

It is also meant to contribute to the process of formulating appropriate policies and frameworks at the Arab and African levels to organize and facilitate the ownership of these technologies.

It also aims at boosting the inter-regional and international cooperation in the field of Smart farming in an endeavor to coordinate efforts and come up with sustainable solutions for the future of the agricultural sector.]]>
9/24/2018 12:26:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Armenia work for bolstering cooperation: amb.]]>
The ambassador was speaking Sunday night at a reception marking Armenian National Day in the presence of a number of dignitaries, ambassadors and diplomats accredited to Egypt.

"We are trying to capitalize on the new opportunities and advantages Egypt has recently gained to achieve mutual interests," Melkonian said, noting that the Egyptian and Armenian business community has been committed to fostering cooperation following the Joint Committee meeting held in Yerevan last year.

Now that the Armenian-Egyptian Business Association has been established in Yerevan, a similar entity is being established in Egypt, Melkonian added.

He voiced confidence that it will be an effective platform for fruitful cooperation in several fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, renewable energy, textile and foodstuff.

He also said that Egypt is the favorite destination for Armenian tourists, adding that Armenian Minister of Diaspora Mkhitar Hayrapetyan is set to pay an important visit to Egypt on Monday during which he will meet Ambassador Nabila Makram Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs to discuss mutual cooperation prospects. ]]>
9/24/2018 12:21:08 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi affirms Egypt’s keenness to develop its economic partnership with U.S.]]>
This came in a word he delivered during a working dinner banquet hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and the Egyptian-American Business Council, which was attended by a number of presidents and senior officials of major American companies operating in various sectors, said Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi.

President of the American Apache Company and Chairman of the Egyptian-American Business Council John Christmann welcomed the visit of president Sisi to New York to attend annual meetings of the UN General Assembly, and praised the continuous improvement in the Egyptian economy and the success of measures taken by Egypt to improve its economic environment and encourage investments, affirming the determination of the council to continue to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in various domains, the spokesman said.

US Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for International Affairs Myron Brilliant welcomed President Sisi to New York. This annual meeting with the chamber is meant to boost economic relations between two countries.

Sisi said Cairo is keen on further developing its economic partnership with Washington to serve the best interests of both their peoples, according to presidential spokesman Bassam Radi.

This partnership has always been a pillar of security and stability in the Middle East region, Sisi told the meeting.

Egypt, the president said, tops the list of African countries with which the US has business and the second in the Middle East.

He reviewed the latest developments in Egypt, particularly where its economic reform program is concerned. An integrated economic reform program has sure helped reach radical solutions to structural problems, Sisi said.

The president touched upon what he called "important structural reforms" in the fields of industry, investment and exports.

This, he added, has been going hand in hand with effective social programs to protect the most-in-need brackets, Sisi noted.

Indeed, Egypt has made a number of "drastic" and "unprecedented" economic decisions, building on the reform program that was outlined in partnership with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in line with Egypt's 2030 vision to achieve sustainable development, he said.

The meeting took up the different investment opportunities in Egypt; be that in infrastructure, logistics, IT, energy, pharmaceuticals or automotive industry.

The spokesman said the meeting witnessed an open discussion with a set of leaders and top officials of US companies who were present and praised the distinguished economic performance of Egypt over the past period. They also expressed their willingness in bolster their presence in the Egyptian market and expand their investments in the standing projects.

Responding to questions by a number of US companies leaders on the investment climate in Egypt, Sisi said, is keen on communicating with US businessmen to know problems and obstacles, if any, they are facing and act to solve them.

He invited US companies to boost investments in all promising fields in Egypt.

Sisi hailed the robust strategic Egyptian-US ties, noting that bilateral relations have grown even stronger on the back of the recent developments across the region, especially the spread of terrorism, said spokesman Bassam Radi.

Sisi attributed Egypt's stability to its security efforts and the belief of all Egyptians in the importance of protecting social peace and higher national interests and confronting terrorism, Radi added.

Egypt's stability has its positive effects both on the regional as well as the international levels as it helps regain stability and security and drive development efforts across the Middle East, the president noted.

The president also reviewed during the meeting several investment opportunities in Egypt across various sectors including infrastructure, logistics, telecommunications and information technology and energy in addition to the pharmaceutical and auto industries, promising to remove all obstacles hindering investments, Radi said. ]]>
9/24/2018 12:03:29 PM
<![CDATA[Another hemodialysis victim dies at Tayseer Hospital in Sharkia]]>
The 38 year-old victim was one of the 12 patients in the kidney dialysis case that took place in Derb Najm hospital on September 15, 2018. In addition, she is the fourth patient to die due to the same incident.

Mohamed al-Kadi, the attorney general of Sharkia’s prosecutors, ordered the autopsy of the body to explain the cause of death.

The Health Directorate of Sharkia previously announced the death of three patients who were undergoing dialysis at Derb Najm Hospital: Fardous Abdullah Ahmed (a housewife, and a resident of Manshir Sahbara village), Sobhy Ali (resident of Sawini villiage), and Salam Mohammed Ibrahim (Hajj Ahmed hamlet).

As a response, Minister of Health Hala Zayed decided to close the dialysis unit at Derb Najm Central Hospital and to launch urgent investigations to know further information concerning the deadly incident. Moreover, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali decided to allocate LE 10,000 as compensation for every person who died in the horrifying accident.

Investigations are still underway and confirmed results have not been officially declared regarding the medical catastrophe.
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9/24/2018 11:35:20 AM
<![CDATA[Trial of monks charged with killing Bishop Epiphanius adjourned to Dec. 27]]>
The court, presided by judge Gamal Toson, opened the first trial on Sunday against expelled monk Ash’eyaa, whose birth name is Wael Saad, and Monk Faltaous al-Makary, whose birth name is Raymond Rasmi Mansour, over charges of the deliberate murder of Bishop Epiphanius.

During the trial, Ash’eyaa pleaded not guilty, claiming that he was framed, al-Dostor newspaper reported.

Bishop Epiphanius was found dead on July 29 inside the monastery and two monks, who were kept in detention pending investigation since then, confessed their crime.

Monk Faltaous al-Makary tried to commit suicide via slitting his wrist and then jumping off a high building inside the monastery. On August 21, he was hospitalized due to a degraded case of gangrene in his leg. Also, Ash’eyaa tried to commit suicide a day after the murder.

Following the death of Bishiop Epiphanius, Pope Tawadros II issued new monasticism laws, topping which is the deactivation of the social media accounts of all monks and bishops. The death of Bishop Epiphanius revealed the struggle between the school of late Pope Shenouda and the ecclesiastical school of late Matthew the poor.

“We should look at it [the incident of the murder] as a wake-up call for all of us... the death of Bishop Epiphanius was like an alarm call,” said Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, during a mass marking the 40th day of the bishop’s death.
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9/24/2018 11:30:46 AM
<![CDATA[Bibliotheca Alexandrina to host closing ceremony of 'Reading for Everyone']]>
The initiative is organized by the library’s management for the 10th consecutive year.

The event is organized in co-operation with AMIDEAST and the Egyptian Association of Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

The library prepared a program for participants of 16 years of age and above, in which certain activities are assigned for the participants, allowing them to discover their talents and express themselves and their views in creative ways.

Two short stories for American writer/novelist Edgar Allan Poe have been chosen this year to participate in the reading festival; "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Masque of the Red Death".

Numerous other activities for teenagers and young adults have been organized and presented in workshops and discussion sessions.

A specialized program has been set for individuals with special needs and those who have speaking and hearing disabilities, allowing them to express themselves.

Names of the winners of all sections of the festival’s program will be announced during the closing ceremony, while participants in several workshops will be honored.

Due to the efforts exerted by participants in the writing and theatre workshop, the abovementioned short stories will be performed on stage in Arabic. Also, silent translation (miming) will be used for those who need hearing aid.

The shows will be performed on the Small Theatre of the Conference Hall in Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Sept. 26, 27, 2018.

“The Masque of the Red Death” is a short story by American writer Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death, by hiding in his abbey. Along with many other wealthy nobles, he hosts a masquerade ball in seven rooms of the abbey, each decorated with a different color.

In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through each of the rooms. Prospero dies after confronting this stranger, whose "costume" proves to contain nothing tangible inside it; the guests also die.

Poe's story follows many traditions of Gothic fiction and is often analyzed as an allegory about the inevitability of death, though some critics advise against an allegorical reading. Many different interpretations have been presented, as well as attempts to identify the true nature of the titular disease.

The story was first published in May 1842 in Graham's Magazine and has since been adapted in many different forms, including a 1964 film starring Vincent Price.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is relayed by an unknown narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed.

The victim was an old man with a filmy "vulture-eye", as the narrator calls it. The narrator emphasizes the careful calculation of the murder, and he hides the body by dismembering it, and hiding it under the floorboards.

Ultimately, the narrator's feelings of guilt, or a mental disturbance, result in him hearing a thumping sound, which he interprets as the dead man's beating heart.

The story was first published in James Russell Lowell's The Pioneer in January 1843. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is widely considered a classic of the Gothic fiction genre and is one of Poe's most famous short stories.

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9/24/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[On 1st day of school: child falls from 3rd floor due to stampede]]>
Three teachers are set to be investigated over the child’s death at al-Zahraa primary school in Belqas city, while the principle was suspended, said Deputy Minister of Education in Dakahlia, Ali Abdel Raouf.

According to the initial investigations, the child, Ibrahim Mohamed Hassan Abd Rabu, lives in Ahmadia Abu Al-faotuh village in Belqas; he fell on his head from the third floor due to students’ stampede during the break.

He had severe brain hemorrhage that led to his tragic death. The authorities will file a complaint to the public prosecution in order to finalize the investigations.

Twenty-two million students of all grades returned back to around 55,000 schools nationwide, according to a statement by the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Interior intensified security measures in the vicinity of the schools, according to a statement by the ministry on Sunday.

At Cairo Metro, which connects Greater Cairo with Giza governorate, more police personnel, particularly women police, were deployed to combat harassment, the statement said.

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9/24/2018 11:28:24 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s economy shows strong signs of recovery: IMF's Lagarde]]>

Lagarde statements followed a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73).

“President Sisi and I discussed the good progress under Egypt’s economicreform program supported by the IMF’s $12 billion Extended Fund Facility," she said.

“We agreed on the importance of capitalizingon Egypt’s macroeconomic gains to advance the authorities’ home-grown structural reforms. These reforms will help achieve more sustainable, inclusive and private-sector led growth whichwill help create jobs for Egypt’s young population, while also ensuring adequate resources are available for social protection," she added.

Lagarde concluded that she has reiterated the fund’s commitment to support Egypt and its people.]]>
9/24/2018 9:50:30 AM
<![CDATA[Britain's Labour to vote on keeping second Brexit referendum on table]]>
Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would back a second Brexit referendum if his Labour Party voted to pursue the move, heaping pressure on May, whose plans for a divorce deal with the EU have hit an impasse.

He also said he preferred a new election to a new referendum on Brexit, reluctant to back growing demands to support a "People's Vote" on Britain's decision to quit the EU for fear of losing those Labour members who voted to leave.

After about a five-hour meeting of party members, Labour will vote on a motion that according to the BBC and Guardian newspaper, says: "If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote."

Britain is to exit the EU in March next year. But little is clear after May's plans for Brexit - the biggest shift in British policy for more than four decades - were resoundingly rebuffed by the EU on Thursday, with any outcome of the negotiations more uncertain than ever.

With talk of a new election swirling and chances of a disorderly departure that could damage the economy rising, the opposition party is under pressure to set the Brexit agenda.

But it is not clear how far the new motion will take a party that has said for some time has said that a second referendum is not off the table.
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9/24/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi to meet Trump for fifth time in 2 years]]>
On the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73), the two leaders will set together to discuss the current political situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Qatari dispute, and other issues of mutual interest to both countries.

Egypt is one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving US$1.3 billion in US military aid annually.

Sisi’s first meeting with Trump was held on September 20, 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign in New York, also on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly then.

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Sisi said he had “no doubt” that Republican presidential nominee Trump would make a strong leader. Burnett asked Sisi about Trump’s possible plan to ban Muslims from certain countries from entering the U.S. if elected!

“The United States in general conducts very strict security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it, which has been in place for quite a few years,” Sisi said. “It’s also important to know that during election campaigns many statements are made and many things are said, however afterwards governing the country would be something different. And will be subject to many factors.”

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In April 2017, President Trump welcomed Sisi to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with the Egyptian leader on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation.

“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sissi,” Trump said, sitting next to his counterpart in the Oval Office.

“He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. . . . We have strong backing,” he added.

Trump and Sisi appeared focused on security, and they sought to demonstrate warmth, shaking hands during their brief remarks to reporters.

This meeting represented an end to the coldness with which Egypt was treated by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who never invited Sisi to Washington.

“Since we met last September I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your {Trump’s} unique personality, especially since you are standing so strong against terrorism,” said Sisi.

“Very strongly and openly you will find Egypt beside you,” he added.

donald-trump-sisi

During the Arab Islamic American Summit held last May, President Sisi met with his American counterpart for the third time. He also met with several American officials as part of his agenda in Riyadh.

Trump praised the Egyptian President during his first overseas trip, saying “safety seems to be very strong” under the Egyptian leader and accepted the invitation to visit Cairo.

President Trump made the remarks after he signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Trump said he was having “very, very important talks” with President Sisi, and that the pair had been talking “positively”.

After the meeting, Sisi described the US president as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible”.

377926-U.S._President_Donald_Trump_meets_with_Egyptian_President_Abdel_Fattah_al-Sisi_in_Riyadh,_Saudi_Arabia,_May_21,_2017._REUTERS_Jonathan_Ernst

In September 2017, Sisi flew to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Sisi met Trump and discussed Egypt's efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation as an essential preliminary step to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Trump praised Egyptian President’s efforts in reviving the Middle East peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

President Sisi expressed Egypt’s aspiration for further coordination and consultation with the U.S. on various issues in the region, particularly that of counterterrorism, “which poses a great threat to the stability of the region and the world.” He also emphasized that putting an end to funding and harboring terrorists is a must.

The U.S. President hailed the distinguished bilateral relations with Egypt, stressing the importance of promoting ways of enhancing them.

Sisi’s participation in the UNGA this year is considered his fifth since his first presidential term started in June 2014. Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant development seen in the global and regional arenas. Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with Egypt’s efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Libyan crises.

622394-6 ]]>
9/24/2018 5:43:12 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi meets European Council, WB presidents in New York]]>
Later, Sisi is scheduled to meet President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim in the presence of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.

Sisi affirmed Egypt's keenness on fostering various aspects of cooperation with the European Union in line with close ties and common interest in confronting challenges facing the Mediterranean region, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

Tusk and Kurz, for their part, showed keenness on continuing intensive coordination and consultation with Egypt on all issues of common concern and enhancing bilateral cooperation at all levels due to Egypt's regional status, Rady added.

They touched on the outcomes of the Informal Summit of EU Heads of State or Government in Salzburg, Austria on September 19 and 20, the spokesman noted.

The two European officials lauded Egypt's efforts in halting illegal immigration since 2016, describing Cairo as a successful role model in the region, Rady said.

The meeting took up Arab-European coordination in face of common and regional challenges and threats in addition to the current arrangements for holding an Arab-EU summit within the coming period for boosting bilateral cooperation.

Both sides agreed on reaching political solutions to the regional crises in a way maintaining the national institutions, stability and unity of the war-torn countries, Rady underlined.

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9/24/2018 1:48:08 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi, UAE Foreign Minister tackle regional challenges in US]]>
The meeting tackled some of the regional topics expected to be discussed at the meetings of the current United Nations General Assembly in the United States. The meeting included Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel.

Abdel Fatah al Sisi said that the unprecedented developments in the Arab world require a joint Arab action to face the interference attempts into the internal affairs of the Arab States. The President praised the strategic ties between Egypt and UAE, stressing the importance of developing the existing relations to include several domains.

For his part, the UAE top diplomat lauded his country's ties with Egypt, asserting the importance of enhancing cooperation in a way serving the interests of the two brotherly peoples.

Abu Dhabi is eager to continue intensive consultation and coordination with Cairo to cope with all challenges and dangers faced by the region, topped by terrorism, the UAE minister asserted during the meeting.

Zayed said after the meeting that the Egyptian, Emirati and Saudi Arabian efforts are capable to protect the region from the Iranian attempts to sabotage the states’ stability. UAE foreign minister added that the meeting discussed the means of enhancing cooperation between the three states to face terrorism.
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9/24/2018 1:35:38 AM
<![CDATA[Two marches in New York to support Sisi during UNGA]]>
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The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo

The Egyptians carried flags and Sisi's pictures, with some of them wearing T-shirts with pictures of the President and banners in Arabic and English.

ny3 The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo

"We support Egypt, we support Sisi, we love Egypt, long live Egypt, and the President," Egyptians chanted in front of Sisi's residence in New York.

ny4 The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo

The Egyptian community in the US will hold several welcome rallies for President Sisi in front of his residence and during his speech at the United Nations.

President Sisi arrived in New York on Friday evening to participate in the UN General Assembly meetings.

ny5 The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo

This is Sisi’s fifth participation in the UNGA since he assumed office in June 2014. Since then, Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant change regionally and globally.

ny6 The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo

The president will deliver Egypt’s statement to the General Assembly, which addresses the country’s future vision and stances on regional and international issues.

Additionally, the Egyptian statement will highlight Egypt's role to maintain international peace and security and its continuous efforts to fight terrorism.

ny7 The Egyptian community in USA staged two marches in New York streets on Sunday to support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on September 23, 2018 - Press photo
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9/24/2018 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[From Nebraska to Albuquerque: Youssra’s music appeals different audiences]]>
Youssra’s band is on the go with the Center Stage program in a multi-state US tour as part of the Department of State’s cultural exchange programs.



Arriving in Albuquerque on September 20, Youssra and her band re-charged their energy to give exciting concerts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which hosts the 4th New Mexican bvMusic Festival.

The Egyptian band shared the stage with Hispanic American band Ladama, a group of four women from different countries who like to be identified as sisters in song, rhythm and spirit.

Attending the show, children expressed their excitement about the Egyptian music played at the festival, with some speaking about their knowledge of Egypt’s hot summers, pharaoh mythologies and hieroglyphic language.




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Children attending different concerts as part of a school field trip to Globalquerque festival - Photo by Nourhan Magdi

Armed with an accordion, Youssra seemed happy by the reactions she got to her music from festival attendees.

Before Albuquerque, the band stopped in the small town of Lyons, in Nebraska, where they performed a concert at a storefront theatre with a front facade folding down,
before it transforms into an outdoor theater.

Accordionist and singer Youssra has previously performed before foreign audiences in Europe, where they did not understand the Arabic but could relate to her global music. On her tour with Center Stage, Youssra said she is excited since this is her first time to experience perform before an American audience.

“I wish to give them an honest image of a woman my age living in Cairo, my thoughts, my dreams, what I like to change, and what I am experiencing daily in Cairo,” Youssra added.

“It was truly beautiful. I was very impressed by Youssra’s talent and personality, and that of the band. I have little experience listening to Egyptian music, however, after experiencing it firsthand, I think I'll research more artists of the genre,” said Corbin Wheaton, a resident of Lyons and an event coordinator.

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Corbin Wheaton, a resident of Lyons and an event coordinator - Photo by Nourhan Magdi


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Youssra el-Hawary's band performing at Storefront Theatre in Lyons, Nebraska - Photo by Nourhan Magdi


Corbin also added that he has received nothing but good comments from community members and curiosity of those who were not in attendance.

Jay Raman, the director of Cultural Programs Divisionat the U.S. State Department, attended the band’s concert in Lyons, told Egypt Today that participating bands will benefit from the program.

“First, they will get to perform for American audience in big cities and small towns…they come to the towns, and meet people and have the opportunity to interact
with them and have a new experience.” He also made remarks on Egypt’s debut participation in the US program, and the state of bilateral relations.

“We are very excited to feature Egypt at Center Stage…and I think it reflects the very rich culture that Egypt has that we want to share with American public, teaching them a little about what Egypt has to offer, and to also show Egyptian artists what is it like to perform in America,” said Raman.

“Our relationship with Egypt is based on a lot of shared interests, but those include culture exchange, the Egyptian tradition from antiquities to the present, from classical to modern, it’s very rich, compelling and very interesting.”

“Arts exchanges have been a part of the US State Department for almost 70 years, and they help in a variety of ways by creating a cultural dialogue between people,” said Raman.

Raman added, “We send bands, visual artists, films and television overseas so that foreign audiences can get a taste of US culture, and we can learn about their culture. It’s a two-way conversation; it is not just about the United States, it is a common culture that we all share.”

The fourth edition of the US-sponsored cultural-exchange program, Center Stage, marks the first Egyptian participation, with three music ensembles from Cairo set for one month-long individual tours across the US.

The public diplomacy initiative was launched by the US Department of State in 2012, bringing to American soil a range of 154 artists in 24 ensembles from nine different countries.

From Egypt, the bands participating in the fourth season include Dina el-Wedidi, Youssra el-Hawary and Karkade.

Both Dina and Youssra met in Washington D.C. in mid-September and gave a joint concert performance at a cozy night club called Tropicalia. They also performed at the prestigious venue of Kennedy Cultural Center, which is built as a live memorial for the late US president John F. Kennedy.

About Youssra el-Hawary

A mix of innovative original music in content and style, a charismatic charm and lithe composition paved songwriter and accordionist Youssra el-Hawary's way to fame.

Hawary first started with playing the accordion, and then she began singing about real-time events that influenced her. Hawary is visiting the US for the first time as part of her participation in Center Stage’s fourth season.

Her music was greatly inspired by the 2011 Revolution in Egypt. In 2012, she released her first hit single “El Soor” (The Wall), which was a satirical, political take on the Egyptian situation at the time.




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Youssra el-Hawary performing at Globalquerque annual festival in New Mexico - Photo by Nourhan Magdi

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A young girl dancing to the music at Globalquerque festival - Photo by Nourhan Magdi

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A total of 400 children attending Globalquerque festival in New Mexico - Photo by Nourhan Magdi
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9/23/2018 8:52:42 PM
<![CDATA[Syrian Ornina to perform in Cairo Opera House Sept. 25-28]]>
The Syrian dance group will perform “Tareeq Al-Hareer” (Silk Road) directed by Nasser Ibrahim in the Grand Hall of the Cairo Opera House at 8 p.m. from Sept. 25-28, 2018. The play revolves around a young man named Jubair who lives in Alandalous, Spain. Jubair falls in love with leila, hence deciding to propose to her and speak to her father.

Leila’s father insists that for Jubeir to marry his daughter, he has to gift her with a special necklace as a way of expressing deep love. Jubair travels the entire world through the “Silk Road” in order to get that much anticipated necklace, and eventually to marry his beloved.

Jubair meets a lot of interesting people in the countries he passes through during his venture, and faces several incidents. Jubeir’s determination and genuine feelings for his beloved allow him to combat all hardships.

Ornina group was founded in 1993, by director Nasser Ibrahim, aiming to build an educated generation of artists who can perform all genres of art, expressing the deepest of emotions in creative and modern ways.

ornina.wmv فرقة أورنينا

مقطع من الاليادة الكنعانية.. اثناء افتتاح اسبوع الثقافة السورية في عاصمة بيلاروس مينسك



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9/23/2018 7:21:53 PM
<![CDATA[Saad el-Mjarred arrested over charges of rape]]>
On August 25, Mjarred was taken into prison in Saint-Tropez, Southeastern France, after a 29-year-old French girl accused him of raping her.

Mjarred was charged with rape by the French prosecutor, and was put in prison for two days.

Mjarred confirmed that the girl approved to go to his room. The singer was resealed on a €150,000 bail, his passport was withdrawn and he was asked to leave the French territory.

The decision to release him was formally challenged after prosecutors in Draganian, Southeast France, renewed his bail conditions, prompting the French judiciary to issue a new warrant to arrest him , reopening investigations in the same case.

Éric Dupond-Moretti, Mjarred's French lawyer, decided to leave the case after he doubted Mjarred’s testimony.

Consequently, Mjarred's name was officially removed from the list of the African music awards; Mjarred was set to compete for the title of the best singer in Africa in 2018.

Radio Hits, the first and most famous music radio station in Morocco, decided to ban the songs of the Moroccan singer on the radio or social media.
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9/23/2018 7:15:12 PM
<![CDATA[Video: Yemeni welcomes Sisi in NY for protecting Egypt from chaos]]>
“You should be grateful that you have a president like Sisi. He protected your country from chaos, and it ultimately passed the events of the Arab Spring in 2011 safe and sound,” the Yemeni man, Mohamed Alawi, told al-Madina TV channel.

Alawi, head of the Yemeni Association Ma’ona for Human Rights and Immigration, expressed his gratitude for Egypt’s support for his country during the Yemeni revolution in 1962 and today.



Since 2011, Yemen has been in turmoil after it joined Tunisia and Egypt in protests demanding the ousters of their regimes. Eventually, Houthis, accused of receiving support from Iran, has been fighting for power in the poor country, begetting military intervention from Saudi Arabia.
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9/23/2018 7:08:37 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry auctions LE 16.2B T-bonds]]>
In an online statement, the ministry said it sold LE 8.250 billion of 91-day T-bonds with an average interest rate hitting 19.62 percent. The yield ranged from 19.675 percent to 19.349 percent.

The ministry also sold LE 8 billion of 266-day T-bills that had a coupon of 19.84 percent. The yield ranged from 19.899 percent to 19.5 percent.]]>
9/23/2018 5:42:36 PM
<![CDATA[Profile of a Qatari‏ ‏‎ woman uprooted and stripped of her rights at the age of five ‎]]>
Al-Marri was barely five years old, when her tribe, Al-Ghufran, was expelled and uprooted from ‎Qatar in the 1990s. “The Qatari regime stripped our citizenship and I suddenly found myself ‎stateless and growing up in the middle of the desert where I had to struggle to access my basic ‎right to education as a child for the sole reason of belonging to Al-Ghufran tribe,” said Al Marri.‎

Among other thousands Qatari citizens who suffered from the injustice actions by the Qatari ‎regime, Al-Marri is desperately asking for action to end Al-Ghufran’s family plight. “In 1996; a ‎year after the successful coup by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, father of the current emir Tamim ‎bin Hamad Al Thani, no more than 20 members of Al Ghufran tribe supported former emir ‎Khalifa bin Hammad’s failed attempt to get back into power,” said Al-Marri. “Since that day, ‎Hamad bin Khalifa decided to revenge against the whole tribe.

He expelled more than 6,000 ‎person into the desert in the South of Saudi Arabia including children, women and the elders ‎and revoked their passports. We were all left stateless,” she added. Now she estimates there ‎are more than 20,000 members of the tribe unable to get on with their lives in Qatar. ‎





‎“Many friends attempted to travel back to Qatar, but they were unable to prove their Qatari ‎origins and therefore they were left in between Saudi Arabia and Qatar for many days and they ‎were denied access to Qatar,” she said.‎

The Al-Marri family, including her father who was a successful petroleum engineer, was not ‎involved in the political power struggle and the failed counter-coup as they were on vacation at ‎that time. “Our friends warned us not to return and told us to stay for a few days in Saudi ‎Arabia until things calm down. The few days turned into decades of struggle, injustice and ‎hardship,” she added.‎

Recalling a tough upbringing in exile in Saudi Arabia comparing to living in one of the ‎wealthiest cities in the world, Al-Marri explains that the small desert village “Al Taweila” ‎became her home as she spent most of the past two decades there. “In Taweila, I spent three ‎years travelling two hours every day just to reach the nearest high school. We lived in ‎deteriorating houses with very harsh conditions including irregular electricity and clean water,” ‎she said. ‎

Despite her young age, Al-Marri has some memories of her five years in Qatar. “I remember ‎my swimming pool outside my house, and my small cat," she told Egypt Today. "I remember the ‎dining room where the family would sit and talk – everything was wonderful.” Despite her ‎anger towards the current regime in Qatar, her father always reminds her that the people in ‎Qatar are very nice and they have white hearts.

“My father is very sensitive about Qatar, when ‎I am angry about being kicked out, he tries to show me the good side of Qatar – he still loves ‎the country. He defends the people and say that maybe they did not hear our voices, but if they ‎hear, they will help us,” she said. “He used to tell me that people only get displaced during ‎wars, but here we are ‎displaced from our country and homes and there is no war around us.”‎

Al-Marri is currently a mother of two children, one of them is diagnosed with autism which ‎compounds her hardship as they still live under the same difficult conditions since the expulsion ‎in 1996. “I’ve lived through enough instability, now I have a child who is sick, I don’t want him to ‎live the same way I have lived. I cannot get him into a good school or a good hospital.”‎

This week, On the margins of the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, ‎representatives from the Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran held a sit-in and a number of demonstrations ‎outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva to denounce the Doha government crimes ‎against the tribe including the mass expulsion of their people, revoking their citizenship and the ‎torture of members of the tribes by the security forces.

The tribe also handed a petition into the ‎Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, detailing the tribe’s ‎systemic discrimination at the hands of the Qatari government and requesting the United ‎Nations Human Rights Council to hold the Qatar regime accountable for the crimes that it ‎committed against the tribe’s members and other Qataris and the restoration of their rights ‎including the right to return to their home country. ‎




In reaction for Al-Ghufran tribe’s opposition to the Regime’s destabilizing policies in the region ‎and its dispute with the neighboring Gulf States, Qatari authorities revoked the citizenship of ‎Sheikh Taleb Bin Lahom Bin Shreim, senior tribal leader Sheikh Shafi Nasser Hamoud al-Hajri, ‎the famous Qatari poet Mohammed Al-Marri and 54 members of his family in a step ‎considered as an arbitrary act by various Human Rights organization. The Qatari authorities ‎took further steps and confiscated the properties and belonging of the tribe’s members whose ‎citizenship was revoked. ‎

This was the second complaint filed by one of the biggest and most prominent tribes in Qatar to ‎the United Nations Human Rights Councils to call on the international community to protect and ‎secure their legitimate rights as Qatari citizens who have been denied and violated by Doha ‎since 1996 . ‎




For many years, the tribe has been calling for their rights. In September 2017, during the Qatar ‎global security and stability conference organized by exiled Qataris in London the tribe ‎revealed the crimes against humanity committed by Qatari authorities towards them including ‎deprivation of healthcare or unfair detention. They called on the United Nations ‎Commissioner’s office to help them regain their rights through his mandate.‎

Follow Egypt Today’s hashtag #Ghufran]]>
9/23/2018 5:24:03 PM
<![CDATA[Cosby sentencing is new milestone for #MeToo movement]]>
The men the movement would lay low were still at the height of their powers. That same evening, Bill O’Reilly was on his top-rated Fox News show, railing against political correctness, while the next morning, Charlie Rose told CBS This Morning’s audience about an Ebola outbreak.

But the Buress clip was the first rumble of an avalanche bearing down on Cosby, prompting dozens of women to come forward with their own stories of abuse by the entertainer, eventually leading to his arrest and subsequent conviction.

When the comedian, once known as “America’s Dad,” is sentenced to what could be up to 10 years in prison this week for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, it will be perhaps the starkest evidence yet that the #MeToo movement has permanently altered the way the country reckons with sexual misconduct by powerful men.


“I’m hoping that’s a permanent change – that there isn’t the idea that you get to a point of success that you can do whatever you want,” said Aviva Orenstein, a law professor at Indiana University who has studied sexual assault cases. “Jokes about casting couches – I mean, that was tolerated for years. Sexual favors are expected, and genius is recognized as an exception to decency.”

Cosby, once the beloved star of the 1980s television comedy “The Cosby Show,” eventually faced accusations from some 60 women stretching back decades, some of which had long been known but previously failed to gain traction.

His arrest in late 2015 predated the #MeToo movement, which gained steam following multiple allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, by nearly two years. But Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University and an expert on sexual assault cases, said Cosby’s case, as well as the election of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016, helped “seed the ground” for the coming wave.

“I do think you can draw a line between the Cosby case and where we are now,” she said.

The movement itself may have helped convict Cosby, after his first trial in mid-2017 for sexually assaulting a former friend, Andrea Constand, ended with a hung jury. By the time he faced his retrial, the #MeToo campaign had exploded.


Defense lawyers grilled prospective jurors before the trial on whether they could set aside their feelings about #MeToo. The judge who oversaw both trials, Steven O’Neill, allowed prosecutors to call five additional accusers to tell their stories at the second proceeding, bolstering Constand’s account.

“[The movement] may have influenced the judge’s willingness to allow more witnesses,” Orenstein said.

In closing arguments, prosecutors specifically called out Cosby’s lawyers for targeting the women’s credibility, saying those attacks discourage victims from speaking up.

Experts said the #MeToo movement’s work is far from over. In Cosby’s case, he was only convicted after a jury heard from several women, rather than only one, underscoring the challenges sole accusers can face. That dynamic is on display in the controversy surrounding U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Tuerkheimer said, with Kavanaugh and his allies denying allegations from a woman that he sexually assaulted her in high school.

But Cosby’s conviction has given hope to many survivors, particularly those whose abuse occurred too long ago to pursue criminal charges, according to Rebecca O’Connor, vice president of public policy at RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). The nonprofit’s hotline has received a record number of calls in the last year, with many survivors citing the Cosby case and others as inspiration.


“I think for a lot of survivors, they can see themselves in this story,” she said. “People are watching carefully.”
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9/23/2018 5:14:46 PM
<![CDATA[Notes of music and color enchant Missoni's dreamy night]]>
“I wanted to let a romantic side come out, as well as a fantastic one... just like a dream,” artistic director Angela Missoni told Reuters at the end of the show.

She added that there was a lot of research in the weaves and fabrics used in the textiles of the new spring-summer 2019 collection, which did not use any of the company’s extensive archive material.

The house founded in 1953 by Angela’s parents, Rosita and late Ottavio as a knitwear business, is famous for its rainbow colored creations and its signature ‘Fiammato’ — flamed, zig-zag pattern.

The hues in the collection on Saturday were neutral and softer than usual, with darker tones appearing only towards the end of the show, along with glittery sheer fabrics.

“There is a lot of lightness and simplicity but the techniques are complicated,” Missoni added.

Models were introduced and accompanied throughout the show by Nyman, playing on a stage at the start of the runway.

They wore loose pants with matching jumpers and long cardigans, ruffled tops with ankle-high trousers, woven denim items, transparent dresses as well as kimono-like tops. Knotted jackets and shawls were draped over long skirts.

Shoes were slippers embellished with fluffy threads at their point and earrings were asymmetrical hoops with stones and river pearls.

In June an Italian state-backed investment fund injected 70 million euros ($82 million) into the fashion house in exchange for a 41.2-percent stake, seeking to further push foreign expansion of the family-run group.

Angela added that there was also a futuristic element to the clothes she designed.

“For the next 65 years,” she said.

Milan Fashion Week runs until Monday, with fashion heavy-weights like Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana scheduled to show their collections on Sunday.

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9/23/2018 5:11:23 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Lamjarred case reopens Morocco violence against women debate]]>
Following similar accusations in October 2016 and April 2017, Lamjarred was re-arrested last week in southern France on charges he had raped a woman in a Riviera hotel.

The superstar's detention comes just days after Morocco was rocked by claims from a teenage girl, Khadija Okkarou, that she had been kidnapped and gang-raped by a group of men from her village.

Lamjarred's detention has sparked a social media campaign seeking to ban his songs from Morocco's airwaves using the hashtags #masaktach ("we will not be silenced") and #LamjarredOut.

But the push has done little to dampen the popularity of the 33-year-old singer, whose hit "Lmaallem" has been viewed more than 660 million times on YouTube.

"The case of Saad Lamjarred is a symbol that brings together everything connected to rape culture and impunity," said Laila Slassi, one of the campaign's initiators.

Despite the string of allegations against him, the singer's tunes have still been played on radio stations and Moroccan media have enthused over the release of his latest singles.

In August, he was prominently featured in a video of artists put out for the birthday of King Mohammed VI -- who has helped cover the pop star's legal fees.

Lamjarred's fans remain convinced the singer, from a family of artists in the capital Rabat, is the target of a conspiracy and that his alleged victims seek to benefit from his fame.

- 'Sympathy for the aggressor' -

"He's famous, good looking, so we support him... it's an emblematic case of sympathy for the aggressor in a society where we always find excuses for men," psychologist Sanaa El Aji, a specialist in gender issues, told AFP.

Slassi said the media was "promoting a man accused of sexual violence" instead of role models.

Under pressure, Morocco's Radio 2M has pulled Lamjarred from its airwaves, saying it "no longer promotes (the singer) since the case is in the hands of the judiciary".

But Hit Radio, the kingdom's most popular, was less clear about its stance.

The station's head Younes Boumehdi initially said he would not broadcast the superstar's hits, but quickly added the measure would only last until "things calm down".

An on-air poll showed 68 percent of Hit Radio's audience wanted to continue listening to the star, regardless of the charges.

Ultra-famous in the Arab world, Lamjarred "is still among the most popular on YouTube, and for many of his fans he will remain an icon, even if he is sentenced", Boumehdi told AFP.


The case has sparked "a lot of emotion because Saad Lamjarred has the image of a modern man with a new message," he said.

Radio Chada FM, which claims to be a leader in Morocco's arts and music scenes, said it would not take Lamjarred off the air "until he has been tried, in the name of the presumption of innocence".

But not everyone agrees.

"His song lyrics glorify male domination among couples... and the submission of the woman," business leader Mehdi Alami wrote in a post shared widely on social media.

- 'Main culprit' -

"It amounts to discrediting the word of women," said rights activist Betty Lachgar.

Many like Lachgar have drawn comparisons between the #masaktach campaign and the global #metoo movement against sexual harassment.


But in Morocco, "most people don't believe in this type of thinking, (for them), the harassers are the victims", said El Aji.

Campaign organiser Slassi says the #masaktach movement gained momentum after the "Khadija affair".

The 17-year-old was at the centre of a storm last month after she accused a group of men from her village in central Morocco of having kidnapped, raped and tortured her over a two-month period.

Her 12 assailants have confessed to having imprisoned and raped her, and of threatening her with death, according to her lawyers.

"But for many, she remains the main culprit," said Laila.

]]>
9/23/2018 5:06:37 PM
<![CDATA[Maryam Saleh competes for AFRIMA Award]]>
Saleh’s name was added to the list of potential winners of the African Music Awards (AFRIMA), which is considered one of the most significant music festivals in the African continent. Saleh is competing for the award through her popular song “Ekaa' Maksour” (Broken Rhythm), which is part of her new music album “Lekhfa” (Disappearance), released in co-operation with Palestinian artist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and Egyptian Maurice Louca.

Saleh, Abu Ghazaleh and Louca are established solo artists in the alternative Arabic music scene. Together, they draw on Egyptian shaabi, pop and psychedelia to produce an off-kilter sound. Their new, eponymous album uses the edgy dystopian poetry of Mido Zoheir to remarkable effect.

"The name 'Lekhfa' literally means 'to make something invisible'," Abu Ghazaleh, the band's vocalist and composer, told RFI. "It was more of a joke at first and then it turned into something that each of us saw as relevant to the music in a different way."

The band's blend of genres: working class political music from Cairo known as shaabi, to psychedelia and pop, and use of instruments like slide guitars, oud and buzuq result in an exciting, dissonant sound.

Ekaa Maksour - Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh #Lekhfa [Official Audio]

Download the full #Lekhfa album here - https://mostakell.com/collections/all-releases/products/lekhfa-maryam-saleh-maurice-louca-tamer-abu-ghazaleh Lekhfa - Ekaa Maksour Lyrics: Mido Zoheir Compositions and arrangments: Maryam Saleh - Maurice Louca - Tamer Abu Ghazaleh Translations by Weaam El Tamami Rhythm broken into four quarters drilling illusion into listening ears a devil in lies a long arm in



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9/23/2018 5:01:50 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi at UNGA: Labeling terror sponsors is a must]]>
President Sisi will also emphasize the urgency of a comprehensive and decisive confrontation plan through cooperation and full harmony among countries worldwide.

In a statement to the media delegation on the sidelines of the participation of Sisi at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Shoukry stressed that some countries’ interactions with terror organizations will not be enough to eradicate the dangerous phenomenon.

Shoukry explained that those organizations are funded by various states providing them with sophisticated weaponry systems. The whole world should cooperate to confront those states in order to eradicate terrorism completely, he stated.

The president will deliver Egypt’s statement to the General Assembly, which will address the country’s future vision and stances on regional and international issues. Additionally, the speech will highlight Egypt's role to maintain international peace and security and its continuous efforts to fight terrorism.

The agenda of the running UN General Assembly’s meetings focuses on development issues, preserving international security, fighting terrorism, and human rights.

The official spokesman of the presidency, Ambassador Bassam Radi, stressed that President Sisi's speech is also expected to shed light on deteriorating situations in the Middle East and Arab world.

President Sisi begins his activity in New York, on September 23, afternoon Cairo time.

Radi announced that President Sisi is scheduled to meet with members of the American Chamber of Commerce and heads of major American international companies as well as the president of the World Bank and the president of the European Council on September 23.

Sisi’s visit to NYC will include an intensive bilateral activity between Cairo and Washington, as the president is expected to hold dozens of meetings with high-profile political and intellectual figures in the American society, along with meetings with American investors.

The president's schedule includes holding several bilateral meetings with heads of states and governments, who are taking part in the UN meetings.

The talks will consider means of boosting relations between Egypt and other world countries.

Radi announced that the president will meet with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE foreign minister.

On the sidelines of the meetings, Sisi will also chair the high-level meeting of the Group of 77 that will be held and led by Egypt for the third time in history.

The Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations is a coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests. It was founded in June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Palestine is to chair the group starting January 2019.

Sisi will also attend the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which coincides with the centennial celebration of the late African leader's birthday. President Sisi is scheduled to deliver a speech at the summit.

Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism regionally and globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with its efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and the Libyan crises.

In the war on terror, the UN Security Council adopted a draft resolution on terrorism that was drafted previously by Egypt.

President Sisi arrived in New York on Friday evening to participate in the UN General Assembly meetings.

This is Sisi’s fifth participation in the UNGA since he assumed office in June 2014. Since then, Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant changes regionally and globally.
]]>
9/23/2018 5:00:03 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptians welcome Sisi in New York]]>
The Egyptians carried flags and Sisi's pictures, with some of them wearing T-shirts with pictures of the President and banners in Arabic and English.

"We support Egypt, we support Sisi, we love Egypt, long live Egypt, and the President," Egyptians chanted in front of Sisi's residence in New York.

The Egyptian community in the US will hold several welcome rallies for President Sisi in front of his residence and during his speech at the United Nations.

President Sisi arrived in New York on Friday evening to participate in the UN General Assembly meetings.

This is Sisi’s fifth participation in the UNGA since he assumed office in June 2014. Since then, Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant change regionally and globally.

The president will deliver Egypt’s statement to the General Assembly, which addresses the country’s future vision and stances on regional and international issues.

Additionally, the Egyptian statement will highlight Egypt's role to maintain international peace and security and its continuous efforts to fight terrorism.

a
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9/23/2018 4:42:39 PM
<![CDATA[Maldives extends voting in tense presidential election]]>
The Indian Ocean nation’s Election Commission has extended voting by three hours to 1900 hours (1400 GMT) due to long queues, an official said.

The Muslim-majority Indian Ocean nation has become a theater of rivalry between its traditional partner, India, and China, which has backed Yameen’s infrastructure drive, and prompted concern in the West about Beijing’s increasing influence.

Yameen’s government has jailed many of his main rivals, including former president and his half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, on charges ranging from terrorism to corruption.

More than a quarter of a million people were eligible to vote in around 400 polling booths across the coral islands. Yameen, 59, is seeking a second five-year term.

Hundreds of people queued outside polling stations in the capital, Male, early on Sunday. On some islands, people started queuing on Saturday night.

“I am voting to revert a mistake I made in 2013. I am voting to free President Maumoon (Gayoom),” Nazima Hassan, 44, told Reuters after voting in Male.

Abdul Rasheed Husain, 46, in Male said he cast his ballot for Yameen to take the Maldives “to the next level”.

In the polling booth at the Maldives embassy in Colombo, some voters had to wait for more than seven hours and hundreds of voters were still queuing.

“Last time was much faster and much easier, but this time it’s a mess,” 20-year-old student Ibrahim Rafeek told Reuters.

Ahamed Ihusan, a 24-year-old business management student, told Reuters that “if it is a free and fair election, the opposition will win.”

Many opposition supporters blamed the Election Commission for the delay.

“Yameen is trying to frustrate voters by having a shoddy process for the elections and a long waiting time of 6-8 hours in some stations. I appeal to all to be patient and not step back,” an opposition supporter told Reuters, asking not to be named.

Mohamed Shareef Hussain, Maldives envoy to Colombo, said the Electoral Commission had not assigned enough staff, causing delays.

Police late on Saturday raided the main opposition campaign office saying they came to “stop illegal activities”, after arresting at least five opposition supporters for “influencing voters”, opposition officials said.

British Ambassador James Dauris wrote on Twitter that it was “easy to understand why so many people are concerned about what might happen on Election Day”.

Most poll monitors, including those from the European Union and the United Nations, declined the government’s invitation to observe the election, fearing their presence might be used to endorse Yameen’s re-election even after possible vote rigging.

Transparency Maldives, one of the few election monitors on the ground, said the vote had gone smoothly.

“Observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to ensure a secret vote in the vast majority of cases (99 percent). This was less clear in about 1 percent of all cases observed. These polling stations will be closely watched,” the independent organization said.

The opposition’s joint candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, known as Ibu, told supporters he was confident of victory.

“I appeal to everyone not to allow any space for unrest tomorrow,” he told a rally on Saturday. “Let the voting end peacefully and let the people decide what they want. The people are hungry for a change.”

Yameen also urged voters to head to the polls and said he was confident of the work he had done in his first term in office to put the nation on a path of development.

The country has been in political turmoil since February, when Yameen imposed a state of emergency to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition leaders, including Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically-elected leader and former president.

Yameen has disregarded calls from the United Nations, several Western countries and India for an amicable solution to the crisis.

Ahead of the vote, Human Rights Watch urged foreign governments to press the Maldives to uphold democratic rights.

“Should the Maldives government fail to do so, they should impose targeted sanctions, such as those proposed by the European Union, against senior ruling party officials implicated in abuses,” the New York-based group said in a statement.]]>
9/23/2018 4:39:11 PM
<![CDATA[Macron's popularity falls further in September: poll]]>
Only 29 percent of those surveyed in September said they were satisfied with Macron, down from 34 percent last month and 39 percent two months ago, according to the Ifop poll for Le Journal du Dimanche.

His popularity is low in most polls. The former investment banker won the 2017 election with 66.1 percent of the vote on a reformist project to modernize the euro zone’s second largest power. But many voters ranging from conservative pensioners to low-income workers complain that Macron’s policies mostly benefit companies and the rich.

The president was criticized last week for telling an unemployed man he could easily get a job if he tried.

Environment Minister Francois de Rugy told BFM-TV:”I take these polls as a spur. They remind us that we must act.

“Each time you want change, some people will oppose it. So you have two solutions - either you stop in hopes of being popular again or continue while listening to the French people.”

Macron was damaged earlier this month by the surprise resignation of his environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, a popular former activist and TV presenter. And on Sept. 18 interior minister Gerard Collomb, one of Macron’s closest allies, said he would run for election as mayor of Lyon in 2020.

The Ifop poll was conducted on Sept. 14-22 with a sample of 1,964 people.]]>
9/23/2018 4:33:39 PM
<![CDATA[Annual Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich with beer, lederhosen, sausages]]>
Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, kicked off the festivities by tapping open the first beer keg with a traditional shout of “O zapft is!” (“It’s tapped” in English).

Revelers arrived early to secure spaces at the coveted long communal tables in tents, where visitors swig beer, munch on sausages, pretzel or pork knuckle, and listen to oompah bands.

Oktoberfest has its origins in a horse race that took place in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.

The public festivities on the Theresienwiese open ground - named after the bride - became more elaborate as time went on, with stalls and amusement rises and it gradually turned into a folk festival.

Oktoberfest attracts around six million visitors every year, with some traveling from abroad for the experience. This year’s festival runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 7.]]>
9/23/2018 4:24:15 PM
<![CDATA[Banque du Caire achieved profits of LE 1.2 in first half of 2018: CEO]]>
In a statement, Fayed said that the bank had managed to make a great leap in its financial indicators to generate profits of EGP 2.2 billion before deducting tax during the first half of 2018, compared to EGP 1.5 billion during the same period of 2017.

The bank also succeeded in increasing its total loan portfolio during the first half of 2018 by 13% to register EGP 50.5 billion, versus EGP 44.5 billion in 2017, he added.

The volume of micro-credit had reached EGP one billion, an increase of 45%, during the first half of 2018, he said.

The bank managed to raise the rate of portfolio of mortgage loans to hit EGP 1.4 billion during the same period of 2018, he noted.

About 17,000 clients are benefiting from the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) initiative for mortgage financing, he said.]]>
9/23/2018 4:19:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt participates in Saudi celebrations of 88th National Day]]>
Egypt partakes in the celebration as Cairo Tower turned green on Sunday, while Sawt al-Arab (Voice of the Arabs) radio station celebrated the occasion from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Egypt also turned green ahead of the celebrations.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman visited Egypt on March 4 which reflects the close relations between the two countries.

This was bin Salman’s first official foreign tour since he was inaugurated as a Crown Prince to the Kingdom in June 2017. His tour included a two-day visit to Egypt, and a meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on March 7 in London; the tour concluded in the United States.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Mohamed bin Salman met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China in September 2016, following a historic visit to Cairo by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in April. Both leaders discussed stepping up cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia across all fields, and continued consultation and coordination on various regional and international issues to enhance joint Arab action.

In the same context, within the “strategic and discrete” nature of the Egyptian-Saudi relations as described by President Sisi, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz accompanied by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, invited President Sisi for a meeting on Aug. 14, 2018 in the futuristic city of NEOM, the new cooperative aspect of the Egyptian-Saudi cooperation.

NEOM is the first private zone to span over Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and to be funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, as well as local and international investors, Mohamed bin Salman stated.

The visit is considered to be unprecedented and exceptional, as President Sisi was the first high-ranked official to be welcomed by Kind Salman in NEOM.

During the meeting, the leaders exchanged views on the latest developments in the region, its national security, issues of mutual development interests, and bilateral relations.

The meeting endorsed the harmonious and strategic frameworks that make up Egyptian-Saudi relations. In a sign of warmer relations and closer cooperation, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia embarked on mutual and collaborative initiatives to boost stability and development in the region.

Recently, the Saudi-Egyptian accord has brought many indications that underline the depth of the relationship between the two countries, and their partnership in renaissance, development and security through various mega projects.

From the beginning, there was a recognition that cooperation between the two countries is indispensable for stability in the region, and therefore the two countries needed to find a way to expand their cooperation beyond the existing status quo. Accordingly, both states allowed many new channels for cooperation to tighten their relations and enhance the region’s security.
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9/23/2018 4:14:25 PM
<![CDATA[EGX enters green zone Sunday, market cap. gains LE 8.4B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.26 percent, or 177.77 points, to close at 14,261.25 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 hiked 1.85 percent, or 40.29 points, to reach 2,212.85 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.74 percent, or 5.04 points, reaching 687.92 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.88 percent, or 15.34 points, closing at 1,755.53 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 8.4 billion, recording LE 788.52 billion, compared to LE 780.12 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 140.33 million shares, traded through 18,137 transactions, with a turnover of LE 501.28 million.

El Ahram Co. For Printing and Packing, Orascom Investment Holding, and Ibnsina Pharma were top gainers of the session by 9.95 percent, 9.92 percent and 7.41 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Alexandria National Company for Financial Investment, El Obour Real Estate Investment, and Mansourah Poultry were top losers of the session by 9.95 percent, 9.62 percent, and 9.53 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 57.08 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 50.57 million and LE 6.5 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 8.86 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 512,556, and LE 1.99 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations sold at LE 65.95 million, while Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 51.08 million, and LE 8.5 million, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session in red, as EGX30 declined 0.20 percent, EGX50 inched down 1.75 percent, EGX70 dropped 1.70 percent, and EGX100 decreased 1.61 percent.
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9/23/2018 4:12:51 PM
<![CDATA[0% customs on EU imported vehicles to Egypt]]>
This comes as part of the Egyptian-European Association agreement signed in 2010, according to which customs on European cars to Egypt are decreased by 10 percent per year, illustrated Najm in an exclusive interview with Egypt Today. According to the agreement, by 2019 customs on vehicles coming from the EU will be “zero customs”.

However, this will not have a significant impact on the prices of these vehicles in the Egyptian markets, as there also will be a 14 percent VAT on cars coming from the European Union, which means that there will be a 4 percent increase in the prices of those cars, according to the head of the Egyptian Customs Authority.

Najm also stressed that the Egyptian reliance on protecting the Egyptian product, attracting foreign investments in Egypt, and increasing the international trade are all contributing factors that result in increasing taxes, especially while increasing economic activity and employment opportunities.

This comes after the Presidential decree No. 419 of 2018 in which various custom reduction rules were issued.
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9/23/2018 4:02:34 PM
<![CDATA[Media literacy: More than half of the world does not trust social media]]>
More than 54 percent of the subjects of the study are suspicious when it comes to news circulating on the internet, the study confirmed.

The study stated that rates of decreasing the use of social media as a reliable news source came as follows: 85 percent for Brazil, 69 percent for Spain, and 64 percent for the USA.

The study illustrates a worldwide research that took into consideration 24 countries in three continents: 11 countries in Europe, 6 in North and South America, and 7 countries from Asia.

Moreover, the research was conducted by You Gov using multiple online questionnaires, which took into consideration multiple factors, including gender, age, and region.

The research showed that 44 percent of the study subjects trust news “overall”, while 51 percent only trust news “they use”. Meanwhile, 34 percent said that they trust news in search engines, and only 23 percent trust news in social networking websites.

This in fact reflects their bad experience with fake news published on different social media platforms such as Facebok and Twitter, and which can definitely lead to “confusion, greater skepticism, and ultimately to lack of trust,” according to the research.

The report also tackled consumers’ opinions on the news that are being published by different media outlets, as they showed their concern about its credibility and objectivity.

Consequently, the study concluded that there are two main factors that challenge and affect news transparency.

Firstly, it showed that the political climate and oppression badly affect news credibility, especially when dealing with news circulating within authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. The second challenge is economic, which basically impulses different news sources to be biased as they are not independent.

Hence, more than half of media consumers are sophisticated enough to differentiate between fake and real news, so they prefer to follow up particular media outlets which had long, clean, and objective history, according to the results of the study.

Furthermore, the study revealed that some consumers prefer receiving news feed through applications on their smart phones (ios/android/windows) or through e-mails.

However, 37 percent of the study subjects say that “nothing will persuade them to sign up” for newsletter, 18 percent will be encouraged if they “can control the number received”, and 16 percent would like to reduce duplicated news from different providers, according to the research results.

The decrease of the percentage of those who trust social media came particularly after Facebook’s latest privacy concerns, which in turn made it difficult to retain its ranking as a reliable news source.
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9/23/2018 3:26:55 PM
<![CDATA[Petroleum Min. to upgrade efficiency, build new productive units]]>
Molla added that his ministry is working in parallel to maximize the value added and support the Egyptian economy.

The minister pointed out that a number of projects are currently being implemented to increase the production of benzene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through the establishment of new units or through hydrogen cracking projects to convert low-value Mazut into high-value products such as gasoline, diesel and gas.

This came at the general assembly meeting of Alexandria National Refine & Petrochemical Company (ANRPC) to approve the results of fiscal year 2017/2018.

Molla announced on Thursday that the coming period will witness intensive activity in the Red Sea area, in preparation for the first international bidding to explore oil and gas in this region.

The minister clarified that this step comes after the borders' demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia and the implementation of the geophysical data processing project in open areas in the Red Sea and southern Egypt.

In June, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified a border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia, after being passed by the Parliament.

According to the agreement, the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir will be transferred back to the Saudi kingdom.

The intensification of research and exploration activities in Egypt currently reflect the confidence of investors in the attractive opportunities offered by Egypt through international bidding, which encourages the introduction of new auctions and attracts greater investments in various areas of Egypt, including oil in southern Egypt, Molla said.

As per ANRPC, chairman of the company Mohamed Ali Hassanein said that the new project for the production of high octane gasoline 92-95 has been successfully completed.

He noted that this project will double the company's production by 700,000 tons annually at an investment cost of $219 million.

It will contribute to increasing the company's share in the total domestic consumption of gasoline from 11 percent to 20.5 percent and increasing the production of LPG to 38,000 tons annually.

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9/23/2018 3:24:46 PM
<![CDATA[Prime minister inspects Nasser City's West Plateau project]]>
Madbouly was accompanied by Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Sharawy, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, and Assiut’s Governor Gamal Nour el-Din.

Furthermore, the prime minister will visit Assiut Plateau Axis Road project, which links Assiut to Nasser City's West Plateau project to connect between Western Desert and Eastern Desert roads.

In this regard, Mohamed Fawzi el-Nashar, head of the Central Authority for Reconstruction in Central and Northern Upper Egypt, explained to Mabouly that Assiut Plateau project’s first phase is completed along 12 km of the road, connecting the plateau with the Western and Eastern deserts by a bridge over the River Nile, while the second phase extends along 10.6 km.

Nashar added that the project costs LE 932 million as it includes building rain spillways and bridges, expropriating agriculture lands with LE 50 million compensations and carrying out rock blasting work.

In the same context, Assiut’s Governor Nour el-Din pointed out that the prime minister started his tour with Nasser City’s West Plateau project to commemorate late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

He further remarked that the project aims to achieve development in construction, economy and tourism, solve housing problems in Assiut and establish industrial zones to attain sustainable development in Upper Egypt.

Previously, Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed stated that Egypt directed the largest proportion of government investments during fiscal year 2018/2019 to southern Upper Egypt region, recording 51 percent or LE 13 billion of state investment.

The southern Upper Egypt region includes five governorates: the Red Sea, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan.

In addition, as Egypt begins implementing urban projects across various governorates to meet its goal of relocating 30 million Egyptians out of the more crowded cities by 2050, the government is seeking to revive several areas, including Upper Egypt, that have the potential to become future local and regional investment hubs.

Several real estate developers pointed out the prospects that Upper Egypt carries; “Upper Egypt is filled with mineral resources that could be used to create construction materials.

The region should also be the future source of renewable energy, and should be connected with the Red Sea region, as per tourism development goals,” explained Magdy Qorqor, architecture and urban planning expert and professor at Cairo University, to Egypt Today. CEO of TatweerMasr, Ahmed Shalaby, also believes in the potential of the region.

Upper Egypt encompasses 10 governorates, including Aswan, Qena, Luxor, Sohag, the Red Sea, Assuit, the New Valley, Minya, Beni Soueif and Fayyoum. These areas accommodate around 35 million citizens.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Communities launched an ambitious plan to build new modern cities in those governorates, in cooperation with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), an affiliate of the Egyptian Housing Ministry. With a total investment of LE 13 billion from NUCA, the new cities will include: New Fayoum, New Aswan, New Assiut, New Thebes City, New Luxor, New Beni Suef, New Qena, New Akhmemand, and New Sohag.

Assistant to the head of New Cities and Development Sector at NUCA, Alaa Abdel Aziz, informed Egypt Today that the areas in Upper Egypt with the most opportunities are Western Qena, Assiut governorate, and areas in Aswan.

“Offering diverse investment opportunities in different governorates in Upper Egypt will act as a main drive to the local economy, creating new job opportunities as a result of relocating communities from seven governorates,” Ayman Sami, country head of JLL, previously stated during the Cityscape breakfast event in January. He also mentioned that the new cities will offer around 190,000 square meters for constructing commercial projects.

Additional Fatma Khaled
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9/23/2018 2:47:03 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt acquires 50% of EISCC for $15M]]>
The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that this decision is taken as EISCC has multiple financial advantages, including full consolidation of MENA Cable profitability from the Bharti Airtel transaction, immediate savings of $10 million as a result of the new structure, and total recognition of recurring revenue over the life time of the cable (min. of 15 years).

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt Ahmed el-Beheiry emphasized the importance of this deal as it will enable the full consolidation of the asset and the expected revenue over its lifetime.

He added that this transaction marks the second fully owned submarine cable by Telecom Egypt in addition to TE North.

“Management has worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year to secure the revenue of its international submarine cable network and announced to investors that it foresees a short term return on the acquisition of MENA Cable,” Beheiry said.

“We have since reported several milestones in our plan including the conclusion of the acquisition of MENA Cable as well as the signing of an MOU to recover our investment,” he added.

The company announced previously this month that EISCC completed the acquisition of Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable “Mena Cable” from Orascom Investment Holding “OIH”, with total enterprise value of $90 million of which $40 million represent the equity value of MENA Cable and the remainder represent its outstanding debt.

In August, Telecom Egypt signed with India's Airtel Company a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation in the maritime cable domain.

As per the memo, the Indian company will get IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) on Middle East, North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE North Cable Systems. In addition, Airtel will take large capacities in two new hi-tech Cable Systems (SMW5 & AAE1) on a long-term basis.

Beheiry said that his company expects to formalize the partnership with Airtel into an agreement soon, which will enable Telecom Egypt to recover all its investment in MENA Cable.

Airtel’s global network portfolio includes the ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway, India Middle East & Western Europe, Unity, EIG and East Africa Submarine System.

On a different note, the company’s consolidated results slipped 18.2 percent during the first half of 2018, recording LE 2.06 billion, compared to LE 2.52 billion during the same period of 2017.

Telecom Egypt operates within the telecommunication services sector focusing on integrated telecommunication services.

It has 17 subsidiaries operating across British Islands, Western Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East. Telecom Egypt is based in 6th of October, Egypt.

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9/23/2018 2:34:00 PM
<![CDATA[OPEC chief urges continued efforts to maintain oil market stability]]>
During the 10th Meeting of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Committee, the OPEC chief said the courageous efforts exerted by all parties will be decisive for the petroleum industry.

Meanwhile, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed al Mazrouei said "Today, our industry is in a much healthier place than when the historic Algiers Meeting took place on 28 September 2016. Fundamentals are strong and we have seen a return of a greater degree of balance to the market. OPEC and its non-OPEC partners have demonstrated what can be achieved when working together. I’d like to commend all participating countries for their historic efforts in this regard."

"There is no doubt that this committee has played an important role in contributing to our many successes. Proper monitoring of conditions in the oil market is an essential component of transparent and effective work. The JMMC continues to fulfil its mandate commendably," he said.

"Despite our major achievements towards market stability, we face new uncertainties today. Many of these uncertainties are factors beyond our control; nevertheless, they need to be continuously monitored in order to build on the progress made to date," he added.

"In this regard, I hope we can continue our important discussions on further means of institutionalizing our cooperation. We are only seeing the beginning of all the great things we can accomplish when working together, in the interests of producers, consumers and the global economy," he said.]]>
9/23/2018 2:31:11 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt condemned military parade attack in Iran ]]>
The statement extended Egypt’s sincere condolences to the families of the victims and its hopes for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Egypt also called for boosting the international efforts to combat the phenomenon of terrorism and drain its support resources, the statement added.

According to Ghulam Reza Shariati, governor of Khuzestan province, Gunmen opened fire on people at Jerusalem's Ahwaz Street during a parade Saturday which was held on the occasion of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in the 1980s.

"Despite the strong attack on the position of the officials, none of them were hurt because of the rapid reaction of the security forces," Shariati added.

"According to initial reports, four attackers were involved; two of them were killed, and two were arrested, where one of them was wounded," Shariati said.

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9/23/2018 2:02:20 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry meets with high profile officials in NYC ]]>
Shoukry received UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura Saturday at the Egypt Mission headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly, according to a statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.

The meeting tackled several issues such as the latest developments in the Syrian crisis and means to advance the political resolution, in addition to dealing with crisis-related humanitarian challenges.

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Shoukry received UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura Saturday at the Egypt Mission headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly - Press Photo


Shoukry warned of the dangers of giving terrorist elements any safe corridors that would enable them to leave Idlib and enter other regions and countries.

Abu Zied’s statement added that during the meeting, Shoukry highlighted Egypt's desire to participate in the ministerial meeting on Syria this week in New York.

In the same context, Shoukry met with Achim Steiner, the administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

During the meeting Shoukry expressed his appreciation for the magnitude of existing cooperation and relations with the UNDP and of the program’s support of the Egyptian efforts to proceed with the national reviews related to implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council affiliated with the UN.

Shoukry also emphasized Egypt’s great interest in reinforcing the UN and the international multilateral system, including reforming the UN’s development system.
For his part, Steiner emphasized that Egypt is the main partner of the UNDP in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Also, Shoukry met with his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa to discuss bilateral relations and developments in the region, the Foreign Ministry’s statement reported.

At the beginning of the meeting, Shoukry expressed his deep appreciation for Bahraini efforts and stances to preserve the Arab national security, praising the depth and strength of Egyptian-Bahraini relations.

For his part, the Bahraini minister praised the distinguished relations between the two countries in all fields.

The statement reported that Shoukry stressed Egypt’s support for the security and stability of Bahrain, adding that Egypt condemned the terrorist acts which aimed to destroy the stability of the region.

The meeting also tackled the regional issues of common concern, particularly the latest developments in Yemen and Syria as well as the efforts to combat terrorism in the region and the Palestinian cause.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017- REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

President Abdel Fatah al-sisi arrived in New York on September 21 ahead of a full schedule on the sidelines of attending the 73rd UNGA meetings. Many other Egyptian expats rallied the streets holding flags and balloons in a show of love and happiness to welcome the Egyptian president.

Sisi will deliver a statement at one of the meetings next week, as he will address the Egyptian vision to achieve world peace through deeper UN roles and a call to contain all armed conflicts, eradicate terrorism, push for denuclearization and tackle economic concerns, according to a Friday statement by the Egyptian presidency.
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9/23/2018 1:53:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to expound successful combat of chronic diseases at G77: Health Min.]]>
She was speaking to the media delegation accompanying President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on his current visit to New York to chair Egypt's delegation at the UNGA meetings.

The minister also said that the national campaign will be launched for the early diagnosis of Hepatitis C virus as well as early detection of other epidemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and hypertension diseases.

Zayed noted that all member states at the international organization agreed on an extraordinary measure that will be declared during Egypt's speech.

The most famous landmark in each country will be illuminated in red to sound the alarm over the need for seriously dealing with the epidemic diseases at the UNGA meetings, she added.

The minister also said that the Giza Pyramids have been chosen to be lit in red to mark the initiative.]]>
9/23/2018 1:15:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Russia hit $402.4M in H1 2018]]>
The Ministry of Trade announced in a statement that the most significant items of the Egyptian exports, varied between the industrial and agricultural sectors.

The exports of the industrial sector showed a 224 percent increase in household appliances, reaching $14.66 million compared to $4.53 million during the same period in 2017.

According to the statement, exports of detergent and soap products hiked 147 percent to reach $3.7 million compared to $1.5 million during the same period of the previous year.

In addition, exports of crochet apparel increased 41.8 percent to $5.73 million compared to $4 million during the same period of the previous year.

Chairman of the Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Antar referred to the Egyptian exports of the agricultural sector which included Oranges that increased 26.7 percent to $129.2 million in the first half of this year.

Exports of potato rose 6.6 percent to $124.2 million and tomato exports hiked by 86.4 percent to $ 3.24 million, fresh strawberries exports increased by 22.82 percent to $4.2 million, and grape exports inched up by 13.47 percent to $ 15.2 million, according to Antar.

He pointed out that the structure of Egyptian exports to the Russian market has become diversified. Exports of engineering goods, food industries and furniture have also increased.

Antar added that Egyptian exports to the Russian market contain commodities only and do not include any petroleum products.

Trade Representation Office of the Russian Federation in Egypt said earlier that trade exchange between Egypt and Russia hit $2.775 billion during the first five months of 2018, with an increase of 31.5 percent in comparison with the same period in 2017.

In January-May2018, Egypt's exports to Russia increased 26.5 percent, recording $356 million, while imports reached $2.4 billion, with 32.3 percent increase.
]]>
9/23/2018 1:11:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt wins title of 2018 African handball championship in Marrakesh]]>
On Friday, Egypt achieved a 36-24 victory on Guinea in their fifth game of the tournament.]]>
9/23/2018 1:11:56 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at Egyptian major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar registered LE 17.79 for buying and LE 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire and the Commercial International Bank (CIB), it recorded LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.

At the Arab African International Bank, the dollar price stood at LE 17.85 for buying and LE 17.95 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the price stood at LE 17.87 for buying and LE 17.97 for selling.

At the National Bank of Greece, the dollar prices went up one piaster to stand at LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.

At Alexandria Bank, the dollar prices rose one piaster to stand at LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.]]>
9/23/2018 1:06:05 PM
<![CDATA[“Altook Walaswera” play debuts on Al Salam Theatre ]]>
The play was granted Best Directing Award in the festival’s eighth edition in 1996; however, this year the show will be played as part of the festival’s celebration of the silver jubilee. The celebrations for the silver jubilee will take place on Sept. 19 and 20 on Al Salam Theatre at 9 p.m.

The play revolves around the poor families that reside in Upper Egypt. The show illustrates the daily struggle and agony of the deprived families, who therefore turn to myths and black magic to solve their problems. The play also sheds light that such beliefs do not lead to good and that education in fact and good living is the solution to their problems that occur because of deprivation.

The play is written by Yehia Taher, starring Fatma Ali, Mahmoud al-Zayat, Martina Adel, Ahmad Tarek and many more. The show is directed by Nasser Abdel Moneim.
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9/23/2018 1:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian farmers complain about water shortage]]>
In Upper Egypt’s Sohag, banana crops were destroyed as the main irrigation canals have been filled with water hyacinth for more than 12 years, complained Mansour Salman, an owner of a banana farm.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-21 at 3.29.14 PM
Main irrigation canals have been filled with grass- Egypt Today/Mahmoud Maqboul


Standing on the irrigation canal, Salman told Egypt Today that the canal has been completely neglected. It should irrigate more than 2,000 acres in Dar el-Salam village, but the water is mostly consumed by water hyacinth, he said.

Banana plants are almost dead as they should be irrigated every 10 days, but water flows every 45 days and the cultivation began to weaken significantly, said Abdullah al-Salmy, another farmer.

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



In a statement released on Friday, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation replied that the small farmers illegally plant water intensive crops of sugarcane.

“The village should plant crops, which do not need large amounts of water, as determined by the ministry,” the statement added.

In Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, other farmers in Sidi Salem city voiced their worries over losing clover and sugar beet crops as water does not reach their lands, Masrawy online reported on Thursday.

The complaining farmers remarked that water in the irrigating canal of Sakhawi, which irrigates 14,000 acres, decreased.

“Garbage is being accumulated and dead animals are being dumbed inside the canal… So it is difficult for water to reach the canal,” the newspaper quoted Rami Ibrahim, a 27-year-old farmer.

In a speech at the 2018 World Water Week in Stockholm in August, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti said that a total of 200,000 Egyptian farmers will lose their source of livelihood if the rate of renewable water decreases by 2 percent. “Egypt is working on providing a strong infrastructure to address these risks,” Abdel Ati added.

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

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

It is expected that the water share per capita would drop to 500 cubic meters annually by 2025 amid the rapid deterioration of water and underground water quality, Abdel Atti said in Tajikistan-held high-level International Conference on International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-2020 in June.

Egypt’s water share per capita declined by 60 percent since 1970, reaching 663 cubic meters, in accordance with the 2014 report issued by the state-owned Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Egypt has diplomatically and politically entered into a battle with some Nile basin countries over its share of the Nile water. The disagreement started in 2010, when five Nile basin countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda) signed the Entebbe Agreement, per which the two 1929 and 1959 deals conducted during British colonization can be relinquished.

The two deals had allocated 80 billion cubic meters of Nile water to Egypt (55.5 billion), and Sudan (18.5 billion); they also granted Egypt the right to veto against projects that can be established in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan that may cause harm to its share.

Moreover, Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. The tributary feeds 80 percent of the Nile’s water to downstream states.

Additional reporting by Mahmoud Maqboul

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9/23/2018 12:44:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt upholds court ruling putting Brotherhood leaders on terror list]]>
On August 30, 2018, Cairo Criminal Court put the MB members on the terrorist list over accusations of damaging the Egyptian economy by smuggling foreign currencies and financially supporting terrorist groups.

In 2015, the attorney general had referred Malek and other defendants to the Emergency Court after he was arrested by security forces. Several members of Malek’s family were also added to the terror list endorsed by Cairo Criminal Court in December 2017.

The defendant was born into a Muslim Brotherhood family, but he does not view himself as a leader in the Islamist group, according to Malek's statements during his interrogation by the prosecution. However, in 2006, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for being a leader of the group, which organized a militant-style demonstration at Al-Azhar University at the time.

He was pardoned, along with famous Brotherhood leader and businessman Khairat al-Shater in March 2011 by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

The businessman’s work was versatile, but mainly revolved around manufacturing/selling conservative attire for women and computers. He is also a business partner of Shater, who intended to run for president in 2012 but was legally excluded due to his 2006 conviction.

Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in 2014.

Additional reporting by Walaa Ali

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9/23/2018 12:35:14 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host 11th edition of Arab Theatre Festival in Jan.]]>
The signing was attended by Khaled Galal, head of the Cultural Production Sector and general coordinator of the festival.

Abdel Dayem expressed her pleasure with hosting the 11th edition of the Arab Theatre Festival, stressing that theater is an important method to foster awareness, consolidate the national identity, and encourage the community to be committed to cherished values.

She added that holding this edition embodies the strategy adopted by Arab ministers of culture during their meetings in Riyadh and Tunisia in 2015 and 2016 to develop the theatrical scene.

She further remarked that the inauguration ceremony will include the best shows in the Arab world, which achieved great succeed in 2018, to compete for the award of Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, along with the speech, set to be delivered by a prominent figure in the theatrical scene.

The minister revealed that 15 prominent theatrical figures from Egypt will be honored during the edition.

The Arab Theatre Festival is an annual event organized in a different Arab country each year; the country is selected according to the availability of an infrastructure of theatres and halls. The first edition of the festival was held in Egypt in 2009.

The Arab Theatre Festival is an attempt to spread the culture of theatre and performance studies and arts in the Arab world, promote Arab cultures, arts, aesthetics, and research in the domain of theatre and performance arts, and support theatrical scientific research and Arab theatrical writings for youth and adults.

The festival held the largest scientific conference ever in the Arab world in the domain of theatre and performance studies .

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9/23/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[BREAKING: MB ex-supreme guide, 64 others handed down life imprisonment]]>CAIRO - 23 September 2018: Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, along with 64 defendants out of 682 others, were sentenced to life imprisonment Sunday over charges of inciting violence in a case dubbed in the media as “El-Idwa Incidents”.

Another convict, Mabrouk Saad Mabourk, was handed down a death penalty in the same case.

Following the Rabaa sit-in dispersal on August 14, 2013, the city of El-Idwa in Minya governorate witnessed acts of violence and vandalism, during which a police station was attacked and a police officer was killed.

Badie is being charged with inciting violence in the clashes. The prosecution showed a violence-inciting statement signed by him. However, Badie denied the charges.

The defendants are also charged with storming a number of state-owned institutions, such as the agriculture unit, veterinary center and the real estate office in the city.

In April 2014, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced all defendants to death. However, a retrial was ordered after overturning the ruling by the Court of Cassation.

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9/23/2018 12:24:58 PM
<![CDATA[Mubaraks’ request to reconcile over presidential palaces case rejected]]>
The 90-year-old former president and his two sons already served three years in prison over charges of presidential palaces embezzlement and wasting public money worth LE 125 million ($6.9 million). They were also fined LE 125 million and ordered to pay additional LE 21 million.

The Mubaraks’ lawyer Fareed al-Dib filed an appeal to stop the execution of the three-year sentence immediately after the ruling issuance in 2016 in preparation for reconciling with the government. However, the appeal was referred to the Court of Cassation as Mubarak and his sons served time during their remand retroactively, a judicial source told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief on Saturday.

When the request was referred upon a second request from the lawyer, the Court of Cassation rejected the appeal on Saturday, he added.

The imprisonment sentence means that Mubarak and his sons cannot practice their political rights for six years starting the execution of punishment in accordance with the Political Rights Law. However, if reconciliation were reached, the case would be dropped and their legal personalities would be obtained.

It was reported in 2016 that the Illicit Gain Authority (IGA) restarted auditing the Mubaraks’ assets over accusations of profiteering for over 40 years. In April 2016, media outlets reported that Mubarak and his sons could reconcile with the government via paying an amount of money in return for dropping charges against them.

In October 2015, the Egyptian government passed new amendments to the Reconciliation Law, by which the government would receive smuggled money in exchange for dropping the charges the defendants face.

According to Article 18 of the Illicit Gain Law No 26 of 1975, the legal case of illegal profiteering shall not be dropped in case the defendant died. His/ her heirs shall repay the taken money within five years.

The Mubaraks’ foreign assets were frozen in Swiss banks upon a request from the Egyptian government following his toppling in 2011. Since then, the Swiss authorities conducted investigations with 14 suspects along with Mubarak and froze an estimated 650 million francs ($ 664 million) smuggled out of Egypt during Mubarak’s era to Switzerland. However, in December 2016, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber announced in a press conference in Cairo that charges of money laundering and organized crime were dropped against a number of suspects, and a total of 180 million Swiss francs ($175.52 million) were unfrozen and returned to their owners.

The Swiss Attorney General Office (AGO) told Egypt Today in March that Mubarak is not one of the suspects that are being investigated over charges of money laundering or organized crime in Switzerland.

In case you missed it…

Swiss cease legal aid with Egypt over Mubarak's frozen assets

CAIRO - 6 September 2017: Swiss authorities have ceased legal mutual aid with Egypt over charges of money laundering or of organized crime in Switzerland during former President Hosni Mubarak's era, Egypt's state-owned news agency MENA confirmed a statement from Switzerland in Cairo on Wednesday.




Seven days ago, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were arrested as per a Cairo Criminal Court ruling and were sent to Tora prison in preparation for the “exchange market manipulation” case ruling due on November 20. However, they were released on bail of LE100,000 each.

In the second case, Mubarak’s sons, along with Hassan Heikal - son of late prominent journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal- Ayman Ahmed Fathi, and Yasser al-Mallawani were charged with illegally obtaining LE493,628,646 by selling a national bank. The trial will be reconsidered by a different jury as per a recent court ruling.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Kasim
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9/23/2018 12:19:36 PM
<![CDATA[For the first time three giant bands in Music Park Festival]]>CAIRO – 20 September 2018: For the first time, three music bands will perform together in a concert. The bands are Massar Egbari, Akher Zapheer and Ghaem Jozi.

Alternative Arabic music fans in Egypt are highly anticipating the first festival ever to present five different musical experiences from Egypt and Jordan, titled “Music Park”. The festival will be held in Al-Manara International Conference Center on Friday, October 5, 2018 at 3 p.m.

The first edition of Music Park Festival is going to witness a blend of Arabian music compositions that suit all tastes, where Massar Egbari from Egypt will perform alongside underground music pioneers in Jordan; Akher Zapheer and Gadal.

Electronic music will be presented by Ghaem Gozi and Yazan Heifawy. The carnivalistic atmosphere is expected to run for 6 hours non-stop.

Masar Egbari is an Egyptian rock band founded in Alexandria in 2005. Massr Egbari released their third album "Mosawamat" (Bargains) last July which brought them back to the music scene three years after releasing their album "Toqa’a w tqom" (Fall & Rise).


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9/23/2018 11:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Light festival dazzles visitors in Portuguese holiday town]]>
The event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cascais every year, aims to “celebrate colors and forms in all their nuances, senses and aspects”, according to the organizers.

It also hopes to highlight the historical heritage of Cascais, a former fishing village that became a first-class travel destination by the end of the 19th century.

This year’s installations included an interactive skate ramp that flashed with different colored lights and shapes as skateboarders rode over it.

“There are so many different things so your mind is just kind of watching it,” said Terry Reel, an American tourist visiting Portugal. “It’s just so delightful.]]>
9/23/2018 11:23:12 AM
<![CDATA[Cairo governor refers Shubra district head to investigations over house collapse ]]>
Abdul Aal also ordered that measures be taken to establish hosting a center for the affected people and the disbursement of an urgent subsidy from Social Solidarity to provide for their daily needs.

2017 witnessed the collapse of several buildings. The recent collapse of many buildings highlights the longtime problem of construction in Egypt, the effects of poor maintenance, violations of building codes, and illegal extensions and constructions.

The latest tragedy happened because of violating construction codes. The initial collapse of one of the buildings resulted in the crumbling of the two adjacent buildings due to poor infrastructure, leaving two people dead, including a four-year-old girl, and seven more injured.

One of the recent incidents is the collapse of a three-story building in Qena governorate on Dec. 17, resulting in the deaths of two women and injuring another, in addition to causing damage to neighboring buildings, which were evacuated.

In another two incidents in March, caused by illegal extensions, two buildings collapsed in Cairo’s Boulaq district, leaving at least five injured. Also, a building fell in Cairo’s Garden City district, where 10 people were injured.

Fourteen people were injured and a five-month-old infant died after a building collapsed east of Sohag on Aug. 8.

To combat this phenomenon, the Egyptian Parliament has discussed the unified construction law No. 119 during a meeting held on July 18, 2016, to submit amendments to the law. The law is aimed at those who violate the license and will impose fines, prison sentences or higher utility tariffs.

Besides illegal constructions, Egypt is plagued by unplanned construction and poor infrastructure. There are 400 areas of unplanned housing, with a population in excess of 7 million.
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9/23/2018 11:10:29 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 16.2B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.2 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
9/23/2018 10:54:33 AM
<![CDATA[In Nigeria, Shell’s onshore roots still run deep]]>
But for the company that pioneered Nigeria’s oil industry in the 1950s, the Niger Delta remains as important — and problematic — as ever.

While Shell has cut onshore oil production and sold some onshore assets, it continues to invest in others. In fact, onshore production has risen in recent years as a share of Shell’s output in Nigeria, an analysis of company data over the past decade shows.

Much of the increase comes from less polluting gas, used mainly in power generation, which Shell thinks will be key to the transition to lower carbon energy. Gas made up 70 percent of onshore production in 2017, up from 47 percent in 2008.

The company still controls thousands of kilometers of pipelines connecting inland fields to coastal terminals through its subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Co of Nigeria (SPDC), however.

So while SPDC has cut oil production in the Delta by 70 percent since 2011, when it first started reporting data on spills, the incidence of spills and theft from pipelines has fallen at a much lower rate and has picked up again recently, the data shows.

Shell’s Nigeria Country Chair Osagie Okunbor hinted it was a sensitive balancing act.

“We are too big just to see ourselves as ‘there is a problem and we have to run’. That is not what we are thinking of doing,” he told reporters on a media trip to the country in July. “But at the same time we don’t want to spread our footprint.”

Two pipeline spills in 2008 in the small community of Bodo in Ogoniland are emblematic of the problems in the Delta, a vast maze of creeks and mangrove swamps criss-crossed by pipelines and blighted by poverty and oil-fueled violence.

On a speedboat trip to the site of a clean-up operation launched by Shell last year, a makeshift oil refinery stood idle on a charred landing. The ground was soaked with oil, the air heavy with petrol fumes and slicks glistened in the water nearby. There were few signs of birds or fish.

So far this year, 85 crude spills have been recorded, already higher than the previous two years. In 2016, militant attacks pushed the volume of spills to more than 30,000 barrels, a high since 2011.

Oil theft from SPDC rose to around 9,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 - a loss of nearly $180 million for the year - from 6,000 bpd the year before.

Despite all the problems and costs, however, Nigerian onshore operations generate billions of dollars annually.

Shell does not break down profits by country, but a report on payments to governments that the company publishes annually showed it paid around $1.1 billion in royalties, taxes and fees to the Nigerian government in 2017.

That means Shell earned more than $4 billion from oil and gas production in Nigeria in 2017 - around 7 percent of its total global output.

A Shell spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of Reuters’ data analysis.

The Nigerian Petroleum Ministry declined to comment.

Shell has shown it can shut down if it is not making money. It stopped producing oil completely in Iraq last year after half a century in the country, although it retains substantial gas operations.

“It’s hard to think Shell would stay put onshore and weather all the problems if the assets didn’t offer decent returns,” said Aaron Sayne, a financial crime lawyer working at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). “To some extent, the onshore must still be worth the trouble.”

THEFT AND SPILLS

Shell remains central to Nigeria’s economy and society. SPDC - operated by Shell with a 30 percent stake while the Nigerian National Petroleum Co has 55 percent, France’s Total has 10 percent and Italy’s Eni has 5 percent - is the country’s largest oil joint venture, employing thousands.

The Anglo-Dutch giant’s operations drew unwelcome attention in the early 1990s when residents of the Delta’s Ogoni region called for fairer distribution of oil wealth and compensation for spills. The government cracked down and in 1995 executed nine protest leaders, including prominent writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, prompting Shell to end production in the area forever.

It retained control of the Trans-Niger Pipeline, however, and nearly a quarter of a century later, little seems to have changed on the ground.

In 2015 Shell accepted responsibility for operational faults that caused the 2008 spills that dumped tens of thousands of oil barrels into creeks around Bodo, and paid a settlement of 55 million pounds to villagers.

Dozens of spills since, including one by a barge carrying stolen oil that sunk in July, are frustrating remediation efforts, clean-up officials said.

“You clean it up, you walk away, somebody goes back there and does the same thing. It’s like going around in circles,” said Ogonnaya Iroakasi, Ogoni restoration project supervisor and an SPDC member.

Around 80 percent of the spills are a result of sabotage, Shell data shows.

Shell has taken a number of steps to improve the situation in the area, including training youth to start up businesses and funding local community patrols, campaigns to raise local awareness and even a local radio station.

But critics say it is not enough.

“I am not minimizing the challenge of re-pollution but Shell are not doing enough to solve it,” said Daniel Leader, the Bodo community’s lead UK lawyer. “The pipelines are not equipped with the most basic leak detection technology and Shell is simply not present on the ground in these communities.”

Local residents are frustrated as the slow process stops many from fishing, one of the main sources of income. Much of the anger is focused on Shell but Eni has also struggled to cope in recent years. Since starting to report data to authorities in 2014, the Italian company has recorded more spills than Shell, according to Amnesty International.

“Please, don’t give up on us ... I hope that you guys here can force Shell to do the right thing,” Michael Porobunu, chairman of Gokana council of chiefs, told the clean-up crew and reporters on his porch.

OFF THE COAST

SPDC has sold 10 of the 27 field licenses in the Delta it held in 2010, mostly to local companies. It has applied to renew the remaining licenses, which expire next year.

The divestments are a reminder of another cost of doing business in Nigeria - corruption. Shell has filed a criminal complaint against a former senior employee over suspected bribes in the $390 million sale of oil mining license 42 to local firm Neconde in 2011.

Offshore operations are an attractive alternative to the Delta in many ways. The Bonga field 120 km (75 miles) off the coast is one of Shell’s prized assets since starting up in 2005.

The giant tanker, with a drilling platform that pumps 225,000 barrels of oil and 210 million cubic feet of gas per day from a field one km below, won the company’s “asset of the year award” in 2016 for its safety and reliability.

Many risks remain. In 2016, the Trans-Forcados pipeline was shut down for months after militants detonated a bomb at its sub-sea section. Shell and Eni face bribery allegations in a Milan court over the 2011 purchase of an offshore license. Drilling offshore is also more expensive and technically complex.

Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to develop a new offshore field, Bonga Southwest.

“Such an investment will reopen the window for the next wave of investment in deep water Nigeria,” Bayo Ojulari, managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, said in Lagos.]]>
9/23/2018 10:51:19 AM
<![CDATA[OPEC, non-OPEC panel unlikely to recommend further oil output hike]]>
The panel is also unlikely to decide how to distribute the output increase of 1 million barrels per day decided when OPEC and allied producers last met in June, sources said.]]>
9/23/2018 10:47:24 AM
<![CDATA[Asian firms shuffle production around the region as China tariffs hit]]>
Companies including SK Hynix of South Korea and Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba Machine Co. and Komatsu of Japan began plotting production moves since July, when the first tariffs hit, and the shifts are now under way, company representatives and others with knowledge of the plans told Reuters. Others, such as Taiwanese computer-maker Compal Electronics and South Korea’s LG Electronics, are making contingency plans in case the trade war continues or deepens.

The company representatives and other sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The quick reactions to the U.S. tariffs are possible because many large manufacturers have facilities in multiple countries and can move at least small amounts of production without building new factories. Some governments, notably in Taiwan and Thailand, are actively encouraging companies to move work from China.

The United States imposed 25 percent duties covering $50 billion of Chinese-made goods in July, and a second round of 10 percent tariffs covering another $200 billion of Chinese exports will come into effect next week. The latter rate will jump to 25 percent at the end of the year, and Trump has threatened a third round of tariffs on $267 billion of goods, which would bring all of China’s exports to the United States into the tariff regime.

The tariffs threaten China’s status as a low-cost production base that, along with the appeal of the fast-growing China market, drew many companies to build factories and supply chains in the country over the past several decades.

At SK Hynix, which makes computer memory chips, work is under way to move production of certain chip modules back to South Korea from China. Like its U.S. rival Micron Technology, which is also moving some memory-chip work from China to other Asian locations, SK Hynix does some of its packaging and testing of chips in China, with the chips themselves mostly made elsewhere.

“There are a few DRAM module products made in China that are exported to the United States,” said a source with direct knowledge of the situation, referring to widely used dynamic random-access memory chips. “SK Hynix is planning on bringing those DRAM module products to South Korea to avoid the tariff hit.”

Most of SK Hynix’s production won’t be affected, the source added, since China’s dominance in computer and smartphone manufacturing makes it by far the largest market for DRAM chips.

Toshiba Machine Co says it plans to shift production of U.S.-bound plastic moulding machines from China to Japan or Thailand in October.

The machines are used for making plastic components such as automotive bumpers. “We’ve decided to shift part of our production from China because the impact of the tariffs is significant,” a spokesman said.

Mitsubishi Electric, meanwhile, says it is in the process of shifting production of U.S.-bound machine tools used for metal processing from its manufacturing base in Dalian, in northeastern China, to a Japanese plant in Nagoya.

In Taiwan, an executive at notebook PC maker Compal, who declined to be named, said the trade war’s impact had been limited so far, but the company was studying its options.

“We can also use facilities in Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil as alternatives,” the person said. “It won’t be easy because our majority production is in China; no other country can replace that at this moment.”

Smaller companies are exploring their options too. South Korean medical equipment manufacturer IM Healthcare, which makes products including air purifiers, is studying a move to Vietnam or South Korea if the trade conflict intensifies, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Some Asian governments hope for an economic and strategic boost from the U.S.-China conflict. In Taiwan, the government is actively encouraging companies to move production out of China, pledging last month to speed up its existing “Southbound Policy” to reduce economic reliance on China by encouraging companies to move supply chains to Southeast Asia.

Taiwan economics ministry official William Liu told Reuters that the trade war was “a challenge and an opportunity” for the self-ruled island. Taiwan depends on China as an export market, he noted, but at the same time could see a boost in jobs from companies moving operations back home.

Thailand also hopes to benefit from the “flow of technology and investment leaving China during the trade war”, said Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office of Thailand, which is coordinating a $45 billion project to attract investment into the country. The EEC last month took some 800 representatives of Chinese companies on a tour around the eastern industrial heartland, and the country’s Board of Investment has done seven roadshows in China this year to woo investors.]]>
9/23/2018 10:44:58 AM
<![CDATA[Comcast outbids Fox with $40B winning offer for Sky]]>
The U.S. cable giant bid 17.28 pounds a share for control of London-listed Sky, bettering a 15.67 pounds-a-share offer by Fox, Britain’s Takeover Panel said.

Buying Sky will make Philadelphia-based Comcast, which owns the NBC network and Universal Pictures, the world’s largest pay-TV operator with around 52 million customers.

Chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts has had his eye on Sky as a way to help counter declines in subscribers for traditional cable TV in its core U.S. market as viewers switch to video-on-demand services like Netflix (NFLX.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O).

“This is a great day for Comcast,” he said. “This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.”

Comcast’s knock-out offer thwarted Murdoch’s long-held ambition to win control of Sky, and is also a setback for U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney (DIS.N) which would have likely been its ultimate owner.

Disney has agreed a separate $71 billion deal to buy most of Fox’s film and TV assets, including its existing 39 percent stake in Sky, and would have taken full ownership after a successful Fox takeover.

Comcast’s final offer was a jump on its bid going into the auction of 14.75 pounds, and compares with Sky’s closing price of 15.85 pounds on Friday.

Comcast believed it needed to deliver a knock-out blow given that Fox’s existing stake in Sky gave it a chance of victory if it was a close second to Comcast, two sources said.

Its final offer - more than double Sky’s share price before Fox made its approach in December 2016 - quickly won the backing of Sky’s independent directors on Saturday.

“We are recommending it as it represents materially superior value,” said Martin Gilbert, chairman of Sky’s independent committee. “We are focused on drawing this process to a successful and swift close and therefore urge shareholders to accept the recommended Comcast offer.”

Fox noted the recommendation, saying it was considering options for its 39 percent stake and would make another announcement in due course.

“Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast’s offer,” Fox said.

Fox’s holding, which Comcast’s offer values at more than $15 billion, stems from Murdoch’s role in the creation of the company nearly three decades ago.

His younger son James was pivotal in building Sky into Europe’s leading pay-TV operator as its former chief executive and current chairman.

Comcast, which requires 50 percent plus one share of Sky’s equity to win control, said it was also seeking to buy Sky shares in the market.

HUGE PRICE/b>

One fund manager who holds Sky shares said nobody could complain about the Comcast price.

“The question now is if Fox actually sells out and if not can Comcast get to 50 percent,” he said.

One banker involved in the auction said: “Did Comcast pay a lot more than they needed to?”

Sources familiar with the matter said Fox, Disney and Comcast had not been in discussions about the 39 percent stake.

The auction was a dramatic climax to a transatlantic bidding battle waged since February, when Comcast gate-crashed Fox’s takeover of Sky.

It is a blow to 87-year-old Murdoch, who tried to buy Sky eight years ago only for the bid to collapse in the fallout from a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspaper business.

Some politicians have opposed a deal, citing concerns about the influence Murdoch would wield over the UK’s news agenda.

Fox made a string of concessions to assuage those worries and land a company that serves 23 million households in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Sky’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch said Comcast’s victory was the beginning of a new chapter. “Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase,” he said.

($1 = LE 0.7648)]]>
9/23/2018 10:42:02 AM
<![CDATA[US Supreme Court nominee accuser given deadline to decide on hearing]]>
Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who says conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh carried out a violent sexual assault against her when he was 17 and she was 15, insists she is ready to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But she rejected a Friday evening deadline imposed by the committee's Republican leader, Chuck Grassley, to agree to his terms for the hearing, which he said should take place next Wednesday.

Friday night, in a tweet addressing Kavanuagh directly, Grassley said he had given Ford more time to decide -- until 2:30 pm (1830 GMT) Saturday, US media said.

"Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford", Grassley wrote, adding Ford should decide "so we can move on."

"I want to hear her. I hope u understand," he added. "It's not my normal approach to b indecisive."

Ford has said she wants to testify Thursday at the earliest and to be able to call as a witness a man who she says was present during the assault, when they were all teenagers attending private schools near Washington.

But the committee's Republican leadership has turned down those demands.

- Presidential pressure -

After several days of maintaining a relatively neutral posture, Trump took off the gloves Friday to declare that Ford could not be believed.

The aggressive stance reflected Trump's fear that time is running out to get his hand-picked judge confirmed -- thereby tilting the Supreme Court firmly to the right for years to come -- before November elections when Republicans risk losing control of Congress.

"TAKE THE VOTE!" Trump tweeted, blaming "radical left wing politicians" for the controversy.

Trump rejected the credibility of Ford's claim that a drunken Kavanaugh tried to pin her down and remove her clothes, muffling her cries, in the early 1980s.

According to Trump, the fact that Ford remained silent until now shows the incident probably never happened -- even if this runs counter to what experts say is the typical reaction of sexual assault victims afraid or too embarrassed to report.

"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says," Trump wrote, "charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents."

The senior Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, called Trump's logic "a highly offensive misunderstanding of surviving trauma," while Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said: "We must treat sexual assault survivors with respect, not bully or try to silence them."

More concerning for Trump might have been the angry reaction of one of his own Republican senators, Susan Collins, who sits on the Judiciary Committee.

"I was appalled by the president's tweet," she told US media.

"We know that allegations of sexual assault are some of the most under-reported crimes that exist. So I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong."

Trump's outburst saw a new #MeToo era hashtag storm the internet, with people -- mostly women -- sharing why they did not report being assaulted under the Twitter hashtag #WhyIDidntReport.

- High stakes -

Republicans are frustrated over what they say was the deliberate timing of the last-minute revelation of Ford's allegation, accusing Democrats of seeking to prevent the process from finishing before the midterms, when they hope to recapture at least one chamber of Congress in the vote.

For their part, Democrats say Republicans are mounting an unseemly rush to get Kavanaugh into the nine-member Supreme Court while they still control the legislature.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly agreed to testify before the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, saying he wants to clear his name.

While he has seen his near coronation transformed into a fight for his basic reputation, Ford has found herself thrown into the harsh light of an all-out Washington political dogfight.

Her lawyers say the professor's life has been turned upside down, having received death threats and been forced out of her home.]]>
9/23/2018 3:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pirates kidnap 12 crew members from Swiss vessel in Nigerian waters - ship ]]>
Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in the last few years in the southern Niger Delta region, source of most of the crude oil which is the mainstay of west Africa's biggest economy.

Massoel Shipping, operator of MV Glarus, said the vessel carrying wheat was travelling between the southwestern commercial capital Lagos and southern Niger Delta oil hub Port Harcourt when it was boarded by pirates, who took 12 away of the 19 crew members.

It said the attack happened around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.

"The company is working with the authorities and specialists to secure the speedy and safe release of those being held," Massoel Shipping said in its statement. The statement did not give the nationalities of the crew members.

Switzerland's foreign ministry said it had learned from the company that none of the crew members were from Switzerland itself.

Nigeria's navy and maritime police said they were unaware of the kidnapping and would investigate. ]]>
9/23/2018 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Vatican announces historic deal on bishops with China]]>
Shortly after the deal was unveiled, Pope Francis recognised seven clergy appointed by Beijing, which has not had ties with the Vatican since 1951.

China immediately said it was hopeful of better relations, while Taiwan insisted its ties with the Vatican were safe.

There are an estimated 12 million Catholics in China, divided between a government-run association whose clergy are chosen by the Communist Party and an unofficial church which swears allegiance to the Vatican.

The Holy See is one of only 17 countries that recognise Taiwain, officially known as the Republic of China, instead of diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Pope Francis has sought to improve relations with China since he took office in 2013, but previous attempts foundered over Beijing's insistence that the Vatican give up recognition of its rival and promise not to interfere in domestic religious issues.

Saturday's breakthrough came as churches have been destroyed in some Chinese regions in recent months, and there has been a clampdown on Bible sales. Crosses have been removed from church tops, printed religious materials and holy items confiscated, and church-run kindergartens closed.

The agreement with China "concerns the nomination of Bishops, a question of great importance for the life of the Church," the Vatican said in a statement as Pope Francis began a visit to the Baltic states.

The deal "creates the conditions for greater collaboration at the bilateral level," it added.

Following the announcement, the pontiff recognised seven bishops who had been ordained in China without the approval of the Holy See, his office announced.

Pope Francis hopes that, with these decisions, a new process may begin that will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome, leading to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics," a statement said.

The pope also posthumously recognised an eighth bishop who "had expressed the desire to be reconciled with the Apostolic See" before he died last year, it said.

China said the "provisional" agreement was signed in Beijing by vice foreign minister Wang Chao and a Vatican delegation headed by the under-secretary for relations with states, Antoine Camilleri.

The two sides, it added, "will continue to maintain communication and push forward the improvement of bilateral relations".

The Vatican cut ties with Beijing two years after the founding of the communist People's Republic.

- 'Strategic, naive' -

The Taiwanese foreign ministry insisted Taipei would not lose its only diplomatic ally in Europe over the agreement, and said it hoped the Holy See would ensure that Catholics on the mainland "receive due protection and not be subject to repression".

Taiwan's top China policy-making body, the Mainland Affairs Council, noted that religious communities in China still "suffer greatly" and urged Beijing to refrain from "interference and persecution."

Analysts warn Beijing could use the accord to further crack down on Catholic faithful.

Jonathan Sullivan, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, described the accord as "a strategic move on China's part; and a naive one on the Vatican's".

Sullivan said China's Communist party will frame the deal as the Vatican's seal of approval to the state-run Catholic Church at a time Christian believers are facing a severe crackdown.

"Ultimately, the Party would like to subsume all forms of worship under state organs that make it easier to manage and ensure that everyone's primary loyalty is to the state," Sullivan told AFP.

A priest from an underground church in China's northern Hebei province said some of his flock had reservations.

"For the church members and priests, there are some that accept, and some that cannot completely understand (the situation), because they remain suspicious of the Communist Party and Chinese government. They doubt their sincerity," the priest said on condition of anonymity.

Churchgoers in Beijing and Shanghai at Saturday evening services were generally unaware that a deal had been struck.

"Whatever this means for the church is up to God. As a follower of the church, we pray for the best," said one, who gave her name only as Magdalene.]]>
9/23/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Britain tells EU to engage seriously on Brexit, EU demurs]]>
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday demanded new proposals and respect from European Union leaders, saying after a summit in Austria that talks had hit an impasse - a position her foreign minister reinforced on Saturday, even if that meant leaving the bloc next March without a deal.

"If the EU's view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the United Kingdom, we will eventually capitulate and end up either with a Norway option or indeed staying in the EU... then they've profoundly misjudged he British people," Jeremy Hunt told BBC radio.

"We may be polite, but we have a bottom line. And so they need to engage with us now in seriousness."

May's defiant statement was welcomed on Saturday by many in the British press that had seen the Salzburg summit as a failure for her. The strongly eurosceptic Daily Express said it was "May's finest hour".

DIGGING IN

But initial reactions from across the English Channel suggested France and Germany were digging in too.

EU leaders and May have said they want to get a deal agreed in October, to be finalised in November.

In Paris, Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau said that, while France still believed a good Brexit deal was possible, it must also prepare for a 'no deal' outcome.

Britain's vote to leave "cannot lead to the EU going bust," she said on France Info radio. "That's the message we have tried to send for several months now to our British counterparts, who may have thought we were going to say 'yes' to whatever deal they came up with."

In Berlin, German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth said the other 27 EU states were striving to achieve reasonable solutions. "The blame game against the EU is therefore more than unfair. We can't solve the problems that are arising on the island (Britain) due to Brexit," he said on Twitter.

In London, the pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph reported that May faced the prospect of ministerial resignations next week if she failed to come up with an alternative to the "Chequers" Brexit plan that she presented in Austria.

But domestically, even some critics of May's plan backed the prime minister in her standoff against the EU.

"I have a serious difference of opinion with our prime minister. But, even so, I have to tell you that I view the behaviour of the European Union leaders in Salzburg with contempt," David Davis, the former Brexit minister who resigned in protest at Chequers, said in a speech at a "Leave Means Leave" rally in the northern English town of Bolton.

"Disrespect our prime minister, and you disrespect our country."

After May's Friday statement, European Council President Donald Tusk said that the results of the EU's analysis of that plan had been known to Britain for many weeks. But Hunt said there was a difference between rhetoric and substance.

"On the substance of the Chequers proposals, we have not had a detailed response," he said, adding that EU proposals for the Irish border would mean that it was impossible "to leave the EU intact as one country".

May has accepted the need for a "backstop" insurance policy on the Irish border, but says the EU's version of the proposal would see Northern Ireland carved off from the United Kingdom.

The EU says May's proposal, keeping the province and mainland Britain in the same regulatory space, undermines the single market.

Despite the differences, Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told RTE radio an Irish backstop was "doable" by an October summit.

BUMPY AND DIFFICULT

Hunt said Britain wanted a deal but would be able to withstand a no-deal Brexit.

"Even in a situation where we aren't able to come to an agreement, we would be trading on World Trade Organisation terms. It would be bumpy, it would be difficult, but we would find a way to survive and prosper as a country," Hunt said.

"We've had far bigger challenges in our history."

In Berlin, magazine Der Spiegel said Germany's government expected the impact of a no-deal Brexit on its labour market to be "relatively small". It cited a government response to a request for information from the far-left Linke party.

However, the Times reported that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney had told May's ministers that no Brexit deal could mean a fall of GDP in the rest of the EU of between 1 and 1.25 percent, without citing sources. The BoE declined to comment. ]]>
9/23/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Iran's Khamenei blames Gulf Arab states for military parade attack]]>
Khamenei ordered security forces to bring to justice those responsible for one of the worst assaults ever against the Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful military force in the country, which answers to him.

The allegation will likely ratchet up tensions with Iran's rival Saudi Arabia and some of its Gulf Arab allies, who along with the United States have been working to isolate Tehran.

"This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States, and their goal is to create insecurity in our dear country," Khamenei said in a statement published on his website.

He did not name the regional states he believed were to blame. Israel is also a key U.S. ally opposed to Tehran.

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance, which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Islamic State militants also claimed responsibility. Neither claim provided evidence. All four attackers were killed.

The assault, which wounded at least 70 people, targeted a viewing stand where Iranian officials had gathered in the city of Ahvaz to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic's 1980-88 war with Iraq, state television said.

Iran has been relatively stable compared with neighbouring Arab countries that have grappled with upheaval since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East.

Women and children died in the assault, state news IRNA agency reported. Pictures of soldiers shielding children with their bodies or carrying them away were shared on social media.

The assailants had hidden weapons near the parade route several days in advance, said Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for Iran's armed forces.

"All four terrorists were quickly neutralised by security forces," Shekarchi told state television. "A four-year-old girl and a wheelchair-bound war veteran were among the dead."

Attacks on the military are rare in Iran.

POWERFUL FORCE

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) has been the sword and shield of Shi'ite clerical rule in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Guards have a big say in Tehran's regional interests and a vast stake worth billions of dollars in Iran's economy.

A video distributed to Iranian media showed soldiers crawling to escape gunfire. One picked up a gun and scrambled to his feet as women and children fled for their lives.

State television's website featured footage showing confused soldiers. Standing in front of the stand, one asked: "Where did they come from?" Another responded: "From behind us."

Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, where there have been sporadic protests by minority Arabs.

The gunmen were trained by two Gulf Arab states and had ties to the United States and Israel, according to Shekarchi.

Kuwait and Oman condemned the attack, as did France.

Fars news agency quoted a local Iranian official as saying that Monday would be declared a national day of mourning.

REGIONAL TENSIONS

Iran and Saudi Arabia support opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon, fuelling instability in the Middle East.

The attack occurred a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani heads to New York to address the annual U.N. General Assembly next week.

On his Instagram account, Rouhani said: "Those who are supporting these terrorists will be held responsible."

"Rouhani will use the terrorist attack to justify Iran’s presence in the Middle East...The attack will strengthen the IRGC’s position inside Iran and in the region,” Tehran-based political analyst Hamid Farahvashian said.

Iran faces pressure to swiftly respond to the high-profile attack, which has hurt the security establishment's prestige.

"The attacks are doubtlessly meant to tarnish the prestige of the IRGC, but I believe the terrorist incidents will strengthen the IRGC's standing and even mobilise some public support," said Ali Alfoneh, senior fellow at the Gulf Arab States Institute in Washington.

Hardliners like the IRGC have gained standing at the expense of pragmatists in Iran's multi-tiered leadership since President Donald Trump decided in May to pull the United States out of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"The United States stands with the Iranian people and encourages the regime in Tehran to focus on keeping them safe at home," said National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis.

Kurdish militants killed 10 Revolutionary Guards in an attack on an IRGC post on the Iraqi border in July.

Last year, in the first deadly assault claimed by Islamic State in Tehran, 18 people were killed at the parliament and mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic. ]]>
9/23/2018 1:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Iran vows 'crushing response' after gunmen kill 29 at army parade]]>
The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility for the rare assault in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, while Iranian officials accused "a foreign regime" backed by the United States of being behind it.

Behrad Ghasemi, a local journalist who witnessed the attack, said shots rang out for 10 to 15 minutes and that at least one of the assailants, armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, wore the uniform of Iran's Revolutionary Guards force.

"First we thought it's part of the parade, but after about 10 seconds we realised it was a terrorist attack as bodyguards (of officials) started shooting," he told AFP.

"Everything went haywire and soldiers started running," Ghasemi said.

"I saw a four-year old child get shot, and also a lady. The terrorists had no particular target and didn't really seem to care as they shot anyone they could with rapid gunfire."

After addressing a similar military parade in Tehran to commemorate the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Rouhani warned that "the response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the smallest threat will be crushing".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the attack was carried out by "terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime".

"Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Ahvaz lies in Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community and has seen separatist violence in the past that Iran has blamed on its regional rivals.

- Women and children -

IS jihadists said via their propaganda mouthpiece Amaq that "Islamic State fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces" in Ahvaz.

State television gave a casualty toll of 29 dead and 57 wounded, while the official news agency IRNA said those killed included women and children who were spectators at the rally.

Many of the wounded were in critical condition.

Zarif did not specify which regional government he held responsible for the shooting, but the Revolutionary Guards accused Shiite-dominated Iran's Sunni arch-rival Saudi Arabia of funding the attackers.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also blamed Iran's pro-US rivals, saying the attack was part of "the conspiracy of regional governments that are American lackeys and who aim to create insecurity in our dear country".

Armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said the dead included a young girl and a former serviceman in a wheelchair.

He told state television three attackers were killed at the scene and the fourth died later of his injuries.

Khuzestan deputy governor Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh told ISNA that "eight to nine" troops were among those killed, as well as a journalist.

- Support from allies -

In a message of condolence to Russia's close regional ally, President Vladimir Putin said he was "appalled by this bloody crime" which was a reminder of the "necessity of an uncompromising battle against terrorism".

Syria, another ally, said it stood in "full sympathy and solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran", while neighbouring Turkey expressed "great sorrow" at what it called "a heinous terrorist attack".

Khuzestan was a major battleground of the 1980s war with Iraq and the province saw unrest in 2005 and 2011, but has since been largely quiet.

Attacks by Kurdish rebels on military patrols are relatively common along the border further north.

But attacks on regime targets inside major cities are far more rare.

On June 7, 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks in Tehran on the parliament and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- the first inside Iran claimed by IS.

In April, 26 alleged members of the Sunni extremist group went on trial on charges connected with that twin attack.

- Rouhani defiant -

The attack in Ahvaz came as Rouhani and other dignitaries attended the main anniversary parade in Tehran.

In a keynote speech, he vowed to boost Iran's ballistic missile capabilities, despite Western concerns that were cited by his US counterpart Donald Trump in May when he abandoned a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

"We will never decrease our defensive capabilities... we will increase them day by day," Rouhani said at a military parade.

"The fact that the missiles anger (the West) shows they are our most effective weapons," he said.

The United States reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran last month, and a new round of even harsher sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil sector is set to go back into effect on November 5.

Washington has said it is ready to open talks on a new agreement to replace the July 2015 accord, but Tehran has repeatedly said it cannot negotiate under pressure from sanctions.

Rouhani leaves Sunday for New York to attend next week's United Nations General Assembly along with Trump, but Iran has repeatedly ruled out any meeting.]]>
9/23/2018 1:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pope honours Baltic martyrs as bishops quit over abuse]]>
The four-day trip to the northeastern edge of the European Union and NATO alliance brings him geographically close to Russia, where Vatican diplomats have been trying for years to arrange a papal visit.

The pontiff will travel to mainly Protestant Latvia on Monday and secular Estonia on Tuesday as all three Baltic states mark 100 years of independence this year.

"It has been a century marked by your bearing numerous trials and suffering; detentions, deportations and even martyrdom," Francis told Catholic faithful who waved yellow, green and red national flags as greeted him in Vilnius.

The last century of Baltic history was marked by the Nazi invasion -- which wiped out almost all of the region's Jews -- and then decades of Soviet occupation during the Cold War.

Behind the Iron Curtain, the Catholic Church played a key role in the non-violent anti-Soviet resistance, especially in Lithuania, the only Catholic-majority country of the three.

As a result, it was persecuted with both priests and bishops killed by totalitarian authorities.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite called the pope's visit a "precious gift" for the centennial.

- 'Sowing division' -

Vilnius estimates that more than 50,000 Lithuanians died in camps, prisons, and during deportations between 1944 and 1953. Another 20,000 partisans and supporters were killed in anti-Soviet guerilla warfare.

Francis also called on Lithuania, now an EU and NATO member of 2.9 million people, to draw on the difficult lessons of its turbulent history to become a "bridge between Eastern and Western Europe".

In an apparent reference to the surge of far-right anti-migrant movements in Europe, the pontiff also warned that there were "more and voices sowing division and confrontation... and proclaiming that the only way possible to guarantee security and the continued existence of a culture is to try to eliminate, cancel or expel others."

Francis will honour victims of Soviet-era persecution during a visit to a museum in the former KGB building in Vilnius on Sunday where regime opponents were tortured and killed. And he will pray at a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

- 'Church's 9/11' -

The pope's first foray into the Baltics risks being overshadowed by a fresh wave of devastating claims of sexual abuse committed by clergy across the globe.

Scandals in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have involved widespread claims of abuse -- and cover-ups -- by clergymen and lay members with one archbishop describing it as the church's "own 9/11".

Francis on Friday accepted the resignations of two more bishops from Chile, which is investigating more than 100 cases of sexual abuse by the clergy.

He has called for a meeting of the heads of Catholic bishops' conferences at the Vatican next February to discuss the issue of the "protection of minors".

However, the pontiff has kept a stony silence regarding claims he had ignored allegations of abuse that were reported to him.

After a meeting with the pope on Wednesday, rock band U2's frontman Bono said he could see the pain on Francis's face when he told him that "it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims".

Church authorities in Germany are expected to officially publish a study detailing decades of child sex abuse by priests as Francis winds down his Baltic trip on Tuesday.

The pope's Baltic journey follows in the footsteps of late Polish-born pontiff Saint John Paul II, who travelled to all three Baltic states in 1993, just two years after they broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union.

The trio have since firmly anchored their future in alliances with the West by joining both NATO and the EU in 2004.]]>
9/23/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Two car bombs explode in Somali capital, one dies]]>
The bombs detonated in two different cars near a main road in the centre of the city. Al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in Mogadishu and other parts of the Horn of Africa country.

"Two people were injured in the two car bombs. One of them died of the wounds," said Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer.

Al Shabaab told Reuters they had planted the car bombs and that they were targeting a police official but that he had escaped.

Another police officer, Ahmed Nur, said one of the cars was parked and had nobody in it, while the second was moving and the two people inside it had been injured. One of the injured is the one who later died.

On Friday, at least three people were killed in separate attacks in Mogadishu, including a female university student shot dead in her class by two men armed with pistols.

Al Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia's Western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The group also wants to drive African Union (AU)-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers out of the country.]]>
9/23/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[China summons US ambassador over military sanctions]]>
The announcement came a day after China called on the United States to withdraw the sanctions or "bear the consequences".

The spat adds to tensions between the two global powers over trade, China's treatment of religious groups and the Asian country's claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned Ambassador Terry Branstad and "lodged solemn representations over US sanctions against (the) Chinese military," the People's Daily said in a brief report online.

On Thursday, Washington placed financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Defence Ministry, and its top administrator, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

Officials said it was the first time a third country has been punished under the CAATSA sanctions legislation for dealing with Russia, and signalled the Trump administration's willingness to risk relations with other countries in its campaign against Moscow.

Russia also lashed out at the US sanctions, accusing Washington of playing unfairly and using new measures to squeeze Moscow out of the global arms market.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that "Washington's continued sanctions hysterics" dealt a new blow to US-Russia ties but could not immediately say if Moscow would retaliate, or how.

The Chinese military expressed "strong indignation and resolute opposition" to the sanctions, the defence ministry said Saturday, echoing a foreign ministry statement the previous day.

Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the US move was a "a flagrant breach of basic rules of international relations" and "a stark show of hegemonism" that severely damages relations between the two countries and their militaries, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

United in their resentment of America's global influence, China and Russia have sought in recent years to tighten up their ties and this month conducted week-long joint military drills in Moscow's largest ever war games.

US officials said that the US could consider similar action against other countries taking delivery of Russian fighter jets and missiles.

The State Department also placed 33 Russian intelligence and military-linked actors on its sanctions blacklist.

All of them -- defence related firms, officers of the GRU military intelligence agency, and people associated with the Saint Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency disinformation group -- have been on previous US sanctions lists.

A senior US administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted the ultimate target was Russia and not "the defence capabilities" of third countries.

CAATSA, or the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, was passed in 2017 as a tool that gives Washington more ways to target Russia, Iran and North Korea with economic and political sanctions.]]>
9/23/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Min. of Culture honors 12 theatrical pioneers in CIFCET closing ceremony]]>
Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem attended the closing ceremony for the festival along with Sameh Mahran, the festival’s manager. Several theatrical artists and enthusiasts attended as well.

The event started at 8 p.m. with the attendees standing up while the national anthem played. Following the anthem, a short play for director Khaled Galal was performed on stage in celebration of the silver jubilee.

Furthermore, a short documentary was displayed summarizing the events, shows, and plays performed in the festival’s 25th edition and the numerous discussion sessions and workshops that took place within the festival’s educational/cultural exchange program.

Syrian artist Assaad Feddah, Iraqi artist Jawad al-Assadi, Iraqi artist Sayed Abdel Hamid, Bahraini artist Abdallah al-Sadawy, Kuwaiti artist Abdel Aziz al-Saree, Tunisian researcher, writer and novelist Ezziden al-Madany, Moroccan writer Abdel Karim Burshaid, veteran director Fahmy al-Khouly, Algerian artist Mohamed Adar, Egyptian writer Mohamed Salmawy, and Huda Wasfy were all honored on stage by Abdel Dayem and Mahran.

A special thank-you was directed to the International Theater Institute “| T |”, in gratitude for the technical support it provided throughout the festival’s program this year. The award was received by the president of the International Theater Authority, Mohamed al-Afkham, and Jordanian playwright and novelist Hatem al-Sayed.

Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre resumed from the period of Sept. 10-21. A total of 27 theatrical plays were performed.

Egypt Today approached veteran artist and acting teacher in Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Hamada Shousha, who made sure to attend the festival in its 25th edition this year. Shousha created his own theatrical team to perform comedy shows on stage in 1991. He is a graduate of the comedy theatre himself and is now a tutor at the same institute from which he graduated decades ago. He is a pioneer and a specialist in theatrical plays focusing on comedy.

The man attended numerous festivals locally and internationally in which he was awarded several prizes. When asked about what he thinks about the CIFCET festival this year, he said; “The festival in its 25th edition presented shows that could be absorbed and understood by anyone.” He further stated that Kuwait and Bahrain presented unique shows.

Part_of_the_show_played_at_the_opening_of_the_closing_ceremony_for_the_CIFCET_25th_edition_MustafaMarie

The artist further expressed his happiness for the participation of countries such as Kuwait in the festival this year after a hiatus of almost a decade. Shousha stated that the shows presented by the team from Palestine were some of the best this year, despite the complex condition the country is in politically.

Moreover, Shousha praised the festival in its 25th edition, assuring that the shows presented by the many different participating Arab states all had an inner moto and aimed to educate/enlighten the attendees using artistic/creative means.

Moreover, Bahraini veteran artist Abdallah al-Sadawy stated to Egypt Today that the festival this year is very special as it enabled numerous theatrical enthusiasts from different Arab countries to re-unite and exchange cultural and general knowledge about the industry, discussing new ways to develop it.

According to his statements to Egypt Today, Al-Sadawy believes that artistic festivals whether they are focusing on cinema or theatre are currently the only way for people to enjoy themselves in the midst of the numerous negativities and political turmoil the region is currently facing.

The veteran Bahraini artist expressed his gratitude for being in Egypt and for being honored in such an important festival. He believes that Egypt is the lighthouse that gathers all the Arab countries, especially when it comes to cultural or artistic festivals and events.

Some light effects were played on stage while the show was performed and as the honorees received their awards by the minister and Mahran.

It is worth noting that the attendees were asked to stand up for a minute of silence at the beginning of the closing ceremony by host Jasmine Taha Zaki for the late producer and playwright Samir Khafagy, who passed away on Sept. 21, after a struggle with illness.

Bahrani_Vet._Artist_Abdalla_al-Sadawy___Mustafa_Marie ]]>
9/22/2018 8:57:50 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi holds intensive meetings with several presidents in New York]]>Sisi will discuss with them means of enhancing bilateral relations with Egypt at various levels and in different fields. Moreover, Sisi is expected to discuss the developments of regional and international issues.
“Sisi’s speech in the UNGA meetings will expound on Egypt’s comprehensive vision regarding all international and regional challenges. He is also expected to urge the world to contain all armed conflicts, combat terrorism, push for denuclearization, and tackle economic concerns,” presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi stated.

Radi stressed on Friday that President Sisi's speech is also expected to shed light on deteriorating situations in the Middle East and Arab world. “Sisi will chair the high-level meeting of the G77 which Egypt is currently heading for the third time in its history.”

The Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations is a coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests. It was founded in June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Palestine is to chair the group starting January 2019.

The agenda of the running UN General Assembly’s meetings focuses on development issues, preserving international security, fighting terrorism, and human rights.

“Sisi’s visit to NYC will include an intensive activity at the bilateral level between Cairo and Washington as the president is expected to hold dozens of meetings with high-profile political and intellectual figures in American society, along with meetings with American investors, commerce chamber senior leaders and firms’ heads,” Radi added.

“President Sisi will also participate in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which coincides with the centennial celebration of the late African leader's birth, and will deliver a speech on the occasion to the summit."

Sisi’s Fifth Participation in the UNGA

This is Sisi’s fifth participation in the UNGA since he assumed office in June 2014. Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant development in global and regional arenas. Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with Egypt’s efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Libyan crises.

In the war against terrorism, the UN Security Council adopted a draft resolution on terrorism that was drafted by Egypt.

Sisi’s participation in the 69th, 70th, 71st and 72nd sessions of the UNGA highlighted Egyptian foreign diplomacy through his speeches before UNGA leaders and participants.]]>
9/22/2018 8:52:20 PM
<![CDATA[Samaa International Festival kicks off Saturday ]]>
Inas abd El-Dayem, minister of culture, will be present in the opening among other pioneers in the cultural fields and ambassadors of the participating countries.

The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Antiquities and Cairo Governorate in coordination with Hewar institution.

The festival’s opening coincides with International Day for Peace, in which all the festival’s ensembles will participate in the first international workshop led by Intesar Abd El-Fattah, the festival’s head and founder.

Abd el-Fattah composes a magnificent artistic dialogue by which all of the world’s cultures send a harmonic message of peace and humane connection.

The festival collects a variety of ensembles and artists from Arab countries as well as Asian, African and European countries. The “Religions Forum” celebration also kicks off its fourth version under the motto “We pray here together”, with candles in Historical Religious Complex, Misr Al-Qadima on Sept. 27. In a universal service, the participating countries share a prayer with the audience from all Christian sects including Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelic.


]]>
9/22/2018 3:46:13 PM
<![CDATA[Angham to perform a massive concert in Saudi Arabia on its National Day]]>
Angham’s last album “Rah Tethkerni” (You’ll Remember Me) gained great success at the time of its release. Angham cooperated with numerous Arab musicians such as Ahmad al-Sane’e, Khaled al-Awadhi, and Turki al-Moshaikah in the album.

Profits made by Angham's albums during the past two decades remain the highest among other Egyptian singers of her category. It is worth noting that the star’s fans and critics in the industry named her “Egypt’s No. 1”.

The singer comes from an artistic family and was born in 1972. Her father is veteran musician and composer Mohamed Ali Sulliman and her uncle is Emad Abdel Halim.

Angham is a popular Egyptian singer who started her artistic career in 1987. She presented a group of successful songs such as "Etegah Wahed" (One Direction), "Toul Ma Enta Be'eid" (As Long As You Are Far), "Akteblak Ta3ahod" (I Pledge to You), and "Mahzoma" (Defeated) among other popular songs.

Angham was the best-selling female pop artist in 2003. She is famous for her wide vocal range and romantic style.
]]>
9/22/2018 3:41:04 PM
<![CDATA[Elton John signs with Universal 'for the rest of his career']]>
Under the agreement signed with John’s company Rocket Entertainment, Universal Music Group (UMG) will represent the veteran British singer’s new music “for the rest of his career” on top of his work from the last 50 years.

“The multi-faceted agreement marks the beginning of a new era of expanded collaboration between Elton John and UMG and significantly expands their global business partnership,” the company said in a statement.

The agreement covers publishing rights to John’s “iconic song writing catalogue to be administrated by Universal Music Publishing Group long into the future”.

The group’s brand-management company Bravado will work with Rocket on merchandising, branding and retail licensing around the singer’s three-year final world tour, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road”.


No financial details of the deal were given.

The 71-year-old kicked off the tour in the United States this month. John, who has two children with husband David Furnish, has said he wanted to stop traveling to focus on family life.]]>
9/22/2018 2:36:48 PM
<![CDATA[Smith, Warner make smashing return to Australian cricket]]>
Former captain Smith looked as though he had not a missed beat, with a classy 85 of 92 deliveries for Sutherland against Mosman in New South Wales grade cricket.

He was greeted with loud applause from hundreds of fans when he walked out to the pitch at Sydney's Glenn McGrath Oval, supporters delighted to see a return of his trademark fidgeting at crease.

"It's awesome to see him playing," Sutherland teammate Shane Watson told Cricket Australia's official website.

"I'd prefer him to be playing for Australia, but the support that he got, the warm applause when he scored runs and also when he got out shows that everyone is supporting him."

Some 30 kilometres (19 miles) north at Coogee Oval, former Australian vice-captain Warner smashed a century from 98 balls in his Australia return for club side Randwick-Petersham against St George.

The impressive innings included a huge six hit out of the ground, to the delight of hundreds of onlookers crammed into the small ground.

"It's great to have him back," cricket fan Kim Perry told AFP. "He's a great entertainer for Australian cricket."

Both players took time out in between innings to pose for photos and chat with fans, on a charm offensive as they seek redemption for their part in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in March.

The pair are serving one-year suspensions from international and state cricket for the scandal, while opener Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months.

"I think they will probably welcome them (Smith and Warner) back after they've done their time. Not before," said 82-year-old cricket fan Don Sounders.

Smith and Warner are expected to spend more time at their respective grade-level clubs in New South Wales this summer if they decide not to join the new Twenty20 competition in the UAE.]]>
9/22/2018 2:34:20 PM
<![CDATA[Tom Hardy says on-screen 'Venom' stays true to Marvel comics]]>
Hardy, who previously starred in “Dunkirk” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” plays the sharp-toothed title character and his human alter-ego, reporter Eddie Brock.

“The depiction of Venom, I think, has been extremely faithful to the comics,” Hardy said at a press conference in Moscow to promote the movie.

“If we look at some of the images directly from comic book, they haven’t deviated in any,” he added. “If anything they’ve recreated certain elements accurately from comics book.”

“Venom” is scheduled to start rolling out in worldwide theaters on Oct. 3. It debuts in the United States and Canada on Oct. 5.]]>
9/22/2018 2:34:20 PM
<![CDATA[By Giorgi! Japan's Osaka romps into Tokyo final]]>
Third seed Osaka needed just 71 minutes to complete her 10th straight win after capturing a historic US Open title earlier this month.

Former world number one Pliskova beat Croatia's Donna Vekic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 but took well over two hours to get the job done.

Osaka, however, made quick work of a dangerous opponent who had knocked out top seed and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, breaking twice in a one-sided first set which she took with a blistering forehand down the line.

The 20-year-old, who has climbed to seventh in the world rankings since her stunning victory over Serena Williams in New York, piled on the pressure in the second.

A brutal Osaka forehand forced a break in the fifth game, before a vicious backhand return forced Giorgi to whiff a shot beyond the baseline on match point.

"I was pretty nervous because I really wanted to get to the final," said 2016 runner-up Osaka, who fired down nine aces in a dominant display.

"She was playing really well and I felt like I was just trying to survive. But I served really well and that got me out of a lot of trouble today."

Fourth seed Pliskova took just 12 minutes to secure a 4-0 lead before closing out the first set with one of her 11 aces.

Vekic hit back to take the second as Pliskova's serve imploded, the world number eight blotting her copybook with seven double-faults, many of them coming on key points.

But Pliskova snaffled an early break in the decider and hung on to reach her first Tokyo final, a forehand rocket ending her opponent's spirited resistance.

"That was tough and I was lucky to win," admitted Pliskova, who is chasing an 11th career title.

"I've never been in a final in Japan and the last one is always the toughest. But at least you know you can put everything into it. You don't get to play a final every week so I want to enjoy it."

Osaka will be aiming to scoop her third WTA Tour singles crown after her breakthrough at Indian Wells in March and remarkable US Open victory.]]>
9/22/2018 2:32:34 PM
<![CDATA['Star Wars' fans applaud movie release slowdown]]>
In an unexpected admission that the slew of “Star Wars” films and spinoff projects may be causing fan fatigue, Walt Disney CO. Chief Executive Bob Iger said it had been a mistake to release a new movie every year.

“I think the mistake that I made - I take the blame - was a little too much, too fast,” Iger told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Thursday. “You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make films.”

“I think we’re going to be a little more careful about volume and timing,” Iger added.

Scott Collura, executive editor of entertainment website IGN, called the slowdown “a win for fans,” recalling the anticipation in the past when there were long gaps between movies.

“It won’t kill us to not have a new ‘Star Wars’ film in 2020,” Collura wrote in an opinion piece.

Since 2015, Disney has released two of three planned movies based around characters originated by director George Lucas in 1977, and two standalone films.

Iger’s comment followed a disappointing reception for May release “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” an origin story about smuggler Han Solo. The film took $400 million at the global box office, well below the $2 billion haul for 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and $1.3 billion for 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

In the past year, Disney has also announced a live-action series for its planned streaming service, a series of feature films written by the creators of television show “Game of Thrones,” and another film trilogy bringing in new characters.

Many fans have failed to embrace the younger generation of characters, like Daisy Ridley’s feisty Rey and John Boyega’s rebel stormtrooper Finn in “The Force Awakens.”

“No one gives a flip about Rey, Poe or Finn,” commented user CMO175 on the Hollywood Reporter comments page, complaining about the fate of Luke Skywalker in “The Last Jedi.”

Others said the movies had become too politically correct, with more women and ethnic characters, while some complained that the plots had become stale.

“Maybe having film releases spaced out a little more will give authors and artists some creative breathing room,” wrote Darth Nobunaga on the starwarsnet.com fan forum.]]>
9/22/2018 2:31:40 PM
<![CDATA[Badminton star Lee has cancer, in Taiwan for treatment]]>
The country's most successful Olympian ever, who enjoys superstar status in his homeland, was responding well to treatment, they said.

But the illness will nevertheless be a devastating blow for the 35-year-old, coming after he clawed his way back up the rankings following a doping ban to play some of the best badminton of his life.

Speculation had been swirling about his health since he stopped turning up for training in July, and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) announced that he was pulling out of the World Championships and Asian Games.

Subsequent reports said the three-time Olympic silver medallist had travelled to Taiwan for treatment but officials remained tight-lipped about what he was suffering from.

In a statement Saturday, BAM president Norza Zakaria said "that the player has been diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer.

"(Lee) is currently in Taiwan seeking treatment and I am pleased to inform you that he is responding well to his treatment and is currently resting and recuperating amongst family and close friends.

"BAM is in constant contact with (Lee) and we will offer any support we can to our legend."

Missing the World Championships in July and August was a particular blow for the former world number one as the tournament's top honour is one of the major awards missing from his trophy cabinet.

Badminton is hugely popular in Malaysia and one of the few sports where the country's athletes perform well at the highest levels.

Lee's unsuccessful attempts to capture Malaysia's first ever Olympic gold medal at three consecutive editions of the Games were followed avidly back home, as was his long-running rivalry with Chinese superstar Lin Dan.

His last shot at Olympic gold at Rio 2016 ended in failure when the Malaysian lost out to China's Chen Long in a nail-biting final.

Lee, currently ranked number four in the world, had said Rio would be his last Olympics.

Lee had fought his way back to the top of the rankings after returning from a doping ban in 2015.

He tested positive for a forbidden anti-inflammatory drug at the 2014 world championships and many feared it would end his career, but he bounced back strongly.]]>
9/22/2018 2:27:32 PM
<![CDATA[Tawadros lays foundation stone for papal headquarters in New Jersey]]>
Egypt's orthodox church spokesman Bolis Halim said in a statement Saturday that Pope Tawadros inspected construction works at St Mary and Prince Tadros El Shatby church that is being built inside the new papal headquarters.

Last week, the pontiff started a papal visit to the US for several weeks.]]>
9/22/2018 2:21:29 PM
<![CDATA[Enhancing ties with Egypt is top priority: Japanese amb.]]>
The remarks came during the conference held on Saturday at Cairo University under the rubric "150 years since Meiji Period's reforms - how to benefit from the Japanese experience".

The diplomat pointed out that the Japanese people have been keen on benefiting from other countries to achieve scientific and social development and at the same time preserve the Japanese identity.

Noke further asserted that a Japanese delegation visited Egypt in 1860 as they studied the judicial system, noting that the Egyptian universities have specialized departments to teach the Japanese language. ]]>
9/22/2018 2:09:50 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish forces detain a Cypriot fishing vessel with 4 Egyptian fishermen ]]>
The Cypriot Government has immediately filed a protest to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus, Abu Zeid added.

The UN is trying to "resolve this situation, which is regrettable,” UN spokesman Aleem Siddique said to Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Cypriot Foreign Ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel said the owner of the Cyprus-flagged fishing boat told authorities that a Turkish warship approached his vessel 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the island’s northwestern coast Friday evening, according to CNA.

The crew of the vessel, including one Greek Cypriot and four Egyptian fishermen were then arrested and the boat was towed to a harbor in the island’s breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

Abu Zeid asserted that the ministry will continue to follow up with its contacts at the Cypriot Foreign Ministry and the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to release the Egyptian sailors.

A Turkish Cypriot news agency quoted police as saying that the crew of the Greek-flagged boat was arrested for violating Turkish Cypriot territorial waters.
]]>
9/22/2018 2:05:46 PM
<![CDATA[Attorney General refers official to Criminal Court over embezzlement of LE3M]]>
On April 18, Egypt’s Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state institutions – arrested an employee affiliated to the Ministry of Electricity and another one from the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) over bribery charges.

In the same context, the Cairo Criminal Court ruled on Feb. 28 to sentence former Helwan Governor Hazem el-Qowaidi to five years in prison and a fine of LE 50,000 ($2,823) for receiving bribes as governor.

Also of late January, Menoufia Governor Hesham Abdel Baset and two businessmen in Sadat City were arrested over charges of corruption.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for decades and were one of the main causes of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

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

The ACA’s efforts have been very fruitful in recent years, having prosecuted several high-profile cases, which led to a noticeable decline in incidents of corruption.

In April 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court sent former Agriculture Minister Salah el-Din Mahmoud Helal and his office manager to 10 years in prison each on corruption charges.
The prosecution said in a court session that Helal and his office manager had accepted bribes, including a luxury home, membership at an exclusive sports club, clothing from high-end fashion stores and mobile phones.

In January 2017, former State Council Secretary-General Wael Shalaby committed suicide while in custody after being arrested for alleged corruption.

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

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9/22/2018 1:53:45 PM
<![CDATA[WB: $300m loan to Egypt to implement rural sanitation services program]]>
"Making sure everyone has equal access to key services is essential for inclusive growth and shared prosperity” a press release quoted Acting World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Samia Msadek as saying on Saturday.

"This is especially true for services that affect the health and well-being of the population, which Egypt has recognized with the launch of its ambitious project. We are proud to support these efforts, with the conviction that investments in the health and education of people, in human capital, is the most important, long-term investment a country can make”, she noted.

“Ensuring that every Egyptian has access to good quality sanitation services is a national priority,’’ said Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, who also represents Egypt on the World Bank’s Board of Governors.

‘’Our partnership with the World Bank through this program is providing vital support for reaching this goal. Good sanitation is critical for protecting the health of our population, Egypt’s most precious resource, and ensuring that we can all live full, productive lives”, she asserted.

The original $550 million program was launched in 2015 in support of the government’s National Rural Sanitation Program (NRSP), which aims to guarantee good quality sanitation services for a rural population of around 50 million Egyptians.

The initial Bank program focused on the priorities of connecting households near important waterways to improved sanitation systems, and decentralizing sanitation services to improve their quality by making them more accountable to citizens.

The program has so far supported the launch of a performance-based grant system for local Water and Sanitation Companies and made significant progress toward the initial goal of connecting 167,000 rural households, or 833,000 Egyptians.

The additional financing will scale-up the program to build on the momentum toward the decentralization of sanitation services and more than double the goal to 345,000 households, or around 1,710,000 Egyptians.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is co-financing the scaled-up program with $300 million.

The additional financing will also support the construction or upgrading of wastewater treatment facilities to appropriate standards. The program will rely on local Water and Sanitation Companies for both the household connections and the construction of sanitation infrastructure. The aim is to further empower local Water and Sanitation Companies by strengthening their operational and financial performance, and ultimately improving the sustainability of the national sanitation system.

‘’The program aims at enhancing the performance of the sector’s institutional approach to service delivery,’’ said World Bank Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist and Team Leader of the program Osama Hamad.

‘’Not only will the operation alleviate the health and economic burdens inflicted upon citizens by contaminated water, it will also ensure the sector’s sustainability and guarantee that citizens have uninterrupted access to a fundamental public service’’, he noted.

The World Bank finances programs and projects to help Egypt reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. The focus of Bank support includes social safety nets, energy, transport, rural water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, housing, health care, job creation, and financing for micro and small enterprises.

The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 16 projects with a total commitment of $6.69 billion. ]]>
9/22/2018 12:08:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian amb. urges Kuwaiti youth to participate in World Youth Forum]]>
The Egyptian ambassador said that the conference represents an international forum that brings together a selection of the world youth, to present their ideas with an aim to issue recommendations and initiatives in the presence of leaders and intellectuals from all over the world.

Koni told MENA on Saturday that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi launched the first edition of the conference in Sharm El Sheikh in 2017, with the aim of enhancing dialogue and understanding between cultures and civilizations to promote coexistence values.

The Egyptian Embassy here is in contact with Kuwaiti authorities to guarantee a unique Kuwaiti participation in the conference, Koni said.

He pointed out that the conference has received applications from more than 35,000 young people who are willing to attend the forum from 156 countries worldwide, noting that the conference will bear costs of their participation. ]]>
9/22/2018 12:05:45 PM
<![CDATA[“Cinema Masr”: Director Khaled Galal’s New Play]]>
The previous batch of the center is graduating soon in a ceremony that will be attended by veteran stars and artists.

The new play focuses on the local cinema and the artists who enriched it throughout their careers; as the director chose a wide selection of scenes from Egyptian films of the golden era to be performed by the new batch of the Creativity Center.

Numerous scenes are inspired by late actress Soad Hosny, in “Khali Balak Mn Zozo” (Take Care of Zozo), late artist Taheya Karyoka in “Shabab Imra’a” (Beautiful Lady), late artist Fouad el-Mohandes, late international artist Omar Sharif, late actress Faten Hamama and many other legendary Egyptian artists that enriched the local cinema with their inspiring works and talents.

It is worth noting that Galal is currently busy with rehearsals of his new play “Ahwa Sada” (Coffee Without Sugar), which is expected to be performed during the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre in its 25th edition.
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9/22/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Red Sea area to witness intensive oil activities ]]>CAIRO – 22 September 2018: Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla said that the coming period will witness intensive activity in the Red Sea area, in preparation for the first international bidding to explore oil and gas in this region.


This came during the meeting of the General Assembly of Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company to approve the results of its financial results during the fiscal year 2017/2018.


The minister clarified that this step comes after the borders' demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia and the implementation of the geophysical data processing project in open areas in the Red Sea and southern Egypt.


In June, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified a border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia, after being passed by the Parliament.


According to the agreement, the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir will be transferred back to the Saudi kingdom.


The intensification of research and exploration activities in Egypt currently reflect the confidence of investors in the attractive opportunities offered by Egypt through international bidding, which encourages the introduction of new auctions and attract greater investments in various areas of Egypt, including oil in southern Egypt, Molla said.


Chairman of Schlumberger Company for Northern Middle East Maen Razouqi said previously that Egypt is set to organize a global conference in November in Hurghada with the participation of several world companies and specialists, within the framework of marketing for exploration areas in the Red Sea.


The projects aim at carrying out seismic surveys and collecting data to get acquainted with oil and gas opportunities available in these areas.


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9/22/2018 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Book released highlighting first Saudi royal visit to Egypt]]>CAIRO – 22 September 2018: King Abdulaziz Foundation has issued a new book on the first Saudi royal visit to Egypt, which was carried out by the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud in 1946, SPA reported Friday.


The book highlights the depth of the historical relations binding the two brotherly countries.


The book, in 438 pages, recorded the diary of such historic journey, which lasted for 13 days, including all the celebrations and events that coincided with it.


Moreover, the book included a number of photographs of the events of the trip, news and press articles that covered the royal visit, in the Saudi as well as Egyptian newspapers.


According to SPA, summarizing the depth of the historic relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The volume also has displayed keenness of King Abdulaziz and King Farouk, to strengthen them, to translate the significance of the two countries clouts and to show such bilateral relations impact, on the regional and international stages, alike.


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9/22/2018 3:54:01 AM
<![CDATA[Is Robert Redford retiring from acting? Maybe not, he says]]>
Last month, screen legend Robert Redford said he was finished with acting, and planned to focus on directing in his golden years.

But in an interview published Friday, Redford says he may have spoken too soon.

"That was a mistake. I should never have said that," the 82-year-old actor told the entertainment publication Variety late Thursday at the New York premiere of his latest film, "The Old Man & the Gun."

"If I'm going to retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting, but I shouldn't be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way. I want to be focused on this film and the cast," he said.

The comments backtracked from what he told Entertainment Weekly in early August: "Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting."

So, what does the future hold? Is "Old Man" his last movie or not?

"I'm not answering that," he told Variety. "Keep the mystery alive."

In the August interview, Redford said that he would "move toward retirement" after "Old Man" because he's been in the acting business for more than 60 years.

"I thought, well, that's enough. And why not go out with something that's very upbeat and positive?" he told Entertainment Weekly.

Director David Lowery told Esquire magazine that Redford had mentioned during the filming of "The Old Man & the Gun" that it would be his last film as an actor.

The film, set for release in the United States on September 28, sees Redford play Forrest Tucker, the real-life bank robber whose criminal career and multiple escapes from prison spanned more than 60 years.

Redford is an Oscar winner, but not for acting: he won in 1981 for best director for "Ordinary People."]]>
9/22/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. preparing 'actions' in coming days against Venezuela -Pompeo to Fox News]]>
"You'll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people," Pompeo said. "We're determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say."

He did not give further details on the nature of the planned actions.

Venezuela's information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Trump administration has steadily increased sanctions against officials in the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro, accusing it of stifling democracy by jailing opposition leaders.

Last year, Washington imposed sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state oil company PDVSA. It has imposed several rounds of sanctions on government officials, including on Maduro.

Venezuela's economy has collapsed under Maduro, with annual inflation running at 200,000 percent, and staple foods and basic medicine increasingly difficult to obtain, which has led to mass emigration.

Pompeo's warning comes ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York next week attended by heads of state from around the world. Maduro has not attended the meetings since 2015 and this week said he may not attend the gathering because of concerns about his safety.

In August, two drones exploded over an outdoor rally in Caracas where Maduro was giving a speech, injuring seven soldiers and leading to the arrest of over a dozen suspects, including several military officials. Maduro described it as an assassination attempt.]]>
9/22/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[The massive production movie “El-Mamar”: Check the cast]]>
Egypt Today was able to get the full list of the movie’s cast and it is as follows:

• Ahmed Ezz
• Ahmed Rezk
• Ahmed Flawkas
• Eyad Nassar
• Ahmed Salah Hosny
• Amir Salah Eddin
• Asmaa Abul Yazeed
• Mohamad Farrag
• Mohamed Sharnoubi
• Alhan al-Mehdi
• Mohamed Gomaa
• Hend Sabry
• Mohamed Hafez
• Karim al-Emeiry

Some guests of honor are yet to be announced.

Also, veteran musician Omar Khairat began composing the movie’s soundtrack, which illustrates one of the most heroic battles ever fought by Egyptian soldiers.

Ahmed Ezz el-Dine Ali Ezzat was born and raised in Maadi district in Cairo. He majored in English Literature and earned his bachelor's degree from Ain Shams University. He also modeled while working in the field of tourism.


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9/22/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. official in Russia probe suggested taping Trump -media reports]]>
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the suggestions in the spring of 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the newspaper said, citing its sources as people who were briefed on the events themselves or on memos written by FBI officials including Andrew McCabe, who became acting director when Comey was dismissed.

The proposals did not come to fruition, the Times said. The Washington Post also reported the discussions, citing memos written by McCabe.

McCabe has no knowledge of how the memos were made available, said his lawyer Michael Bromwich.

Rosenstein denied the Times story as "inaccurate and factually incorrect" in a statement that also blamed anonymous sources promoting personal agendas.

There was no immediate reaction to the report from the White House or Trump, who was flying to Springfield, Missouri, from Las Vegas on Friday for a rally.

A Justice Department spokeswoman also provided a statement from a person who would not be identified and was present when Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire to record Trump, the Times said. The person said Rosenstein made the remark sarcastically.

Rosenstein initiated discussions about the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment, the Times and Post reported. The amendment deals with presidential succession and disability and outlines how the Cabinet can decide whether a president can no longer do his job.

The Times said Rosenstein told Justice Department and FBI officials the secret recordings could be used to expose the chaos of the administration after revelations that Trump asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him and also divulged classified information to Russians in the Oval Office.

Rosenstein has been a frequent punching bag for Trump supporters for appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to take over a federal probe of suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. election and potential coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The FBI's Comey led the investigation until he was dismissed.

The president, who regularly characterizes the probe as a "witch hunt," has denied any collusion with Moscow, while Russia has denied interfering in the election.

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, said in a statement the newspaper report should not be used as a pretext to fire Rosenstein to install "an official who will allow the president to interfere with the special counsel's investigation."

After Rosenstein wrote a memo critical of Comey's handling of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email investigation, Trump used it as a basis for firing Comey. Rosenstein had told people he was caught off guard and felt he had been used, according to the Times.

Rosenstein told McCabe, who was also later fired by Trump, that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John Kelly, the former homeland security secretary and current White House chief of staff, to invoke the 25th Amendment, the Times said. Sessions in March 2017 recused himself from the Russia matter, citing his service on the Trump campaign.]]>
9/22/2018 1:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[AIFF Advisory Committee Exposes Festival’s Program in its 34th Edition]]>
The convention took place prior to the launch of the festival’s 34th edition, which will resume during 3-8 October 2018. This year’s festival will be held under the name of late veteran actress Nadia Lotfy.

The convention tackled important details pertaining to the festival this year, which the festival’s committee shed the light on during the discussions.

Critic and president of the festival Amir Abaza revealed the festival program, highlighting its importance as the 50th anniversary of modern cinema.

Moreover, late artists such as Leila Mourad, Mohamed Fawzy, Gamal Abdel Nasser and others will be honored for the 100th anniversary since their passing.


Those present in the convention include Aly Badrakhan, Ali Abdel-Khalek, Hany Lasheen, Samir Seif, Daoud Abdel Said, Ahmed Yehia, Bashir El Deek, Walid Saif, Mostafa Moharam, Nasser Abdel Rahman and many others.

The Alexandria International Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries (AIFF) is a film festival in Egypt organized by the Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics (EAFWC). The AIFF aims to broaden film culture and strengthen the relationship between filmmakers throughout the world, with special attention given to Mediterranean countries.
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9/22/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Head of U.S. immigration judges' union denounces Trump quota plan]]>
The Justice Department notified immigration judges earlier this year that it would begin evaluating their job performance on the basis of how many cases they complete, considering 700 completions annually "satisfactory performance." The policy is due to take effect Oct. 1.

"This is an unprecedented act which compromises the integrity of the court" and pressures judges to quickly complete cases, possibly pitting their job security against the interests of immigrants, said Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"In 10 days our nation’s immigration courts and judges will enter a new and dark era," she said.

Unlike the federal judiciary, an independent branch of government, U.S. immigration courts are run by the Department of Justice.

Asked about Tabaddor's statements, a Department of Justice spokesman said the union "consistently attempts to block the Justice Department's common-sense reforms to fix decades of immigration court mismanagement."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican former U.S. senator appointed by President Donald Trump, has ordered changes in how the immigration courts operate, saying he wants to speed up cases and reduce the courts' backlog of about 700,000 pending cases.

Last month, seeking to speed up deportations, Sessions told immigration judges they should postpone cases in removal proceedings only "for good cause shown," which he said would limit judges' discretion and prohibit them from granting continuances "for any reason or no reason at all."

Sessions has also rewritten decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals, including one on Wednesday in which he limited judges' ability to terminate deportation cases, saying they could only terminate or dismiss cases in "specific and circumscribed circumstances."

Sessions said in a speech in June that the 700 case completions per year expected of judges was "about the average" and that "volume is critical" to addressing the courts' backlog.

The judges' union says that the country's more than 300 immigration judges deal with cases of widely varying complexity and that no uniform quota is appropriate.

Tabaddor repeated the union's position that Congress ought to remove the immigration court from the purview of the Justice Department.

"The only durable solution is to get the court away from the Justice Department. Let it be a real court, let it be real judges, so that we can do what we're supposed to do," she said.]]>
9/22/2018 12:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian expats welcome Sisi during 5th visit to U.S.]]>CAIRO – 22 September 2018: The Egyptian community in New Work is enthusiastically getting ready to receive President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his 5th visit to the United States to participate at the UN General Assembly meetings.


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The Egyptian leader is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump privately this week at the UN, where Trump will also meet with at least six other world leaders.


Holding Egyptian flags on their way to President Sisi’s residence in New York, Egyptian expats chanted, “We love Egypt, we support Egypt, we support Egyptian Army, we support Sisi.”



President Sisi arrived in New York on Friday ahead of a full schedule on the sidelines of attending the 73rd UNGA meetings, which kicked off on Tuesday.


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He will deliver a statement at one of the meetings next week, as he will address the Egyptian vision to achieve world peace through deeper UN roles and a call to contain all armed conflicts, eradicate terrorism, push for denuclearization and tackle economic concerns, according to a Friday statement by the Egyptian presidency.


Many other Egyptian expats rallied the streets holding flags and balloons in a show of love and happiness to welcome the Egyptian president.


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It is pertinent to mention that for the third time in the history of the Group of 77, Egypt will head the high-level meeting of the coalition, which consists of developing nations, and was designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN.



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"El-Sisi will deliver Egypt's opening statement to the meeting, which will include a review of the Egyptian role in supporting the efforts of the group since its founding in the 1960s," Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said in the statement.


According to the statement, Sisi’s statement to the group “will also highlight Egypt's position towards efforts to reform United Nations development strategies in order to strengthen its responses to the developmental needs of its state members.”


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Sisi is also expected to meet with U.S. congressmen, intellectual and political figures, heads of major companies and members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The meetings aim at initiating ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.


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Several top topics will top the meetings’ agenda, including the Palestinian peace process, the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni conflicts, and the migration issue.


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9/22/2018 12:45:13 AM
<![CDATA[In Peru, Hitler runs for mayor despite threat from Lennin]]>
Campaign slogans reading "Hitler returns" and "Hitler with the people" have appeared around the highland town of Yungar, where local politician Hitler Alba is seeking a new term as mayor.

"I'm the good Hitler," Alba said on local broadcaster RPP.

Stressing that he rejects what Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler stood for, Alba said he wants to oversee a fair and transparent government in Yungar, a farming town in Peru's central Andes.

But Alba's campaign this year came under attack by Lennin Vladimir Rodriguez Valverde, a resident of a neighboring district who tried to block Alba's inscription as a candidate.

Electoral authorities rejected the request last week, allowing Hitler to appear on voting cards for the Oct. 7 elections.

In Peru and elsewhere in Latin America, parents often choose foreign and exotic-sounding first names for their children despite negative associations abroad.

Last year an Osama Vinladen was named to Peru's national juvenile football team.

Alba said his father was unaware of who Adolf Hitler was when he named him. After learning the history behind it, Alba said he considered changing his name but eventually accepted it.]]>
9/22/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[ Barça eyes highest record in latest Catalan derby against Girona]]>
Ernesto Valverde, Barça’s coach, has gained four wins from four games so far, through offensive heroes Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, who opened the league in flying form. Girona visitors are looking forward to their very first ever expected victory at Nou camp, as they occupied the sixth rank in La Liga Stander standings by the beginning of the weekend.

Real Madrid, which ranked in the second place, will lead their opponents in the rankings for at least 24 hours, only if Espanyol is defeated at home by Julen Lopetegui’s side. However, being defeated for nearly 22 years by the Santiago Bernabeu, Espanyol have shown noticeable improvement under new coach Rubi.

Diego Simeone, who had gave an impressive performance as a manager throughout his career, was beaten by Getafe with a margin of two points for the Spanish club. The Argentinean manager gained 11 wins, two draws, and 13 clean sheets in 13 derby confrontations, which in turn augurs Atlético Madrid.

The strongly anticipated match starts on Friday evening, when new boys Huesca welcome Real Sociedad at El Alcoraz stadium where La Real last visited in 2010 when the two teams were playing as 1l2l3 in La Liga.
For the first time since March 2002, Rayo Vallecano hosts Alaves in a La Liga Santander in Saturday, when the coaches of both teams Michel and Abelardo Fernandez were still playing for their own clubs.

Celta Vigo and Real Valladolid have not met in La Liga for five seasons, so both hope that Saturday’s afternoon game at Balaidos aids in getting their 2018/2019 campaigns back on track.

Saturday at midday witnesses the meeting of Eibar and Leganes in Eibar’s home, which basically combines two small clubs together, who have already met multiple times in the lower classes, and who are now illuminating symbols of how smaller clubs can reach up to La Liga’s top flight.

Levante hosts Sevilla at the Ciutat de Valencia on Sunday at lunchtime, when the two teams seek to begin a new winning streak after facing difficult confrontations and results recently. Levante’s city competes with Valencia before travelling to regional neighborhoods such as Villarreal, which has had the luck of carrying five wins from their latest six La Liga matches.


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9/21/2018 5:30:08 PM
<![CDATA[Forced labor is the most detected form of human trafficking in ME: UNODC chief]]>
“In Sub Sahara Africa, about 50 percent of detected victims are children and in North Africa, they also constitute the majority of trafficking victims,” she said in the three-day conference, which is held in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.

Kangaspunta called on the international community to stand closer and together against trafficking in persons and the illegal migration phenomenon. “No nationality is immune to such criminal practices which concern and affect every country in the world,” she added.

“In 2016, African victims of trafficking in persons represented about 15 to 18 percent of all victims of trafficking in persons worldwide and they were trafficked in large numbers to West Europe,” Kangaspunta continued.

Kangaspunta attributed the high number of African migrants to European countries to the lack of economic opportunities and the political instability that hit some African countries.

“Taking advantage of their anguish and misery, smugglers trick them [illegal migrants] into organizing their travel to a promised place in exchange of significant amounts of money,” she said.

It was estimated that more than 2.5 million people were smuggled worldwide for $5.5-7 billion in 2016, she quoted the UNODC Global Study on Smuggling of Mirgants, adding that this amount of money is equivalent to the annual humanitarian aid allocated by only the EU and U.S. on the same year.

As of Aug. 27, a total of 1,560 people were killed in illegal migration voyages in the Mediterranean Sea. This number includes 1,103 migrants who were killed on the Central Mediterranean route, the most used route taken by illegal migrants and asylum seekers in the EU, she cited the UN Secretary-General report to the Security Council.

“This corresponds to one death for every 19 arrivals in 2018, compared to one death for 41 arrivals in 2017,” Kangaspunta said.

She praised the Egyptian government for its cooperation with the UNODC on putting an end to human trafficking and migration smuggling in Egypt.

The Sharm el-Sheikh-held conference is the first African-EU gathering of prosecutors and representatives of 24 countries to discuss international cooperation and efforts exerted for combating illegal migration and human trafficking. It was opened by Egypt's Attorney General Nabil Sadeq, and European Union Ambassador in Cairo Ivan Surkos on Sept. 19.

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9/21/2018 4:59:24 PM
<![CDATA[‘Bright Star 2018’ drills concluded at Mohamed Naguib military base]]>
The “Bright Star 2018” exercises involved several military activities, joint trainings, decision-making skills as well as a number of scenarios for handling urgent and emergency circumstances on the ground.

Elements from the Naval Forces also carried out joint drills on countering non-conventional threats and implementing out day and night rescue operations.

Their training included making naval formations and firing at targets with live ammunition.

Meanwhile, the Special Naval Forces carried out drills on raiding of suspected ships, emergency evacuation and ship inspection as well as submarine detection.

Also, the Special Troops Units continued their training on storming terrorists' armed hideouts with the involvement of naval and Saaqa forces and parachutes.

The aim of these exercises was to share experiences, coordinate work among the forces, standardize concepts, develop training in counter-terrorism work, plan for administrative and medical support, and train for both joint air operations and maritime security work.

“Bright Star” trainings also include projects of joint command centers, lectures to exchange experiences among countries, and tactical projects involving shooting with live ammunition.

“Bright Star” trainings first began in October 1980, as a result of the U.S.-brokered peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The joint maneuvers are held in autumn every two years on Egyptian soil.
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9/21/2018 4:20:01 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi in New York to take part in 73rd UNGA]]>
“Sisi’s speech will expound on Egypt’s comprehensive vision regarding all international and regional challenges. He is also expected to urge the world to contain all armed conflicts, combat terrorism, push for denuclearization, and tackle economic concerns,” presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi stated.

Radi stressed on Friday that President Sisi's speech is also expected to shed light on deteriorating situations in the Middle East and Arab world. “Sisi will chair the high-level meeting of the 77 Group which Egypt is currently heading for the third time in the history of the G77.”

The Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations is a coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests. It was founded in June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Palestine is to chair the group starting January 2019.

The agenda of the running UN General Assembly’s meetings focuses on development issues, preserving international security, fighting terrorism, and human rights.

“Sisi’s visit to NYC will include an intensive activity at the bilateral level between Cairo and Washington as the president is expected to hold dozens of meetings with high-profile political and intellectual figures in American society, along with meetings with American investors, commerce chamber senior leaders and firms’ heads,” Radi added.

Meeting with various leaders and presidents is also on Sisi’s agenda during his participation in the 73rd UNGA as he will discuss means of enhancing the bilateral relations between Egypt and these countries at various levels and in different fields. Moreover, Sisi is expected to discuss the developments of regional and international issues.

“President Sisi will also participate in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which coincides with the centennial celebration of the late African leader's birth, and will deliver a speech on the occasion to the summit."

Sisi’s Fifth Participation in the UNGA

This is the fifth participation of President Sisi in the UNGA since he assumed office in June 2014. Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant development seen in the global and regional arenas. Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with Egypt’s efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Libyan crises.

In the war against terrorism, the UN Security Council adopted a draft resolution on terrorism that was drafted by Egypt.

Sisi’s participation in the 69th, 70th, 71st and 72nd sessions of the UNGA highlighted Egyptian foreign diplomacy through his speeches before UNGA leaders and participants.]]>
9/21/2018 4:15:04 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ghufran tribe calls on UN Rapporteur on indigenous people to take action against Qatar]]>
During a seminar titled ‘Human Rights in Qatar’, which was held on the margins of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the delegation explained that they only resorted to international organizations after years of being ignored and omitted by their government, the government of Qatar, and after they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council is in cahoots with the regime.

Similarly, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, called on the people of Qatar, Friday, for support said, “We call on the elders of the honourable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry. We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin after the Qatari government has let us down and accused us of untrue claims and stropped us of our rights.”

He went on to plead his and his tribe’s case to the people of Qatar, “We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways, ones that would shock human consciousness; they have stripped us of our dignity, in way that you know and others that you do not know.”

Adding, “We did not choose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations except after the government of our country closed all ways of appeal and did not engage or listen to our demands that we had submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar.”

Along the same lines, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghofzani called on the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar to stop turning a blind eye to the regime's violations of the right of Al-Ghufran tribe and to document and declare said violations; which he describes to be, violations of all basic international norms, conventions and treaties.

Similarly, Hamad Khaled Al-Ghufrani explained that although the Qatari law states that indigenous people who have settled in Qatar since 1940 cannot have their nationality stripped—a law that applies to them, they have had their nationality stripped, faced forced displacement and have had the most basic services taken away from them: Education, healthcare and other public services.

“Even those who suffer from chronic illnesses of other illnesses, including my son who suffers from autism, were left untreated by Qatar, “ Al Ghufrani stated.

The OHCHR, which implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “carries out a range of country specific and regional activities to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. It provides support for legislative initiatives and pursues thematic work on issues such as extractive industries and on the rights of isolated indigenous peoples,” as per the OHCHR’s website.

“In addition, the Office assists the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the organisation of its annual sessions.”

The call comes as part of a wider move by the tribe on the margins of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

A delegation from the Al-Ghufran Tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, staged a sit-in Wednesday in front of the Broken Chair, which stands across the United Nations Palace in Geneva, to denounce the crimes of the Qatari regime who has revoked their nationality, displaced and tortured members of the tribe.

The tribe called on the international community to take a decisive stand on the Tamim regime, whom, they claim, have violated a number of international conventions and treaties through its racist policy against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

Created by Daniel Berset, the Broken Chair simpolises the struggeles of mine victims.

After a treaty (known as the Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty) to ban the use of anti-personnel mines was signed and came into action in 1997, Handicap International NGO commissioned the Swiss artist to create a piece of art that would draw attention to the victims of landmines to encourage nations to sign on to the treaty and stop using them.

The delegation also held a protest Tuesday to urge the United Nations to investigate the Qatar regimes’ crimes against humanity, including stripping them of Qatari nationality

“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountale for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights,” Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, a member of the tribe, who took part in the stand, stated.

A delegation from the Al-Ghufran tribe called on the UN Human Rights Council to take serious action towards investigating their complaint, submitted Monday, against the Qatari regime’s human rights violations against the tribe.

The comments of the Al-Ghufran tribe came during a seminar titled, ‘Human Rights in Qatar: The Tragic tale of the Al-Ghufran Tribe’. The seminar was organized by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).

Members of the tribe who participated in the seminar stressed that they have taken international action against the Qatari regime after it has deprived them of their nationality, as well as their legitimate and undetachable rights as citizens of the state.

Members also spoke of their great sorrow and sadness at what they have suffered from humiliation to forced displacement to torture at the hands of the regime, all while the regime is dishing out Qatari nationalities to extremists, especially Islamic extremists, who have led to the shedding of blood in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

Abdel Aziz al-Khamisi, a journalist who participated in the seminar, stated that members of the tribe, in cooperation with the EOHR, has called on the UN Human Rights Commission to investigate the injustice suffered by the tribe members at the hands of the Qatari regime, from revoking their nationality and forced displacement.

Al-Khamisi added that the delegation has also provided the UNHCR with evidence from some individuals’ cases who live in Qatar and have had their nationality revoked.

Building on this, Gaber Salah Al-Erq, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, said, “All those who have had their nationality stripped away from them have done nothing and do not even working in the political sphere. He said that most of them were dismissed from his job with an official letter and then has their nationality stripped away and possessions confiscated.”

He added that the issue with the Qatari regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why the case and demands were presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

He stated that the delegation had come to Geneva in peace to ask for the help of the international community.

A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, which has been subject to systemic discrimination at the hands of the Qatari authorities, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, discussing their deteriorating situation.

The tribe representatives, who had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017, asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations.

2
Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights. - Egypt Today

“In the previous complaint we summarized the tragedy of the Al-Ghofran clan of the tribe of Bani Mura in Qatar, from 1996 to 2004 to the time of the writing of this petition they were savagely subjected to the worst crimes of racial discrimination, forced displacement, denial of return to their homeland, imprisonment and acts of torture that led to psychological damage and death within the Qatari intelligence prisons,” stated the representatives, whose families continue to face the toughest living situation in Qatar.

9
The tribe representatives had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017 - Egypt Today

In reaction for Al-Ghufran tribe’s opposition to the Regime’s destabilizing policies in the region and its dispute with the neighboring Gulf States, in August, Qatari authorities revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Taleb Bin Lahom Bin Shreim and 54 members of his family who belong to Al Murrah tribe in a step considered as an arbitrary act by various Human Rights organization.

The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) described the Qatari call as a “revenge” against the members of the tribe for using their natural rights to freedom of expression and movement.

The Qatari authorities took further steps when it confiscated the properties of the members with the revoked citizenship, following the call with a systematic persecution against all the clans belonging to the large tribe, such as Al Ghufran clan.

The Qatari regime has also revoked the citizenship of another senior tribal leader, Sheikh Shafi Nasser Hamoud al-Hajri, a senior member of Shaml Al-Hawajer tribe, which is connected to the famous tribe of Qahtan. Along with the famous Qatari poet Mohammed Al-Marri who belongs to Al Murrah tribe.

Later, Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights.

14
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

These heinous crimes are believed to be well-known to Qatari authorities at all levels. “We assure you that the Qatari authorities, ranging from the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the President of the National Committee for Human Rights, senior security officials and dignitaries, are aware of the discrimination members of Al Ghofran clan are subjected to and those senior officials are deeply involved in this crime,” the delegation stated, continuing, “Qatar officials are working to hide his crime from the eyes of international justice and human rights organizations, and the deliberately intimidate those trying from within Qatar to raise complaints to International bodies and human rights organizations.”

Fearing for their lives and their ability to voice their opinions or “demand their rights through the National Human Rights Committee in Doha” due to security personnel traching and monitoring their actions, which they say they have evidence off, the delegation spoke of the evidence they have of Qatari authorities treating their people with the utmost levels of brutality and monstrosity.

6
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

Labelling them as “brutal methods that batter human dignity,” the delegation explained that “authorities deliberately change the facts and blur a lot of evidence, taking advantage of the ignorance of the victims of their rights, the lack of free local media channels and the absence of the possibility of recourse in the courts of Qatar. The victims of these violations and their families have a right to take legal action against the Qatari officials responsible.”

Revealing the crimes against humanity committed by Qatari authorities towards the tribe—some of which, like deprivation of healthcare or unfair detention, were revealed during the September 2017 Qatar global security and stability conference organized by exiled Qataris in London—the tribe called on the UN Commissioner’s office, recalling its mandate, to help them regain their rights.

“Through your unique mandate to promote and protect human rights, we ask your esteemed commission to see and stand up to the suffering of our citizens who have been deprived of their citizenship in Qatar and to the crimes committed against them and to alleviate the conditions and suffering of our displaced people in the villages and deserts of border areas in neighboring countries. We hope that your intervention will result in achieving human justice on the ground through your objective and impartial treatment of this suffering, and not to only depend on the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar which has unfortunately became an obstacle in our struggle for justice by covering up evidence and spreading false information,” the delegation petitioned.

8
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

“We would like to draw the attention of the Office of the High Commissioner to the fact that the fear of oppression and abuse of the afflicted by the authorities of Qatar is what compels our people to remain silent and prevents many of the forcibly displaced from speaking up as they fear that their parents and relatives will be persecuted inside Qatar. The evidence is abundant and available, but the policy of muzzling mouths used by the authorities of Qatar is the obstacle that people fear to try to overcome unless supported by the High Commission by stern protection that enables them to voice their peaceful demands to restore their rights and the appearance of those who have violated their them before fair international justice, and we implore you to refer this complaint to them in light of the absence of the possibility of litigation in the courts of Qatar.”

1
A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussing their deteriorating situation. - Egypt Today

The pain of the Al-Ghufran tribe has been felt throughout the region, with many calling on human rights organizations and the UN Human Rights Commissioner to protect tribe member.

In September 2017, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) announced its total solidarity with the case of Al Ghofran clan. “Since 1995, the Qatari authorities have pursued a policy of collective punishment against the tribe of Ghofran that entailed the revoking of the nationality of more than 6000 its tribesmen and many of them were expelled from the country after their property and personal funds were confiscated. It is noteworthy that the tribe of Al Ghofran belongs to the tribe of Bani Mura, which make up about 40 percent of the people of Qatar making them indigenous to this country. EOHR has decided to adopt their cause for several reasons, including the international community’s and human rights organizations’ overlooking of this tragic issue and EOHR's belief in the universality of human rights principles and the need to establish and maintain them in the Arab region,” said Hafez Abu Seada, Egyptian human rights activist and Chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).

4
Members of the delegation in Geneva - Egypt Today

Moreover, Al-Ghufran tribed had filed an official complaint to the Arab Federation for Human Rights about the violations committed by the Qatari regime against its members. It called on the federation to refer the complaint to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Hence, in a letter addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, President of Arab Federation Ahmad al-Hamli called on the commission to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for such violations.

This was the second complaint filed by the tribe to the UN Human Rights Councils to call on the international community to protect and secure their rights.

The World Aid Organization for Human Rights in New York also declared its complete solidarity with the Arab Federation for Human Rights, which adopted Al-Ghufran’s case.

In its report, the World Aid Organization said that it will cooperate with the Arab Federation and all human rights organizations to highlight this collective tragedy and raise the international community's awareness about it to shoulder the humanitarian and social responsibility and follow up with the tribe members' status.

5
Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

Previously, the Manama Center for Human Rights also demanded that the international society assign a United Nations envoy specialized in human rights to Qatar to prevent any further violations of human rights.

According to a statement from the center on March 9, 2018, the international mechanisms to preserve human rights should interfere in the Qatari situation and investigate the Qatari violations against its citizens and foreign workers.

The statement also claimed that the Qatari National Committee for Human Rights is not a fair independent organization anymore, as it works for the regime's interests.

The center described the Qatari violations as “a first” in international law and policy.
According to Sky News, Ghufran already issued a first complaint against Doha last September in which they explained how Qatar violated their rights. “We wonder about the reason behind ignoring our first complaint,” the Qatari tribe’s spokesperson, Jaber Abdel Hady, told Sky News on Friday.

With all this, and much more in mind, Abu Saeda ended the complaint by saying, “The Egyptian Organization calls upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights, her excellency Mrs. Michel Bachelet, to open an extensive investigation into this tragedy. EOHR also calls upon Mrs. Bachelet to assist it in its efforts to restore the rights of the clan of Al Ghofran as indigenous inhabitants who have been robbed of their nationalities and forcefully displaced enmasse for political reasons, in violation of all international human rights instruments. Finally EOHR expresses its readiness to provide any documents or evidence that the honorable Commission may need in any of the efforts we hope it will take to stop the suffering of the people of forgiveness.”

11
The tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today

15
Al-Ghufran tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today
]]>
9/21/2018 3:53:47 PM
<![CDATA[PM May's statement on Brexit talks after EU rejects her proposals]]>
It was supplied by Downing Street and checked against delivery.

"Yesterday, I was in Salzburg for talks with European leaders. I have always said that these negotiations would be tough - and they were always bound to be toughest in the final straight.

"While both sides want a deal, we have to face up to the fact that - despite the progress we have made - there are two big issues where we remain a long way apart.

The first is our economic relationship after we have left. Here, the EU is still only offering us two options.

The first option would involve the UK staying in the European Economic Area and a customs union with the EU.

In plain English, this would mean we’d still have to abide by all the EU rules, uncontrolled immigration from the EU would continue and we couldn’t do the trade deals we want with other countries.

That would make a mockery of the referendum we had two years ago.

The second option would be a basic free trade agreement for Great Britain that would introduce checks at the Great Britain/EU border. But even worse, Northern Ireland would effectively remain in the Customs Union and parts of the Single Market, permanently separated economically from the rest of the UK by a border down the Irish Sea.

Parliament has already - unanimously - rejected this idea.

Creating any form of customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK would not respect that Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, in line with the principle of consent, as set out clearly in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

It is something I will never agree to - indeed, in my judgement it is something no British Prime Minister would ever agree to. If the EU believe I will, they are making a fundamental mistake.

Anything which fails to respect the referendum or which effectively divides our country in two would be a bad deal and I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal.

But I have also been clear that the best outcome is for the UK to leave with a deal. That is why, following months of intensive work and detailed discussions, we proposed a third option for our future economic relationship, based on the frictionless trade in goods. That is the best way to protect jobs here and in the EU and to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, while respecting the referendum result and the integrity of the United Kingdom.

Yesterday Donald Tusk said our proposals would undermine the single market. He didn’t explain how in any detail or make any counter-proposal. So we are at an impasse.

The second issue is connected to the first. We both agree that the Withdrawal Agreement needs to include a backstop to ensure that if there’s a delay in implementing our new relationship, there still won’t be a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

But the EU is proposing to achieve this by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union.

As I have already said, that is unacceptable. We will never agree to it. It would mean breaking up our country.

We will set out our alternative that preserves the integrity of the UK. And it will be in line with the commitments we made back in December - including the commitment that no new regulatory barriers should be created between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK unless the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree.

As I told EU leaders, neither side should demand the unacceptable of the other.

We cannot accept anything that threatens the integrity of our union, just as they cannot accept anything that threatens the integrity of theirs.

We cannot accept anything that does not respect the result of the referendum, just as they cannot accept anything that is not in the interest of their citizens.

Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect. The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.

At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals.

So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are and what their alternative is so that we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress.

In the meantime, we must and will continue the work of preparing ourselves for no deal.

In particular, I want to clarify our approach to two issues.

First, there are over 3 million EU citizens living in the UK who will be understandably worried about what the outcome of yesterday’s summit means for their future.

I want to be clear with you that even in the event of no deal your rights will be protected. You are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues. We want you to stay.

Second, I want to reassure the people of Northern Ireland that in the event of no deal we will do everything in our power to prevent a return to a hard border.

Let me also say this.

The referendum was the largest democratic exercise this country has ever undergone. To deny its legitimacy or frustrate its result threatens public trust in our democracy.

That is why for over two years I have worked day and night to deliver a deal that sees the UK leave the EU. I have worked to bring people with me even when that has not always seemed possible.

No one wants a good deal more than me.

But the EU should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum. Nor will I break up my country.

We need serious engagement on resolving the two big problems in the negotiations. We stand ready."]]>
9/21/2018 3:35:30 PM
<![CDATA[Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster, scores feared missing]]>
The ferry MV Nyerere capsized on Thursday afternoon just a few meters from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake's biggest island, which is part of Tanzania.

Initial estimates suggested that the ferry was carrying more than 300 people.

Thirty-seven people had been rescued from the sea, Jonathan Shana, the regional police commander for the port of Mwanza on the south coast of the lake told Reuters by phone on Friday.

Shana said more rescuers had joined the operation when it resumed at daylight on Friday. He did not give exact numbers.

The precise number of those aboard the ferry when it capsized was hard to establish since crew and equipment had been lost, officials said on Thursday.

Tanzania has been hit by several major ferry disasters over the years. At least 500 people were killed when a ferry capsized in Lake Victoria in 1996. In 2012, 145 people died when a ferry sank off the shore of Tanzania's Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar.]]>
9/21/2018 3:31:36 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey, Russia agree borders of Idlib demilitarized zone]]>
The borders were agreed taking into account the area's geographical structure and residential areas, it said, adding that the meetings were held between Sept. 19-21 at Turkey's defence ministry.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin announced an agreement on Monday under which Russian and Turkish troops will enforce the new demilitarised zone in the Idlib region, from which "radical" rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month. ]]>
9/21/2018 3:22:47 PM
<![CDATA[Hit US podcast 'Serial' back for season three]]>
Season one ultimately resulted in an appeals court ordering a retrial in a murder case. Season two focused on a soldier who deserted in Afghanistan, only to be held captive by Taliban-linked militants for five years.

This time the action takes place in Cleveland, the Midwestern city, the product of a year spent watching ordinary American criminal justice in action.

Different cases will be told across two or three episodes. The first homes in on a bar fight in which a woman is slapped on the rear, but winds up in jail. The first two episodes are currently available for free download.

"Serial" -- a mix of investigative journalism, first-person narrative and dramatic storytelling launched in 2014, focused on a man convicted of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend's murder in 1999.

The 12 episodes were downloaded more than 175 million times, a world record.

This March, an appeals court in Maryland ordered a new trial for Adnan Syed, although the appeals process is not yet finished, after the global attention brought to the case.

Syed was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Hae Min Lee, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in the woods of Baltimore, Maryland. She had been strangled. He has always maintained his innocence.

Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held captive in Afghanistan before being freed in a prisoner swap with the Taliban, pleaded guilty in 2017 to desertion and endangering fellow troops for walking away from his unit in 2009.

Season two of "Serial," which was released in 2015, revealed how he thought walking off his base proved he was like fictional CIA movie spy Jason Bourne.

Last year, the team behind "Serial" set up a podcast production company, Serial Productions, which created a spin-off radio show called "S-Town," which follows one man and his hometown in rural Alabama.]]>
9/21/2018 3:01:25 PM
<![CDATA[Singer Carrie Underwood gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame]]>
The 35-year-old Underwood, who is pregnant with her second child, is on a roll after suffering a nasty fall at her home late last year that required her to get dozens of stitches in her face.

She has since released a smash hit album, "Cry Pretty," recorded a new theme song for the National Football League's flagship Sunday broadcast and will head out on a major tour in the United States and Canada in 2019 after giving birth.

"How is this my life?" a tearful Underwood told the crowd outside the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. "How does a girl from Checotah, Oklahoma end up with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?"

Singer Brad Paisley compared Underwood to legend Dolly Parton, saying: "Carrie Underwood is really in many ways this generation's Dolly -- the person that the world looks at as Miss Country Music."

"I just don't think we could ask for a better ambassador," he added.

Simon Cowell, who was part of the judging panel that propelled Underwood to fame on "American Idol" in 2005, said he "couldn't be more proud" of her.

Underwood is part of a small group of superstars produced by the reality show, along with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, pop singer Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert, who now tours with Queen.

Marilyn Lopez was one of many fans who attended the ceremony.

"When she dropped her first album, I remember going to the public library and renting it out and I just used to listen to it all the time," Lopez said.

Underwood has won seven Grammys and sold more than 60 million albums, according to her website. She also has won 14 Academy of Country Music awards.]]>
9/21/2018 2:56:55 PM
<![CDATA[Disney admits Dark Side for 'Star Wars', plans release 'slowdown']]>
After the lackluster performance of the latest installment in the wildly popular "Star Wars" saga, Disney is tapping the brakes on the franchise -- an acknowledgment that there can be too much of a good thing.


In an interview published Thursday, CEO Bob Iger told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney plans to slow down the "Star Wars" release schedule, admitting that it had been a mistake to shuttle a new film into theaters every year.

"I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made -- I take the blame -- was a little too much, too fast," Iger said.

"You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films."

Disney -- which paid $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012 -- had promised a new "Star Wars" movie every year after the hotly-anticipated 2015 release of "The Force Awakens": news they believed would delight fans around the world.

After all, "The Force Awakens" picked up 30 years after the events of 1983's "Return of the Jedi" -- and came a decade after the previous "Star Wars" movie of any kind.

But Disney, whose initial plan was to alternate releases between chapters in the main series launched in the late 1970s and one-off films expanding the "Star Wars" universe, seems to have learned that anticipation is part of the equation.

Earlier this year, the standalone "Solo: A Star Wars Story" earned $400 million worldwide -- a stellar result for most movies, but a mediocre return for a "Star Wars" film, leading many industry observers to speculate about franchise fatigue.

In contrast, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which was released just six months before in late 2017, earned more than $1.3 billion worldwide.

The next film -- "Episode IX," announced as the last installment in the main Skywalker saga, and directed by JJ Abrams -- is due for release in December 2019.



"'Star Wars' became a global phenomenon, of course, as a rare and infrequently-served delicacy," said Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University.

"'Star Wars' movies were like locusts, or blue moons: impressive but not often. That's all changed and Iger is probably right in his assessment," Thompson told AFP.

But he added: "The franchise may be beginning to show its age, but 'slowdown' or no slowdown, I expect to see lots more attempts to squeeze it for all it's worth."

- 'A little bit more careful' -



Indeed, in February, Lucasfilm announced that the team behind "Game of Thrones" would create a brand new "Star Wars" series.

The films by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of HBO's Emmy-winning smash hit fantasy epic, would be separate both from the main storyline and the trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson, writer-director of "The Last Jedi."

"We have creative entities, including Benioff and Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven't been specific about," Iger said in the Hollywood reporter interview, without offering more details.

"We are just at the point where we're going to start making decisions about what comes next after (Episode IX)," Iger told The Hollywood Reporter.


"But I think we're going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that."

Exhibitor Relations senior box office analyst Jeff Bock said despite the issues, the franchise was hardly in jeopardy.

"There is so much potential with the 'Star Wars' TV element that the movies can take a back seat for a while if need be," Bock told AFP.

]]>
9/21/2018 2:51:04 PM
<![CDATA[Kyrgyz singer receives death threats over feminist video]]>
Zere Asylbek's music video "Kyz" became a sensation in the Central Asian country following its release last week but has angered conservatives who say it insults national values, focusing on the singer's visible underwear.

Asylbek told AFP that she had filed reports with police in the capital Bishkek after receiving numerous threats of physical violence including several death threats.

One threat posted by an anonymous Facebook profile to a group on the social media platform threatened to kill her if the video was not deleted.

Another user whose post Asylbek sent as a screenshot to AFP wrote that they "would gladly join" the first commentator, and "rip your head off."

"Kyz", which means girl in the Kyrgyz language had had more than 217,000 views on YouTube by Friday and is Asylbek's first released song. The video can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8XlFBSR1iE

Asylbek told AFP on Thursday that the video's main message was to "respect the person you really are" while also "respecting the choices, opinions and ways of life of others."

The video features Asylbek dressed in a suit jacket and skirt with a purple bra underneath, a woman wearing a hijab, a woman wearing a Kyrgzy-style headscarf and a woman with a partly shaved head, showing Kyrgyz society's diversity.

In the video Asylbek sings that "a time will come when when nobody will tell me: Don't wear it, don't do it."

She also calls on the other women featured in the clip to "join me, create our own freedom."

Asylbek told AFP that she had expected her choice of different women representing different facets of society to be understood as provocative but was surprised at the online attention devoted to her purple bra.

In a Facebook post her father Asylbek Zhoodonbekov voiced support, calling his daughter "a free-thinking daughter of a free Kyrgyzstan."

He said she had grown more politically conscious after a recent incident in which a man killed a young woman in a police station after attempting to abduct her for a forced marriage.

The murder in May sparked protests in Kyrgyzstan, a poor, majority-Muslim country where thousands of women are kidnapped for marriage every year in a practice dating back to the country's nomadic past while law enforcement is accused of ignoring the problem.]]>
9/21/2018 2:47:40 PM
<![CDATA[Cher turns back time with album of ABBA cover versions]]>
Now the singer and actor is releasing an album that will feature cover versions of the Swedish pop group’s hits, and going on tour to promote it.

“Dancing Queen,” to be released next week, features Cher’s interpretations of 10 of the band’s songs, including “SOS,” “Waterloo” and “Mamma Mia.”

Cher, 72, said the idea came to her after she performed the song “Fernando” for the July 2018 sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” movie, whose story is built around ABBA songs.

Cher played the wealthy celebrity mother of the character played by Meryl Streep, in what was the singer’s first on-screen role in eight years.

“I did ‘Fernando’ and then I did the opening to ‘Super Trouper’,” Cher told Reuters Television.

“Somehow, it came from that ... I was going to go off on vacation and I just thought that might be a cool thing to do,” she said of the new album.

Cher said she had been advised not to include versions of ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Waterloo’ on the album because the originals are so well-known.

“And I went, nah, I love them. I don’t care how famous they are, I’m just going to do them, because I want to do them, because I want to be able to sing them,” she said.

As well as embarking on a U.S. tour in January, Cher is also co-producing a musical based on her 50 years in show business, which have been marked by multiple comebacks. The show is due to open on Broadway in December.

It has not been easy, she said, to watch someone else play out her life story on stage.

“It’s not fun at all. And the more honest you are, the worse it is. First time I saw it, I just walked out,” she said.

“Dancing Queen” will be released on Sept. 28.]]>
9/21/2018 2:43:58 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmed Mekky’s 'Aghla Men al-Yaqout' achieves 1M views on YouTube]]>
The number of views on YouTube and tweets talking about the video on Twitter continue to rise.

Mekky is shown in the video clip with his father, which makes the clip unique. A lot of Mekky’s fans were oblivious to the fact that the star is married and has been a father for a few years. This is because Mekky always made sure to keep his personal life away from the spotlight.

On the other hand, super star Amro Diab released a new song after great anticipation from his fans. The song is titled “Yetalemo” (They Learn), and is trending #3 locally. Diab’s clip only achieved 500,000 views on YouTube so far.

“Aghla Men al-Yaqout” took almost all social media platforms by storm. The song is written, performed and directed by Mekky, and is composed and distributed by Shady Saied.




Ahmed Mekky , Aghla Men Al Yaqout - أحمد مكى , أغلى من الياقوت , حصريا

أحمد مكى - أغلى من الياقوت كلمات : أحمد مكى لحن و توزيع : شادى السعيد Digital consultant : Haitham selim Social Media : Ahmed Mostafa Shiha Subtitles By : Dr.Ahmed Fathi Follow Us : Facebook :https://facebook.com/sekkymallawany Youtube :https://youtube.com/c/MekkyMusic Youtube :https://youtube.com/c/MekkyMovies Twitter : https://Twitter.com/MekkyStyle Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/MekkyStyle Anghami : https://play.anghami.com/artist/2174778 To Subscribe on Mekky Music Channel: https://goo.gl/8gwnJd




Amr Diab - Yetalemo | عمرو دياب - يتعلموا

Amr Diab - Yetalmo | عمرو دياب - يتعلموا | كاملة اغنية يتعلموا كلمات : تامر حسين الحان : عمرو مصطفي من ألبوم: كل حياتي كلمات اغنية يتعلموا - عمرو دياب Yetalemo - Amr Diab يتعلموا يتعلموا من الرقة دي يتعلموا شوف هما فين وحبيبي فين مشافوش كده ولا يحلموا




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9/21/2018 2:31:45 PM
<![CDATA['Gold of the Pharaohs' exhibition in Monaco hits 80,000 visitors ]]>
Grimaldi Forum referred that this exhibition was the most visited since holding the “Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco” exhibition in 2007 and “Queens of Pharaohs” in 2008.




“The Gold of the Pharaohs” showcased 149 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum. The huge, unique event was hosted by the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, between July 7 and September 9, under the auspices of Prince Albert II and the Egyptian government.

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

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

I remember that it achieved huge success, something that encouraged us to seek repeating the experience once again this year,” Biancheri explained.

Biancheri pointed out that the government has fully supported the forum. She also highlighted the low profit level achieved by the exhibition due to low ticket pricing and high cost. The exhibition cost the organization some €2.5-2.7 million, while entry tickets cost only €8 each.

]]>
9/21/2018 2:13:49 PM
<![CDATA[Libya says death toll from Tripoli clashes climbs to 96]]>
In addition to the fatalities, the clashes have wounded 444 people. Also, 16 people are missing, ABC News reported.

The violence has shattered a UN-brokered cease-fire reached earlier this month.

The Libyan Health Ministry said on Thursday, 11 people, including eight civilians, were killed and 33 others were wounded in southern Tripoli.

The UN mission tweeted on Thursday, urging warring parties "to immediately cease all acts of violence in Tripoli." ]]>
9/21/2018 2:04:38 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi extends condolences over death of Vietnam’s Quang]]>Trần Đại Quang, in a cable sent to the Vietnamese Government on Friday.

“The President expressed his sincere condolences to the Vietnamese people for the death of President Quang, who made significant contributions to develop and strengthen the Egyptian-Vietnamese relations," said presidency’s spokesperson Bassam Radi in official statement Friday.

Vietnam's state media reported the death of President Quang, a former chief of internal security who became one of the most high-profile leaders in the communist-ruled country, at the age of 61 on Friday, after an illness.

Quang visited Egypt last August with his wife, in an effort to enhance relations between Egypt and Vietnam, exchange experiences and boost cooperation in economy, trade and investment, seeking collaboration opportunities in agriculture, culture and tourism. He met with Sisi, where the two presidents discussed the expansion of joint cooperation in various fields, and increasing the volume of trade and investment exchange.

Read also

Egypt-Vietnam set to enhance collaboration, sign MoUs

CAIRO - 27 August 2018: Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang's visit to Egypt is expected to lead to the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the fields of trade, industry and investment, Spokesperson Bassem Rady told Egypt Today.


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9/21/2018 1:49:09 PM
<![CDATA[Security denies Mansoura explosion a terrorist attack ]]>
The explosion caused some damages to the nearby stores.

Civil protection forces and bombs experts are combing the surrounding areas at the moment, while a security cordon was set up around the area of explosion.

The explosion has not resulted in any injuries or death cases, the security source adedd, affirming that this accident is not a terrorist attack.

The security source revealed that a personal issue was behind the explosion, and that a "homemade bomb" was found under the car.]]>
9/21/2018 1:28:38 PM
<![CDATA[Yemeni army controls air defense camp in eastern Hudeidah]]>
In a statement broadcast by Alarabiya news channel on Friday, the Yemeni army said that its units have controlled the air defense camp and its surrounding farms in the east of Kilo 16 area in Hudeidah city.

The army along with the resistance forces have secured the farms in Bayt al Faqih district after engaging in clashes with the Houthi militias in the south of Hudeidah, the statement added. ]]>
9/21/2018 1:16:06 PM
<![CDATA[AFDB to disburse $500mn to Egypt within days]]>
The third tranche worth $500 million, he pointed out.

Sherif said that the loan seeks to support government programs that aim to achieve a comprehensive economic and social development, based on attaining social justice offering job opportunities and improving the business operating environment, he noted.

Sherif made the remarks during his meeting with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr in the presence of Mohamed El Azizi the bank’s Director General for the Middle East and North Africa, Malinne Blomberg, Egypt Country Manager and Ahmed Zayed, Executive Director for Egypt at the bank.

Both sides discussed prospects of cooperation in supporting the private sector and infrastructure in Sinai, a move that contributes to luring investors.

The AFDB mission voiced the bank’s readiness to offer support needed to help push forward the economic and social development in Egypt. ]]>
9/21/2018 1:12:17 PM
<![CDATA[Dina el-Wedidi on her U.S. tour: Music breaks down language barriers]]>
For one month, el-Wedidi’s band will be visiting big cities and small towns, offering the U.S. audience a delicate fusion of Egyptian music and global styles. Dina is in the U.S. with her 5-piece band, including: Bass guitarist Mounir Maher, Percussionist Azima Barhoma, Accordionist Wael el-Sayed, Drummer Mohammed Raafat and Sound Engineer Mafdy Thabet.

With U.S. audiences already captured by her unique singing at different venues, Dina spoke with Egypt Today about this exceptional experience and opportunities that such cultural exchange initiatives might be offering.

4
Dina el-Wedidi performing at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of her US tour with Center Stage program - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today


Below is the interview with Dina el-Wedidi

ET: How is the Center Stage tour different for you?

Dina: This is the first long tour with my band, we had chances before to perform abroad but not as part of a tour. I am happy that we have this experience to visit different states across America for one month, and it is very remarkable that Center Stage brings musicians from different cultures to the United States.

Also, Center Stage program ensured that all participating band members were Egyptians, and I find this a plus to the program.

2
Dina el-Wedidi performing at Tropicalia Lounge in Washington, D.C. as part of her US tour with Center Stage program - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today


ET: Is this your first time visiting the United States?

Dina: It’s my fourth time visiting the U.S. The first time for me was when I got a two-year scholarship with Gilberto Gil, the second was a tour with the Nile Project, where we got to visit more than 32 states in four months, and the third time was a short trip with my band for two weeks.

ET: What is the difference between the audience in Egypt and the audience in the United States?

Dina: In our first performance, we received audiences from Arab communities in the U.S., and they were very warm and made us feel at home. As for foreign audiences in general, they receive the songs differently since they cannot understand the language [we perform in] so they listen to the music, which is what they are attracted to. I am so excited to sing for both local and foreign audiences and it adds to my experience.

3
Dina el-Wedidi and her band after their show at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of her US tour with Center Stage program - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today


ET: How do you think music can be the approaching point between peoples in Egypt and in the U.S.?

Dina: I see music as the best healer and treatment to problems and tensions between countries that would usually take up to several years to resolve. I believe that since there is no language for music, this solves a lot of barriers between people. We even touched on this after each performance, as we were surprised by many attendees coming to us to ask about how we played a certain track and they seemed excited about our music.



ET: How do you think this cultural exchange program will benefit you as a musician?

Dina: It is a very good opportunity for us as we still have a lot to offer to the American audience on the next stages of the tour, and many of the audience did not know much about the new generation of musicians in Egypt.

As part of the tour, we further take workshops, visit schools, and have Q&A sessions with the audience, which are beneficial to us.

Also, we do not usually get the chance to cooperate with foreign musicians, it happens only at workshops and travel fellowships, and requires great expertise.

5
Dina el-Wedidi performing at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of her US tour with Center Stage program - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today

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9/21/2018 12:50:13 PM
<![CDATA[Hisham Kharma to perform at Cairo Jazz Festival opening ]]>
Kharma is considered an icon among electronic music artists in Egypt. His first album “Al-Yaqeen” (Faith) achieved widespread success last year. “Sahla we Basits” (Simple and Easy), “Shouf be Albak” (See with your Heart) and “Fel Malakout” (In the Kingdom) are among his most famous hits. “Kharma” is about to release his second album after releasing his latest joint single, “Youmeen” (Two days) with Hany Adel.

Cairo Jazz Festival presents 20 different concerts from 14 different countries. Among the most prominent Arab representations are the Syrian Lynn Adib, Nouran Abu Taleb, Hawidro band and Baghdadi Big Band.

The festival also includes European Jazz stars like the Portuguese Rita Maria, the Austrian David Helbock and the Czech Dan Bárta, in addition to the Hungarian star Ester Fakaza, the acclaimed Jerome Klein from Luxemburg and Aki Rissanen from Finland.

Amro Salah, the festival head, stated that the Cairo Jazz Festival aims to present an international musical and cultural event that contributes to enhancing tourism in Egypt by hosting international stars.

Kharma was born in Cairo but lived most of his life in Miami, Dubai and Hamburg which is heavily influenced by the eclectic cultural mix. His music is a combination of electronic, ethnic, lounge and funk sounds.

Kharma’s melodies cross all cultural barriers transferring the listener to different worlds. His first official release by Virgin Megastore and Hybrid Records was “First Voyage”.

Kharma’s second album was produced by Sony Music in the “Arabesque” series along with the Grammy award winner Yanni and Cat Atilla.

His third and last album was released in 2016 entitled “Al Yaqeen.”

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9/21/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[May's Brexit plan goes pop after "humiliation" by EU, British media says]]>
After a dinner of Wiener schnitzel in Salzburg, EU leaders said they will push for a Brexit deal next month but warned May that if she will not give ground on trade and the Irish border by November they are ready to cope with Britain crashing out.

For the British media, the message was clear.

"Your Brexit's broken," the Daily Mirror newspaper said on its front page.

British newspapers led their front pages with a Reuters picture showing May, attired in a red jacket, standing apparently aloof and alone from a mass of suited male EU leaders.

"May humiliated," The Guardian newspaper said.

"Humiliation for May," said The Times on its front page.

"May's Salzburg hopes dashed as EU leaders reject Chequers deal," said the Financial Times, which has strongly supported EU membership. The BBC said: "Embarrassing rebuff for PM in Salzburg."

The negative headlines indicate the extent of the divergence in perceptions between London and the capitals of the EU's other 27 members on the future of Brexit.

The Sun went much further: "EU Dirty Rats - Euro mobsters ambush May," it said alongside a mocked up picture of French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Donald Tusk cast as American gangsters with guns.

Macron bluntly said May's Brexit proposals, known as Chequers after the country house where they were agreed by the British cabinet in July, were "unacceptable".

Tusk was criticised for posting a picture of him offering May a choice of delicate cakes beside a message: "Sorry, no cherries." That is a reference to what EU leaders cast as British attempts to cherry pick elements of EU membership.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sought to calm any hurt feelings but called for caution, comparing Britain and the EU to two loving hedgehogs.

"When two hedgehogs hug each other, you have to be careful that there will be no scratches," he told Austrian newspapers.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, yet little is clear: there is, so far, no divorce deal, rivals to May are circling and some rebels have vowed to vote against a possible Brexit deal.

Both London and Brussels say they want a divorce deal, though there is limited time if the British and EU parliaments are to ratify a deal by March 29. Any deal must be approved by British lawmakers.

"CHEQUERS GOES POP"

The Spectator used the headline: "Chequers goes pop: Theresa May’s Salzburg catastrophe."

"May will emerge as unique in the annals of history if she survives as PM much longer in the face of setbacks on this scale," British journalist Robert Peston wrote.

May on Thursday promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it would not get a "hard border" with Northern Ireland but said that she too could live with a no-deal outcome.

May's former Brexit minister David Davis has said up to 40 lawmakers from the Conservative Party will vote against her Brexit plans.

Davis told Huffington Post there was a "rock-solid" core of party lawmakers who belonged to the European Research Group (ERG), a grouping which wants a sharper break with the EU and were willing to vote down her plans.

If a possible deal were rejected by the British parliament, Britain would face leaving the EU without an agreement, delaying Brexit or calling another referendum.

"If all conventional roads lead to a hard no-deal Brexit, the notion of Parliament exerting control and forcing another referendum on us would begin to look not wholly fanciful," Peston wrote in the Spectator.

If it left without a deal, the country would move from seamless trade with the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states.

Many business chiefs and investors say a so called "no-deal" Brexit would weaken the West, panic financial markets and block the arteries of trade. Brexit supporters say such fears are exaggerated and Britain would thrive in the long term. ]]>
9/21/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey orders detentions of 110 soldiers on suspected Gulen links]]>
Three colonels, two lieutenant colonels, six majors and three captains were among those ordered held in the operation spread over the capital and 15 other provinces, the prosecutor's office said. All those detained were on active duty, it said.

Authorities have carried out regular sweeps against alleged supporters of the cleric Fethullah Gulen since the coup attempt of July 2016, in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies involvement.

Turkey's Western allies have criticised the crackdown, which mostly took place under a state of emergency declared shortly after the coup attempt and remained in effect until July 2018.

Erdogan's critics accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security. ]]>
9/21/2018 12:03:50 PM
<![CDATA[Marwan Mohsen to participate in the game against Nejmeh SC]]>
Mohsen has recently shown noticeable improvement in his health status, as he has performed the running trainings around the playground during the last period perfectly, stated Mahmoud.

However, the Egyptian striker will not join his team in the upcoming match with the Guinness Horoya AC on September 22 at Al-Salam stadium at 9 p.m.

Mohsen will participate in Al-Ahly’s final trainings after Guinness Horoya AC match and will join his team in the match against Nejmeh SC on September 27 in Beirut in the quarterfinals of the African Champions League.

This comes after Egypt’s football team coach Javier Aguirre’s decision to exclude the Egyptian player from the next matches in Swaziland on September 18 due to his second-degree injury during the game with Niger on September 9, 2018
]]>
9/21/2018 11:54:20 AM
<![CDATA[Yemeni forces prepare for liberating Hudeidah city and port]]>
The channel quoted Yemeni sources as saying that war jets of the Arab coalition have raided several outposts of the Houthi militants in the city.

The coalition raids targeted the outposts in Jabana, Araj and al Katheeb in the city causing losses and casualties, added the sources. ]]>
9/21/2018 11:42:51 AM
<![CDATA[Russia says US is playing with fire by imposing new sanctions on it]]>
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military on Thursday for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russia, in breach of a sweeping U.S. sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, something Russia denies.

The administration also blacklisted an additional 33 people and entities associated with the Russian military and intelligence.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement it seemed to Moscow that imposing sanctions on Russia had become a national U.S. pastime, noting that the latest wave of restrictions was the 60th sanctions package since 2011.

"Each new round of sanctions proves our foe's complete lack of success in pressuring Russia with previous such attempts," said Ryabkov, who added that Washington would never succeed in dictating its conditions to Moscow.

"It would be not bad if they remembered about the concept of global stability which they are unthinkingly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russia-U.S. relations. Playing with fire is stupid and can become dangerous."]]>
9/21/2018 11:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Japan uneasy over Trump pressure on auto as summit, trade talks loom]]>
Japan is hoping to avert any import curbs and potentially steeper U.S. import tariffs on its cars, and fend off U.S. demands for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

Abe and Trump will hold a summit meeting on Sept. 26 on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.

To lay the groundwork for the summit, top trade negotiators of the two countries - Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - will hold their second round of trade talks on Sept. 24.

Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Japan's $69 billion trade surplus with the United States, nearly two-thirds from auto exports, and wants a two-way agreement to address it.

There is uncertainty on whether Abe, who won a third term as premier in Thursday's ruling party leadership race, can convince Trump through close ties he has forged with the president.

The threat of trade friction between Tokyo and Washington has been present since Trump took office last year with a pledge to renegotiate trade deals he considers unfair to U.S. companies and workers.

Japanese government officials are growing increasingly worried that Trump will demand a reduction in the number of Japanese auto imports to lower the trade deficit.

They also fret that Trump could impose steep import tariffs on auto and auto parts, which would deal a severe blow to the export-reliant economy.

"Japan swallowed voluntary export curbs in the past, so Washington may find this as an attractive option," said Toshiro Muto, a former top finance ministry bureaucrat who retains close ties with incumbent policymakers and lawmakers.

"But this is something Japan must absolutely avoid," he told Reuters. "I can't think of any sector in Japan that can replace its giant auto industry as a key driver of growth."

The United States is Japan's second-largest trading partner, after China.

Some officials say Japan may have no choice but to lower the number of cars it ships to the world's top economy, because the United States is Japan's closet ally and guarantees its defence.

"Given our position (close diplomatic relationship), we would have to swallow their demands," said one government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another official said Japan was trying to convince the United States to avoid imposing a numerical target on Japanese car exports.

Next week's meeting between Motegi and Lighthizer will follow one in August, where the two sides failed to narrow differences on whether to open up negotiations for a bilateral FTA.

"Based on the common understanding we built in the first round of talks, we'll seek a 'win-win' outcome that benefits both countries," Motegi told a news conference on Friday.

Asked whether the meeting with Lighthizer could force Japan to enter into talks for a bilateral FTA, Motegi said: "I don't think that will happen."

Tokyo is worried that as part of any bilateral deal Washington might put pressure to open up its politically-sensitive farm market.

The sense of unease in Tokyo has increased as Trump has refused to back down in a heated trade fight with China, and has reportedly pushed Mexico into agreeing on a cap in auto exports to the United States.

Trump, according to a column published in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 6, has suggested he will again turn his attention to trade with Japan.]]>
9/21/2018 11:30:05 AM
<![CDATA[Watch: Top 7 Songs on YOUTUBE this Summer 2018]]>
Egypt Today presents to its readers the top seven music videos on YOUTUBE this summer 2018 are as follows:

• Casablanca: Saad Lamjarred song achieved 75 million views on YOUTUBE, documented on 31 July, 2018. The song is number one this summer in terms of viewership on YOUTUBE, which is the norm each time Lamjarrad releases a new hit!


Saad Lamjarred - CASABLANCA (EXCLUSIVE Music Video) | (فيديو كليب حصري) CASABLANCA - سعد لمجرد

Subscribe to Saad Lamjarred Official Channel: http://bit.ly/LamjarredYT Listen to Casablanca on All the Platforms: https://saadlamjarred.lnk.to/Rg6MVID Saad Lamjarred - CASABLANCA (EXCLUSIVE Music Video) | 2018 2018 | (فيديو كليب حصري) CASABLANCA - سعد لمجرد Written by : Leslie Bourgouin Music Produced by : Dj Kore Directed by : Alexandre Da Silva









• Number 1: In the second place comes Mohamed Ramadan’s song, achieving 50 million views. The song is written by Shendi and Kanaka, and composed by Shendi.

Mohamed Ramadan - NUMBER ONE (Exclusive Music Video) محمد رمضان - نمبر وان

https://play.anghami.com/song/37878967 : الاستماع عبر تطبيق أنغامي Mohamed Ramadan - NUMBER ONE (Exclusive Music Video) محمد رمضان - كليب نمبر وان _________________________________ انا في الساحه واقف لوحدي وانت و صحابك ليا باصين , انا جمهوري واقف في ظهري نمبر وان وانتوا عارفين Number 1 مالك واقف خايف تعالى هنا شايفك سارح





• Eesh Besho’ak: Tamer Hosny’s song achieved 34 million views. The song is written by Mustafa Hassan and composed by Belal Soroor.

‎تامر حسني - عيش بشوقك - ڤيديو كليب ٢٠١٨ / Tamer Hosny - Eish besho'ak - Music Video

حصريا فيديو كليب تامر حسني الجديد "عيش بشوقك " من البوم تامر حسني القادم " عيش بشوقك " كلمات مصطفى حسن ، الحان بلال سرور ، توزيع بلال سرور وهاني محروس.




• Elli Baana: Ragheb Alama’s song achieved 24 million views. The song is composed by Mohamed Albogha and composed by Mahmoud al-Khayamy.

Ragheb Alama - Elli Baana (Official Video) - راغب علامة - إللي باعنا

Subscribe and never miss a video: http://bit.ly/2mVcRH5 Ragheb Alama on iTunes: https://apple.co/2IItmOl Like & Share! SUPPORT RAGHEB ALAMA ON : Facebok : http://bit.ly/2mLs7mN Instagram: http://bit.ly/2nqQyth Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ncYJZS Official Website: http://bit.ly/2ncTskK Produced by Backstage Production www.backstageproduction.me #raghebalama #ragheb #lebanesemusic






• Krahny: Elissa’s song ranked 5th, achieving 23 Million views. The song is written by Ali al-Mawla and composed by Fadl Suleiman.


Elissa ... Krahni - 2018 | إليسا ... كرهني - بالكلمات

كلمات : علي المولى , ألحان : فضل سليمان إشترك علي قناة روتانا | Subscribe To Rotana Channel https://bit.ly/2NjviPh كلمات الأغنية ما بدي تقرب ليي... وتسلم عادي عليي كأني حدا عرفتو... وخلصت الخبرية حسلي شي كرهني... عصب لما تلمحني اطلع بقسوة فيي...




• Ya Samra: Adham Seliman’s song came 6th in rank, achieving 22 million views. The song is written and composed by Adham Suleiman.

Elissa ... Krahni - 2018 | إليسا ... كرهني - بالكلمات

كلمات : علي المولى , ألحان : فضل سليمان إشترك علي قناة روتانا | Subscribe To Rotana Channel https://bit.ly/2NjviPh كلمات الأغنية ما بدي تقرب ليي... وتسلم عادي عليي كأني حدا عرفتو... وخلصت الخبرية حسلي شي كرهني... عصب لما تلمحني اطلع بقسوة فيي...




• Haddad: Amr Diab’s song came 7th on the list, achieving 15 million views. The song is written by Turki al-Sheikh and composed by Ahmed Harami.

Amr Diab - Hadded (Audio عمرو دياب - هدد (كلمات

AmrDiab - #Hadded, album "Kol Hayaty" Produced by #Nay ©2018.




]]>
9/21/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Vietnam's president dies after viral illness]]>
Quang's rise, at a time of growing dissent on social media and challenges to the party's authority, signalled limits to Vietnam's liberal agenda, despite a growing openness to social change and sweeping economic reform, experts say.

Quang, 61, died in a military hospital in Hanoi of a "serious illness despite efforts by domestic and international doctors and professors," Vietnam Television said.

He had hosted a reception for China's Supreme Court chief on Wednesday, state-owned newspaper Vietnam News said.

Quang had been ill for months, said former health minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu, who now oversees healthcare for high-ranking officials.

"He began showing symptoms of illness in June last year and has been treated in Japan six times since," Trieu told Reuters.

"He suffered from a kind of highly virulent virus, for which there has not been any efficient treatment."

Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by four "pillars": its president, prime minister, the chief of its Communist Party and the national assembly chair.

The president has a more ceremonial role, although he sits on the powerful decision-making politburo.

Before his April 2016 appointment as president, Quang had been minister of public security, heading an organisation with broad powers responsible for intelligence gathering and thwarting domestic and foreign threats to the party.

ILLNESS RUMOURS

Posts about the death of Quang, once tipped by some analysts as a potential general secretary, spread quickly on Facebook before state media took the rare step of announcing it within two hours of the event.

Rumours of his illness had circulated on social media for months, and there was no significant reaction in Vietnam's benchmark index.

At one of Quang's last appearances, during a visit to Hanoi by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on September 11, the president appeared visibly unwell and stumbled as he stepped on to a platform to inspect a guard of honour.

Quang hailed from a small farming community 115 km (70 miles) south of Hanoi, rising through party ranks to become a police general and Politburo member.

"We are saddened to hear the news that the president has died," said Bui Duc Phi, council chairman of the village where he was born.

Vietnam's constitution provides for the vice president to perform the president's duties should he be unable to work.

"Vice president Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh will handle his duties until the National Assembly elects a new president," said prominent lawyer Tran Vu Hai.

The national assembly is set to meet in late October, but the date could be brought forward, he added. ]]>
9/21/2018 11:15:37 AM
<![CDATA[Malaysia cannot accept same-sex marriage, says Mahathir]]>
"In Malaysia there are some things we cannot accept, even though it is seen as human rights in Western countries," Mahathir, 93, told reporters. "We cannot accept LGBT, marriage between men and men, women and women."

His comments are likely to spark further debate in the country where activists have voiced concern over the hostility towards LGBT groups both from within society and from the administration.

Two women were caned this month for "attempting lesbian sex" in Terengganu, a conservative state in the east. Mahathir denounced the punishment, saying it "did not reflect the justice or compassion of Islam".

Last month, a gay bar in Kuala Lumpur was raided by police and religious enforcement officials, while a transgender woman was beaten up by a group of assailants in Seremban, near the capital.

The minister in charge of Islamic affairs also came under fire, from activists and other ruling party lawmakers, after he ordered the removal of portraits of two LGBT activists from an art exhibition.

Malaysia describes oral and anal sex as against the order of nature. Civil law stipulates jail for up to 20 years, caning and fines for offenders, although enforcement of the law is rare.

Muslims are also governed by state-level Islamic laws, most of which carry provisions outlawing same-sex acts.]]>
9/21/2018 11:03:42 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling falls after EU warns UK of a no-deal Brexit]]>
After a recent run of gains, which had pushed the pound to its highest since mid-July, sterling succumbed to selling pressure as traders reassessed their optimism that Britain can secure itself a trade deal before it leaves the EU.

May is racing to get the EU to sign up to her plans for life after Brexit in March next year but EU leaders sharply criticised her so-called Chequers blueprint.

The two sides remain divided over how to ensure that the border between Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and EU member Ireland remains open after Brexit, one of the biggest hurdles to agreeing a Brexit deal.

"This is seen as a major setback for May, ahead of next week's party congress where she is expected to be pressured from internal critics (pressing) for a harder exit," SEB analysts wrote in a research note.

Sterling has lurched higher and lower on almost every Brexit headline in recent weeks, although Friday's drop was relatively measured.

The pound fell 0.4 percent to $1.3218, away from the two-month highs of $1.3295 hit on Thursday.

Against the euro, sterling slid half a percent to 89.165 pence.

Significantly better-than-expected retail sales data and higher inflation numbers published earlier this week have provided some support to the pound. ]]>
9/21/2018 10:58:47 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi discusses security status with Police Supreme Council]]>
Sisi stressed the importance of enhancing security plans and strategies to combat terrorism in accordance with the law and the principles of human rights.

He also hailed the efforts of police officers in maintaining security and enhancing development over the past period.

The meeting reviewed the recent security situation nationwide, especially in light of the regional security and political challenges, the spokesman added.

The meeting, also, tackled the results yielded in confronting terrorism and crime, in addition to efforts exerted to preserve citizens' security, the spokesman noted.

Morever, Sisi called for strengthening coordination between various security bodies and the Armed Forces to preserve military victories achieved in the ongoing Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018.

On September 10, 11 terrorists were killed at their hotbeds while exchanging fire with security forces in Arish, Northern Sinai.

In an official statement issued on Sept. 10, the security forces were informed that some terrorists were hiding at an abandoned gas station in Gesr el-Wadi district, Arish to carry out terrorist attacks against the Armed Forces.

The statement added that the forces managed to seize five automatic rifles, many shots, rifle cartridges, and two explosive devices. ]]>
9/21/2018 10:48:05 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. sanctions China for buying Russia war planes, missiles]]>
The U.S. State Department said it would immediately impose sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD), the branch of the Chinese military responsible for weapons and equipment, and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in “significant transactions” with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms exporter.

The sanctions are related to China’s purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018, the State Department said.

They block the Chinese agency, and Li, from applying for export licenses and participating the U.S. financial system. It also adds them to the Treasury Department’s list of specially designated individuals with whom Americans are barred from doing business.

The administration also blacklisted an additional 33 people and entities associated with Russian military and intelligence, adding them to a list under the 2017 law, known Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.

CAATSA also seeks to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and involvement in Syria’s civil war.

Doing significant business with anyone on that list can trigger sanctions like those imposed on China.

Some of those added to the list, which now contains 72 names, were indicted in connection with Russian interference in the U.S. election, the official said.

Earlier on Thursday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order intended to facilitate implementation of the sanctions.

A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election, and any possible cooperation with Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump has insisted there was no collusion with Russia. Moscow denies any effort to meddle in U.S. politics.
]]>
9/21/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Qatar Airways announces $69 million revenue loss in 2018]]>CAIRO – 21 December 2018: Qatar Airways has suffered a $69 million loss this fiscal year, showing the challenges still facing Doha since Arab and Gulf states decided to cut diplomatic ties with the tiny emirate last June for supporting and financing terrorism and having ties with regional foe Iran.


"This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said in a statement Tuesday.


The Doha-based airline reported revenue of $11.5 billion in 2018. It also adjusted its profit in 2017 to $766 million off revenue of $10.7 billion.


The boycott locked Qatar Airways out of the airspace of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, forcing the airline to take longer flights consuming more jet fuel, raising expenses.


Demands of the boycotting nations include Qatar limiting diplomatic ties to Iran, shutting down the state-funded Al-Jazeera satellite news network, and cutting ties with all terrorist organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood.


]]>
9/21/2018 1:51:35 AM
<![CDATA[President Sisi to meet with Trump at UN next week]]>CAIRO – 21 September 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet U.S. President Donald Trump privately next week at the United Nations, where Trump will also make remarks on countering illicit narcotics.


Trump will also have a one-on-one meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to a schedule released Thursday by the White House.


The schedule included meetings with at least five other world leaders.


Washington is preparing a Middle East peace plan that is being crafted by presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Trump may use the summit to brief world leaders on the proposal.


During his visit to the UN, Trump will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and chair a UN Security Council briefing on counter-proliferation on Wednesday.


]]>
9/21/2018 12:34:18 AM
<![CDATA[LIVE: GFF honors renowned filmmakers Abdel Sayed, Bouchocha]]>
'' I would thank El Gouna Film Festival for such a great honour'' Daoud Abdel Sayed sayed said after receiving his award. Abdel Sayed said that Egyptian cinema still needs a lot of work.

El Gouna Film Festival operation manager Boushra gave the Creative Achievement Award to the renowned Tunisian producer Dorra Bouchocha. '' I thank Intishal Al Tamimi the festival head, Boushra and all the festival team for such an honor'' Bouchocha said.

Bouchocha explained that she started her cinematic career since she was 17 years old as a volunteer in Carthage International film festival.

Abi Rashed presented on stage the jury members of the festival three competitions among them were the Egyptian stars Mona Zaki who is the jury member of the feature competition and Ahmed Malek who is the jury member of the short movies competition.

Intishal Al Tamimi said that the opening ceremony movie will be a french one.]]>
9/20/2018 9:52:04 PM
<![CDATA[Live: The second edition of El Gouna Film Festival kicks off ]]>
The festival started with the song ‘’ El Alam Gouna’’ ( The World is Gouna) sang by a notable group of cinema stars such as Yousra, Asser Yassin, Jamila Awad, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Dawoud, Chico, Hesham Maged, Mona Zaki, Yamine Raies, Dina Al Sherbiny, Sherif Mounir, Tamer Habib and Menna Shalaby among other.



Then the star presenter Raya Abi Rashed appeared on stage. ‘’ When I was young I used to love cinema to escape from reality, when I grow up I realized that cinema is the most effective tool to face the reality’’ recounted Aby Rashed.

After Abi Rashed started to move between the festival celebrities and praised them such as yousra, Adel Emam, Samira Saeed, Nadia al Gendy, Lebleba.

‘’As the song said the world is Gouna, we want also through this festival to send a message to the whole world that the world is Egypt’’ recounted the minister of Tourism Rania El Mashaat.

Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdallah said that there are a lot of benefits to the festival the most important is that it drove people who didn’t visit el Gouna before to come and see it and enjoy its dazzling beauty.

‘’ I wish to have more festivals in Gouna and I ask Mr Samih Sawiris to organise a music festival in El gouna’’ recounted the minister of culture Ines Abdel Dayem.
]]>
9/20/2018 9:19:39 PM
<![CDATA[Remittances of Egyptians in UAE rose to AED 2.4B in Q2 2018]]>
The report, issued by the UAE Central Bank, showed that the amount of foreign workers' remittances hit AED 87.9 billion in the first half of 2018, versus AED 43.5 billion in the first quarter of the same year

The Egyptians' remittances reached AED 2.4 billion in the second quarter of 2018, the report added.]]>
9/20/2018 5:41:22 PM
<![CDATA[Delegation led by min. of culture to attend Amman Book Fair ]]>
Egypt's Ambassador in Amman Tarek Adel declared during a press conference held on Wednesday, September 19, that Egypt’s participation as a guest honor in the Amman International Book Fair confirms the high level of cooperation between the two countries.
Around 360 publishing houses from 17 countries will participate in this year’s edition, titled “Jerusalem is Palestine’s Capital”.

Jordanian Minister of Culture Basma Nsour said during the press conference that the fair is considered the most prominent cultural and intellectual event in Jordan as it enables visitors from different countries to get acquainted with local, Arab and international cultural scenes and attend seminars and activities.

Nsour added that the fair allows publishers and writers to present their works to the public, engage with partners and meet with governmental and private cultural institutions.

On August 21, Chairman of the General Egyptian Book Organization, Haitham al-Haj Ali, held a meeting to prepare for Egypt’s participation in the 18th edition of the Amman International Book Fair as a guest of honor, official sources told Egypt Today.

The Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) Chairman Fathi al-Biss had announced in his speech to the opening session of the 2017 fair on Oct. 5, 2017 that Egypt was selected as the guest of honor for the fair’s 18th edition.

In its 17th edition, the Amman International Book Fair, organized by the Jordanian Publishers Union (JPU) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, selected the United Arab Emirates as the guest of honor. ]]>
9/20/2018 5:01:46 PM
<![CDATA[Geneva: Al-Ghufran holds press conference demanding rights, presenting evidence for claims]]>
During the seminar, which saw a number of witnesses coming forward and speaking of the violations they suffered at the hands of the Qatari regime, the EOHR stressed its support of the Al-Ghufran tribe. “EOHR is responsible for helping Al-Ghufran tribe in their just war towards peace,” stated the EOHR.

Giving the floor to the victims of these violations, the victims brought up a multitude of violations that they suffered from, including the consequences of the revocation of their Qatari citizenship, a move that caused them great psychological, physical, social and material pains and difficulties.

The first speaker was the respected Jabir bin Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a tribe elderly, and a much trusted man among tribe members. He started off by saying, “As a leading member of Al-Ghufran, I would like to speak a little but about what happened to us in Qatar. Al-Ghufran tribe was subject to injustice treatment by the Al-Ghufran tribe.”

They have taken away our social, political and economic rights, explained Al-Ghufrani in a sad tone. Shacking his head, he recalls tribe members leaving home, moving to different countries and being deprived of their basic human rights.

“Removed from their jobs, deprived of medical treatment and other social things like electricity, Ghufrani have suffered a lot. We, Al-Ghufran tribe, are subject to a very difficult life in Qatar from 1996 to the deportation in 2005,” Al-Ghufrani explained.

“This started because a group of soldiers wanted to bring back Sheikh Khalifa… they were about 118 officers, all of whom were captured by the existing government by Qatar. … Only 21 Ghufrani officers were selected to be jailed or sent to court, the others were released and after being in jail for only a year, they started deporting all Ghufranis.”

Some of them stayed away, he said, “they elected to stay in Qatar and hide themselves.” Most of them left, however, but a few could not leave their home; they could not imagine living anywhere else, he explained.

“Something is wrong with my government. They are doing something that no one has done before... It has never happened in the gulf states.”

“We came here to Geneva and to this place to try to explain and bring to light what happened to us. Myself, I left on a vacation in 1996, around the second of February, I left my home but I could not go back to my country. Never. I can go to any place on this earth but no my home, not Qatar,”

“They put the Al-Ghufran last name on the boarder so we could never come back,” sadly, Al-Ghufrani stated.

The second witness was Hamad Khaled Al-Araq, a younger member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, but one that had much to say about their current situation.

“Before I start, I would like to start with a tip that people say, “If you do not know the language, you can talk with people with the language of the hearts,” I will explain it with my heart and hopefully you will get it,” Al-Araq said hopefully, with a smile that suggests optimism and pride.

“When we go back to 1996, and at the time, this is my picture [he showed his picture], and this is a certificate from the United Arab of Emirates when my country, unfortunate, kicked me out. … They wrote my estimated age, I was about 10, and they say in Citizen: Qatari. This is my certificate when I was in elementary school, it has the Qatari stamp on it.”

Al-Arq then went on to demand his rights, he explained that all he wishes for is to have his rights as a citizen, stating that he will not stop until he has his rights back, and neither will his tribe.

“I ask for my rights. Our people have been asking for our rights for a very long time now and no one has even explained to us why this is happening to us.”

He then presented clear-cut evidence of his Qatari citizenship: A passport of his grandfather who was born in Doha, Qatar in 1922.

“It is a very complicated thing when you are trying to get your rights, and we have told this [our] story over and over again and we are still unable to reach our rights.”

With listeners already on the edge of their seats, Jaber Hamad Al-Araq, another member, spoke of the great injustices they have seen.

“My story is not much different from that of others; it is similar but a bit different. It happened in 1999, 2003 and the last one in 2005. I was born in Qatar in 1977 and here is my passport and my nationality is Qatari. This is the same passport for Mr Hamed and this is my father’s passport, this is my son’s passport and his birth certificate.”

“We left in 2005 but before that we faced many obstacles from the Qatari government…. I joined Qatar Petroleum two times, in 1995 and 2003, both of these jobs, I received a letter from criminal information after two months of enrolling as a trainee, I received a letter that you are terminated and there is no reason except that you are from Al-Ghufran tribe. And in my contract, the reason for termination, which you can see and zoom, [it is the same].”

The consequences of revoking our citizenship came in many waves, he explained, they took away healthcare, education and public services. They took away all the tools that would allow them to live in Qatar with dignity, as human beings, he explained.

Building on this, Jaber Mohamed Al-Ghufrani, yet another member of the tribe, explained the depression he went through as a result of being continuously rejected from jobs just because of being a ‘Ghufrani’.

“I was rejected many times from jobs because of the injustice that we face. They would reject me, the Criminal Information and Interior ministry office would reject me just from being from the tribe.”

“We are marginalised, without value and left on the sidelines in our country.”

“I am responsible for my family, consisting of my wife and children, we faced many injustices that led us to have psychological trauma.”

“We have suffered enough.”

Al-Ghufrani, whose children were expelled from school for being ‘Ghufranis’ have been dealing with emotional distress, due to the vile systematic discrimination they are facing.

Abdul Hadi Jaber Al-Ghufrani, a member, said, “All members of the Al-Ghufran tribe without exceptions suffered from the decision to revoke their nationality.”

“Those who remained. They are unable to work, travel, or act like normal human beings, they cannot trade, they cannot even give their identity.”

“Those who were expelled and forcibly displaced. They live in exile. They cannot apply or work in any job where they can get money for they rpasic needs, and most of them have no office identity papers. They can no longer see their families and loved ones.”

Some abuses were also acted against the Al-Ghufran tribe. They were humiliating and against the Qatari Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international conventions; these violations let to the dispersal of families because the men col not return and the women could not travel except if they turn over their papers, Al-Ghufrani explained.

“The children lost education years,” he said.

“We are here to demand our rights and we will not stop until we get our rights. From today to the next 20 years, we will not stop until we get our rights.”

Similarly, Mohamed Abdul Hadi Al-Ghufrani, a member, spoke of his feeling when he had his nationality dropped.

“My nationality was stripped before I turn 13. It was dropped and with it my psychological state declines.”

“I was expelled from school. They said that I have no identity, before the age of 13. I was only 12 when they told me I have no identity, I have no nationality. I went to hospitals too and they told me that they cannot give me medicine because I have no identity.”

“Was I not a child when they expelled me and said I have no identity.”

He then presented plenty of documents to support his case and his Qatari nationality.

“If it is expected that it is okay for a child to face this, then what kind of consequences do you expect. The consequences were psychological, physical, material and so much more.

In similar vein, Jaber Abdul Hadi Al Marri said, “My dad lost his job when I was young because they revoked our nationality.”

“I have three brothers and sisters who were born in UAE. When we went to the Qatari embassy, they would ask us to come back in a month and this went on for 7 years; they would kick us out.”

“We could not go to college or university… we have faced a bad time since we were kicked out of Qatar,” Al Marri said, explaining that had he been given the chance to go to school and have higher education, he would have been able to speak in much better English. Still, he ended by saying, “I hope my language is good and thank you so much.”

Saleh Bin Aamer Al-Araq, a member, urged the international community to understand the grave situation at hand.

“Without thinking of their humanitarian states, Ghufranis were treated badly, they had their nationality, healthcare, education and much more taken away from us. This simply happened because we from the Al-Ghufran tribe.”

“They lived in different parts of the Arabian Gulf, without a home, without a house, without proper jobs or proper lives.”

“Those who did bad things, who committed crimes against the tribe, should be held accountable,” he said.

Finally, the youngest member of the delegation that spoke at the seminar, Mohammed Ali Amer Al-Ghufrani Al-Marri, said a few words.

Al-Marri started off by thanking those present for being here and for listening to his rightful demands.

“My nationality was revoked when I was younger than a year,” he said, presenting his passport, along with that of his father and grandfather.

“I did not have the right to grow up in my country, I was not given the right to stay in my nation. I could not be in my country. I wish to return to my country and enjoy my right as a citizen.”

Earlier Thursday the EOHR released a memorandum on Qatari violation, it read:
EOHR’s memorandum on Qatari violations of International Human Rights law
The Ghofran tribe has been subjected to a series of horrendous violations by the Qatari State. A number of fundamental rights and international human rights instruments have been blatantly violated by the Qatari authorities contradicting their international obligations and moral responsibitly as a state. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) decided to adopt the case of Al Ghofran to publicize their just case and help them in reclaiming their stolen rights. EOHR in this report lists a number of the major violations of international human rights law that the Qatari state has committed against thousands of members of Al Ghofran tribe.
Right to nationality:
Article 15 of the Universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) states:
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
The UDHR is one of the most important human rights documents and is the founding element of international human rights law. UDHR is morally binding to all states including Qatar. The Qatari government since 1996 has exercised a form of collective punishment against Al Ghofran tribe due to the support some of its members have voiced to Emir Khalifa Al Thani when his son and successor Hammad bin Khalifa toppled him from the throne. The collective punishment entailed the revoking of the nationalities of 800 Ghofrani nuclear families (more than 6000 people). All of them were denied citizenship rights and their properties were confiscated. Such a form of arbitrary deprivation from nationality and citizenship rights cannot go unchecked as thousands of Ghofranis remain stateless within Qatar and in neighbouring states in the Gulf area.
Forced displacement:
Forced deportation or displacement of populations on a wide scale is considered a crime against humanity under article 7 of the Rome Statute. The Qatari state since 1996 has stripped the nationalities of at least 6000 Ghofranis and expelled them from the country after confiscating their property. Expelling 6000 Ghofranis out of around 8000 in Qatar can only be deemed as an act of systematic forced displacement. EOHR considers these policies as criminal actions that making the culprits eligible for legal accountability.
Violations of the Convention on the rights of the child
Article 8 of the Convention reads:
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.
The state of Qatar who happens to be party to the convention has deprived thousands of Ghofrnai children from the rights to identity and nationality stipulated by article 8. Qatar’s revoking of the nationalities of Ghofrani children is a violation of their treaty obligation and his has to be reported and documented by Committee of the Convention so that action can be taken.
]]>
9/20/2018 4:49:25 PM
<![CDATA[Eni, Tharwa to dig Noor Field within 1 week]]>
In August, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek el-Molla signed an oil agreement with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), Tharwa Petroleum Company and Italian Company Eni in Noor marine area in the Mediterranean Sea to drill two wells with a total investment of $105 million.

Egypt has recently signed several oil agreements for the exploration of oil and gas in several areas, including the Mediterranean, Western desert, Nile Delta and the Gulf of Suez.

The number of signed petroleum agreements reached 88 new agreements since 2014 and the authority is working on signing 13 new agreements.

In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the total investments of the year.
Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments which amount to LE 132.8 billion.

Egypt aims to invest LE 145.6B in petroleum sector during 2018/19

CAIRO - 29 August 2018: In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the total investments of the year. Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments which amount to LE 132.8 billion.




Egypt’s production of natural gas increased in December 2017 to reach 3.4 million tons, up from 2.7 million tons in December 2016.

Egypt’s gas production currently stands at 5.5 billion cubic feet a day, after adding some 1.6 million cubic feet as a result of starting production from the recent projects.

The country's total natural gas consumption is about 6 billion cubic feet per day, of which roughly 65 percent goes to the electricity sector.
]]>
9/20/2018 4:38:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt passes new law fighting manipulation in used cars market]]>
The 35th article of the new law assigns the seller to submit a technical report about the vehicle’s exact condition and defects, issued by a licensed service center. In addition, if any defect that is not reported by the seller or the service center is detected, the seller will be fined LE10,000-500,000 or the exact price of the vehicle (whichever is greater), and the service center will be closed for about six months, according to the 64th article of the same law.

Moreover, if hiding a vehicle’s defect led to a permanent disability or chronic illness for the buyer, the seller will be punished by imprisonment and a fine of LE 100,000-1 million, or the equivalent value of the sold vehicle. Also, if the infraction led to the death of one person or more, the seller will be punished by life imprisonment and a total fine of LE 200,000-2 million or the equivalent value of the sold vehicle (whichever is greater).

The new law is supposed to eliminate the overpricing phenomenon, confirmed Atef Yaqoub, the president of Consumer Protection Agency during an interview with Misr radio station on April 21, 2018, stressing that the reservation of a new car will be through a receipt in which the car's specifications and price are clarified.

Yaqoub pointed out that the Consumer Protection Agency always puts cars section into consideration, as it simultaneously works to assign corporations to repair, replace, or refund cars in which industrial defects are identified, and that those companies which refuse to implement the agency’s decisions are referred to the Economic Court, which in turn decides whether those companies should pay the fine or not.

Law No. 181 of 2018 was approved by the Parliament on April 17, 2018 to be applied after being approved by the presidency, according to the 5th article of the same law.
]]>
9/20/2018 4:35:48 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies closure of Al Hussein mosque on Ashura]]>
In a fact-finding report, the center said that it contacted the Awqaf Ministry, which described these reports as baseless.

The ministry asserted that the mosque doors are open to worshipers, the report said.

The ministry warned against breaching the sanctity of mosques in this occasion, saying it will take necessary legal measures against violators, the report added.

It appealed to all media outlet to seek accuracy before spreading such false news to avoid agitating public opinion.

Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and it commemorates the death of Hussien bin Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. ]]>
9/20/2018 4:29:00 PM
<![CDATA[EU leaders keep up pressure on May to take Brexit deal]]>
On a second day of summitry in Austria, May’s European Union peers rammed home their message on her plea for them to ease up on a “backstop” plan dealing with the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland.

The backstop would keep Northern Ireland under EU economic oversight if London and Brussels cannot agree a trade pact to keep UK-EU borders open after a transition period ends in 2020 — an idea that May and a small party in the province that props up her minority government oppose.

“We have very clear principles regarding the integrity of the single market and regarding precisely the Irish border,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the summit in Salzburg. “We need a UK proposal precisely preserving this backstop in the framework of a withdrawal agreement.”

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had his own early morning meeting with May, after she had asked the summit over dinner the previous night not to ask her effectively to divide the United Kingdom. But Varadkar warned that Dublin was gearing up for the talks to collapse without a deal if London refuses to budge.

“We’re ready for that eventuality, should it occur. But I think we need to double our efforts over the next couple of weeks to make sure that we have a deal,” he said.

Leaders had listened politely to May for a few minutes around the summit dinner table, laid in the Salzburg theatre used in the finale of the film “The Sound of Music”.

After dining on Wiener Schnitzel and wrangling over Europe’s migrant problem, May was given the floor and tried to win over her 27 peers by asking them what they would do if they were asked to agree a “legal separation” of their countries.

She maintains that the backstop would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of customs if it were ever necessary to invoke it — even though both sides say they are determined to keep all their borders open to trade.

Maintaining a united front that refuses to let May bypass the talks run by EU negotiator Michel Barnier, the 27 leaders did not respond to her. They discussed the issue among themselves over lunch on Thursday, following a briefing from EU negotiator Michel Barnier.

Barnier hopes the Salzburg summit can set the process on to a countdown to a deal in two months — diplomats said leaders agreed to hold their diaries for a possible final Brexit summit in Brussels on the weekend of Nov. 17-18.

However, French officials questioned the need to rush to set such a target date and others involved are bracing for May to haggle down to the wire — some time around the year’s end. That could help her sell any deal back home as the best she could get without risking ending up with no deal at all, come March.]]>
9/20/2018 4:11:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's cabinet approves several draft resolutions on US-Egyptian grant deals]]>
This is the third amendment to the grant deal.

The 200-million-dollar grant comes as part of the US-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.

Under the initiative, the US provides educational opportunities for high-achieving Egyptians to learn skills that will better meet the needs of the 21st century's economy.

The cabinet also approved a draft resolution introducing amendment to the US-Egyptian grant deal.

After the amendment, the grant will be 20 million dollars.

The grant comes as part of the Egyptian-US cooperation for science and technology.]]>
9/20/2018 4:08:02 PM
<![CDATA[Oil and gas company SDX Energy confirms talks with BP to buy assets in Egypt]]>
London-listed SDX said the acquisition would constitute a reverse takeover. ]]>
9/20/2018 4:01:04 PM
<![CDATA[Danske Bank hit with new money laundering probe]]>
At the centre of a financial scandal that has made headlines since last year, Danske Bank on Wednesday said it was unable to determine how much money was allegedly laundered through the branch between 2007 and 2015.

"We are reopening the investigation into the bank that we closed in May," Jesper Berg, head of Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), told broadcaster TV2 on Thursday, a day after Danske Bank's chief executive resigned over the scandal.

"When we receive new information, we can look at it and see if there is anything else we need to examine," Berg added.

In May, the FSA denounced "serious shortcomings" at Danske Bank's Estonian branch and ordered it to raise its capital requirement by five billion kroner (670 million euros) due to increased risks.

The bank launched an internal probe into the 200 billion euros of transactions that had transited its Estonian branch through the accounts of 15,000 non-resident clients.

But it was unable to explain exactly where the money came from, saying only that 23 percent of the incoming funds were from Russia.

"A large part of the flow (transactions) is suspicious," said Ole Spiermann, a partner in the external law firm that carried out a probe for Danske Bank.

In early August, the Danish state prosecutor's office for serious economic and international crime said the bank was being investigated over the alleged laundered money, most of which came from Russia and other former Soviet republics.

Danske Bank risks heavy fines.]]>
9/20/2018 3:56:22 PM
<![CDATA[EU to enter talks with Egypt to stem flow of African migrants to Europe ]]>
“Egypt has proven that it can be efficient in stopping people leaving its coast for Europe in search of better and safer lives,” Kurz said.

Kurz and EU Council President Donald Tusk visited Cairo in the weekend for talks with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Kurz and Tusk praised Sisi for stopping people from leaving Egypt's coast for Europe.

Tusk said that “no migrants are leaving Egypt at the moment." Meanwhile, Kurz asserted, “Egypt is now prepared possibly to deepen cooperation with us in talks,” adding that the EU “should use that.”

"Egypt is the first country in North Africa that is ready to intensify talks with the European Union," Kurz added.

On Sunday, Sisi met with visiting President of the European Council Tusk and Chancellor of Austria Kurz, in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Head of the General Intelligence Directorate Abbas Kamel, as well as the head of the EU mission in Cairo and Austria's ambassador in Cairo.

Spokesman of the presidency Bassam Rady said the meeting dealt with consultations on a number of issues of mutual interest including illegal immigration.

Rady explained that Sisi underlined efforts exerted by Egypt to combat illegal immigration by securing sea and land ports, in light of the instability in the neighboring countries.

Sisi underscored that Egypt's efforts have contributed to addressing the illegal immigration of refugees across the Mediterranean, as there has not been a single case recorded in Egypt from 2016 until now, Rady said.

The president explained that Egypt hosts millions of refugees of different nationalities on its territory and offers them decent livelihoods without isolating them in refugee camps or shelters, as they enjoy equal treatment with Egyptian citizens, Rady added.

Rady pointed out that the president also stressed the need to address the main reasons behind illegal immigration by reaching political solutions to crises in the region and restoring stability and security.

The meeting also tackled a number of other issues, such as the Libyan and Syrian crises, as both sides have similar views concerning these crises, urging the need to continue to work to reach political settlements in order to eliminate the illegal immigration.

The two sides agreed on the need to intensify the Arab-European coordination to face regional challenges and threats, underlining that the proposed EU and Arab countries summit in the coming period serves as an opportunity to consult, exchange views, and boost cooperation between both sides on regional issues.
]]>
9/20/2018 3:44:03 PM
<![CDATA['Support Egypt' majority bloc to utilize ideas of all MPs]]>
"I emphasize very clearly that my main mission in the next period is to gather all powers in the House of Representatives for the best interest of Egypt and the people," Qasabi stated.

He urged parliamentarians to adopt the same policy, and to prioritize the needs of the citizens and the preservation of the country's earnings, stressing that there is no room for disputes and side conflicts.

Qasabi won by acclamation to succeed engineer Mohamed al-Sewedi, as nobody ran in the election against him. Qasabi is also the head of the Parliament's Social Solidarity committee, and deputy head of the Nation's Future Party comprised by the Parliamentary coalition.

Sewedi, who was also elected by acclamation in September 2017, revealed the reason why he decided not run in the election, saying that handing over posts to others helps increase the number of leading figures and achieves better results.


Sewedi affirmed the importance of the refreshing presence of youth inside the coalition, allowing the continuous exchange of posts, giving the opportunity to others and achieving consensus among members.

Sewedi also said that he decided not to run for head of any of the parliamentary committees.

Support Egypt coalition was formed in late 2015 by former-General Sameh Seif el-Yazal. Parties comprised by the coalition include the Free Egyptians, Future of a Nation, Homeland Defenders, Republican Peoples and Conference parties.

Support Egypt coalition holds around 400 of 597 seats in Parliament, representing two thirds of the Parliament members.

The coalition has always been known to support the country's current leadership.

In January, MP Taher Abu Zeid, deputy chairman of the coalition, said that supporting incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for a second term in the March election is a message of gratitude for his first term achievements.

]]>
9/20/2018 3:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[Is Barbie a real threat?]]>
Young girls are raised in a society where “Barbie” portrays perfection; at this tender age, they are influenced by external stimuli, and throughout the years they become unconsciously convinced that being Barbie is a goal to be able to fit in the society.


In 2009, Dallas cowboy cheerleader Barbie was given the worst toy of the year award. Furthermore, Dr Susan Linn, the director of CCFC, said that it embodies a host of harmful expectations about what girls are supposed to be like, noting that it is an unattainable goal as it is not even realistic.

Studies showed girls who play with Barbie have lower self-esteem and greater desire to be thin, while girls who play with regular sized dolls ate a more reasonable amount of food.

Girls who play with Barbie thought they should be ideal and have the same body, hair and facial features as their doll or they shouldn’t be living at all.

That study might answer the parents asking why their children have low self-confidence and are drowning in their insecurities. They think that their faces, bodies and hair are ugly as they don’t suit the Barbie goal, a parent added on Barbie official page.



Unfortunately, this happens every day. Children start starving themselves, obliging themselves to throw up, thinking about doing severe plastic surgeries, and suffering from eating disorders in order to achieve this fake ideal image in their minds.

It is worth mentioning that the average age at which girls start dieting is now eight! Isn’t that hilarious?

To overcome this threat, parents have to monitor their children’s use of toys, and make sure they teach their kids the potential damaging results of being a copy of someone or something. Also, parents should help their children look up to real role models and have real achievable goals.

On the other hand, some people disagreed with the abovementioned opinion on Barbie and stated that it positively affects their children as it entertains and encourages girls to believe that they can be anything they want to be.

Barbie came in various versions, including the president Barbie, the rock star Barbie, the doctor Barbie, the gymnast Barbie, and the astronaut Barbie, teaching children to use their imagination and dream big.
Barbie also sends an anti-racism message through Barbie's Asian, black, Latina friends who come from all walks of life and their differences are never a problem.


]]>
9/20/2018 3:23:20 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends week in red, market cap. loses LE 5.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.20 percent, or 28.84 points, to close at 14,069.72 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.75 percent, or 38.62 points, to reach 2,171.16 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 fell 1.70 percent, or 11.80 points, reaching 682.72 points, and the broader index EGX100 drew back 1.61 percent, or 28.54 points, closing at 1,739.65 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 5.5 billion, recording LE 780.12 billion, compared to LE 785.65 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 301.27 million shares, traded through 31,233 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.4 billion.

Egyptians Real Estate Fund Certificates, T M G Holding, and Dice Sport & Casual Wear were top gainers of the session by 7.17 percent, 4.92 percent and 4.68 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Alexandria Pharmaceuticals, El Obour Real Estate Investment, and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top losers of the session by 9.94 percent, 9.92 percent, and 9.86 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 352.24 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 72.49 million and LE 279.75 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 88.69 million, LE 19.88 million, and LE 10.76 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations sold at LE 263.55 million,while Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 92.36 million, and LE 290.51 million, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday session in red, as EGX30 declined 3.79 percent, EGX50 inched down 4.98 percent, EGX70 dropped 3.65 percent, and EGX100 decreased 3.88 percent.
]]>
9/20/2018 3:16:45 PM
<![CDATA[Presidents of the two Koreas cap summit with trek up Mount Paektu]]>
After the two leaders pledged new steps aimed at salvaging nuclear talks on Wednesday, Moon and Kim decided to use the final day of their three-day summit to go up the symbolic mountain on the Chinese border together.

Moon is known for his love of mountain climbing and has trekked in the Himalayas at least twice. The president has long stated that he would love to one day visit Mount Paektu, which is also sometimes spelled Baekdu.

“I have a dream that I have not been able to fulfil for a long time, which is trekking Mount Paektu and the Kaema Plateau,” Moon said during a banquet after his first summit with Kim in April, which took place at the demilitarised zone separating the two neighbours.

“I believe Chairman Kim will make that dream come true for sure.”

Moon flew separately to the region before joining Kim and taking a cable car together to Heaven Lake, a caldera at the top of the mountain, and walked around the area along with other officials from both sides, Moon’s office said.

As the highest peak on the Korean peninsula at about 2,750 metres (9,000 ft) above sea level, Mount Paektu is the mythical origin of the Korean people, featured in South Korea’s national anthem and various North Korean propaganda.

Although Mount Paektu straddles the North Korea-China border and can be reached from China, where it is known as Changbai Mountain, Moon had never visited it before.

That is because when he goes up Mount Paektu, he wants to go “stepping on our soil,” Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the presidential Blue House, told reporters before the trip on Wednesday.

Sacred mountain of revolution

An active volcano, Mount Paektu is dotted with secret camps and historical sites from Korea’s guerrilla war against the occupying Japanese in the 1930-40s, in which Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, played a leading role.

North Korea says Kim’s grandfather and father, Kim Jong Il, were born at Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North’s idolisation and propaganda campaign to highlight the sacred bloodline of the ruling Kim family.

A copy of an article of the North’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun dated Dec. 26, 1980 calls Mount Paektu a “sacred mountain of revolution” spearheaded by Kim Il Sung “in the flames of the arduous 20-year anti-Japan struggle.”

“State media and ideological indoctrination was setting the stage” for Kim Jong Il’s power succession that took place in 1980, said Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Stimson Centre’s 38 North in Washington.

Kim Jong Un, too, has visited the mountain around major developments in North Korea, such as before he executed top officials including his uncle Jang Song-thaek in late 2013, and following North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in 2016.

He last went there in December, after declaring North Korea had completed its goal of becoming a nuclear state, according to state media.

“(Moon) would add much legitimacy to Kim, who had never had any summit with a foreign leader until early this year,” said Seo Yu-suk, a research manager at the Institute of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “It’s a diplomatic coup for him.”

Moon’s parents fled the North during the 1950-53 Korean War, shortly before Moon was born in South Korea in 1953.

A former human rights lawyer, Moon said in a 2017 book published months before his election as president that he wanted to “finish his life” in his mother’s North Korean hometown doing pro-bono service.

“When peaceful reunification comes, the first thing I want to do is to take my 90-year-old mother and go to her hometown,” Moon wrote in the book.]]>
9/20/2018 3:14:07 PM
<![CDATA[Communications min. probes with Indian amb. luring investments]]>
The meeting took up supporting investments of the Indian firms working in designing and manufacturing electronics and providing the suitable atmosphere to them in Egypt via the new technological regions serving the Middle East, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

The minister referred to the measures taken by the State to lure foreign investments, the statement read.

Talat pointed out to a number of existing projects targeting developing the communications and IT sector within the strategy of the State to transform the society into a digital one.

The minister further referred to Egypt's attention paid to the domains of technological innovation, entrepreneurship and developing technological incubators.

For his part, Kulshreshth pointed out to the confidence of the Indian investor in the Egyptian economy as Indian investments in the country reached $3 billion in 2017.

The two sides agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of training via organizing training courses.

Talat invited his Indian counterpart to visit Egypt to probe boosting joint cooperation in fields of mutual interest, the statement added.]]>
9/20/2018 3:08:59 PM
<![CDATA[UNICEF representative hails Egypt's successful efforts to protect children of human trafficking]]>
Addressing the first regional conference of the general prosecutors and attorneys of Africa and Europe, Maes said there are more than 60 million immigrant children worldwide according to the 2016 statistics.

Maes underlined the importance of partnership with the government, noting that there are 233,000 refugees in Egypt, including 85,000 children.

The three-day conference opened in Sharm El Sheikh on Tuesday with the participation of lawyers and chief prosecutors of 24 African countries, three European states and six international organizations.

The get-together focuses on ways to fight smuggling and human trafficking and the role of international and regional authorities in exchanging informatio]]>
9/20/2018 3:01:19 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks promoting historic ties with Sudan - diplomat]]>
This remark came during a ceremony held on the occasion of Shaltout's end of his tenure in the presence of the Saudi ambassador here and the staffers of the Egyptian Embassy.

Shaltout asserted that the relations between the two countries are considered a safety valve for both of them.]]>
9/20/2018 2:55:12 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet approves coop. protocol with ILO on developing private sector in Egypt]]>
The protocol will be inked between Egypt represented by the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the International Labor Organization (ILO) via its office in Cairo during 2018-2021.

The draft resolution targets benefiting from the accumulated technical experience of the ILO in supporting the investments of the private sector in Egypt in various economic fields besides backing entrepreneurs and honing the skills of small producers and businessmen especially in rural areas in line with the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030.]]>
9/20/2018 2:49:31 PM
<![CDATA[SLA injects EGP 278.2 million into state treasury after settling several lawsuits]]>
In a statement on Thursday, SLA Deputy Head Abdel Rehim Ali said the authority settled 1.117 million lawsuits, thus saving the state treasury from paying millions of pounds in foreign disputes during the aforementioned period. ]]>
9/20/2018 2:35:24 PM
<![CDATA[BSA: Egypt sees software piracy drop by 2%]]>
The study, a copy of which was obtained by the Information and Communication Technology Outsourcing (ITIDA), also showed a decline in the use of unlicensed software to hit USD 64 billion in 2017, compared to USD 157 million in 2015.

Such fall in the usage of unlicensed software could contribute to increasing the sales of software companies, according to the study.

The study was conducted through a survey to determine the value of unlicensed software across 32 countries.

The survey was answered by consumers and employees who used their PC either at home or work.

Results showed that Egypt (59 percent) had surpassed counties such as Morocco (64 percent), the Philippines (64 percent), Vietnam (74 percent), and Sri Lanka (77 percent) in achieving lower piracy rates.

Those results reflect the great progress made by Egypt in combating the illegal use of software.

The Egyptian government has exerted increasing efforts to upgrade the legislative structure, with the aim of improving the business environment in the area of information technology and telecommunications, as well as passing the cyber-crime law to face cyber threats. ]]>
9/20/2018 2:24:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to sell around $5B in foreign currency bonds in coming months ]]>
“We are going to sell bonds in the coming months in the market. It could be $5 billion plus or minus,” Finance Minister Mohamed Ma'it told reporters.

Finance minister said the government would evaluate the method of remaining state company sales in January after five share offerings planned before the end of this year.

“The five companies we decided to work on, we decided to see how it would go,” Finance Minister Mohamed Ma'it said, adding that Egypt would then see whether it could work with strategic investors for further sales.

Egypt is so far dealing well with the consequences of emerging market turbulence, he said.

“Until now our economy is able to deal with the consequences of this negative effect,” he said.
]]>
9/20/2018 2:12:12 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar registered LE 17.79 for buying and LE 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire and the Commercial International Bank (CIB), it recorded LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.

At the Arab African International Bank, the dollar price stood at LE 17.85 for buying and LE 17.95 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the price stood at LE 17.87 for buying and LE 17.97 for selling.

At the National Bank of Greece, the dollar prices went up one piaster to stand at LE 17.85 for buying and LE 17.95 for selling.

At Alexandria Bank, the dollar prices rose one piaster to stand at LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.]]>
9/20/2018 2:09:38 PM
<![CDATA[Gulf Arab states should be party to proposed Iran treaty talks: UAE official]]>
Brian Hook, U.S. special envoy for Iran, said on Wednesday the United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missiles and its regional behavior.

Iran has rejected U.S. attempts to hold high-level talks since President Donald Trump tore up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers earlier this year.

Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, described Hook’s comments as “important”.

“It is essential that the Gulf Arab states be a party to the proposed negotiations. It is prudent for Tehran to avoid sanctions and to take these proposals seriously,” he tweeted.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain swiftly backed Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the nuclear accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran. The Sunni Muslim-ruled states are at loggerheads with Shi’ite Iran, fighting a proxy war that has influenced conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

The Gulf Arab states were not party to the nuclear accord, and while they were consulted by Western powers during the talks that led up to it, they played no direct role in those negotiations.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed a dozen demands in May that he said could make up a new agreement, although Hook referred to a treaty, which would have to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

]]>
9/20/2018 1:58:21 PM
<![CDATA[20 tombs unearthed in Aga Khan site, Aswan, since 2014]]>
Director of Aswan and Nubian Antiquities, Abdel-Moneim Saeed, said that the uncovered tombs vary in their architectural styles, inscriptions and drawings on sarcophaguses, statues and mummies.

Saeed referred that a committee was formed to examine the condition of the artifacts to be exhibited in different museums.

image1
Egyptian archeological mission working at the Aga Khan site in Aswan’s west bank since 2014 has discovered 20 tombs-Ministry of Antiquities'official Facebook Page

The most recent discoveries, found by the mission during excavation works carried out near the Aga Khan mausoleum on Aswan's west bank, was a tomb dating back to the late period of ancient Egypt. The tomb contained a sculpted sandstone sarcophagus with a well-preserved mummy wrapped in linen among other things, the Egyptian archeological mission announced on Tuesday, September 18.

image2
Egyptian archeological mission working at the Aga Khan site in Aswan’s west bank since 2014 has discovered 20 tombs-Ministry of Antiquities'official Facebook Page

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziri added that three other tombs were found in the area where remains of clay sarcophagi were unearthed, some of which have paintings while others are inscribed with hieroglyphic texts.

Saeed further remarked that during the archaeological cleaning of the tomb the mission found a collection of mummies haphazardly buried, suggesting that the tomb was used as a communal burial.

He pointed out that the head of an unidentified sandstone statue was also uncovered along with a collection of amulets made of faience.

This comes as part of several discoveries made in Aswan, particularly in the Temple of Kom Ombo. Ahmed Sayed, general manager of Kom Ombo antiquities sector, referred that since the Egyptian archaeologists started draining water from the Temple of Kom Ombo on October 18, many artifacts have been uncovered.

The most recent artifact was the sandstone sphinx likely dating to the Ptolemaic era, according to Ministry of Antiquities on September 16.

Furthermore, two ancient pieces were discovered in the Temple of Kom Ombo, Aswan. The two pieces are made of sandstone and belong to King Ptolemy XII; one of them is dome-shaped and topped with a sun disk bearing the image of Ptolemy XII and his wife Cleopatra V with their daughters. The piece contains 29 lines of hieroglyphic writing.

The other piece has the image of Ptolemy XII holding a whip in one hand and a prisoner in the other before the triad of Kom Ombo. The piece also features two texts; 29 lines of hieroglyphic writing and 33 lines of Demotic writing. ]]>
9/20/2018 1:50:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Germany hit €717M in H1 2018]]>
The minister noted that Egypt’s imports from Germany decreased 44 percent during the first six months of 2018 to hit €1.47 billion, compared to €2.63 billion in the same months of 2017.

This came during Nassar’s meeting with a delegation of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, including Head of Development Cooperation for the Middle East, Asia, South America and South Eastern Europe Claudia Warning.

Nassar reviewed with the delegation the future of the bilateral economic relationship and ways to activate joint cooperation programs in the fields of trade, industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Nassar referred to the development of the SMEs sector, being on top of the ministry’s priorities during the current period, as it represents the main structure of the Egyptian economy and the biggest sector offering job opportunities to youths and women.

The Trade Ministry seeks to cooperate with the German side in implementing vocational training to youths, which helps in creating qualified workforce capable of dealing with technology and digital equipment.

Nassar pointed out that the ministry is keen to take advantage of the untapped industrial capacities in the factories, and to establish new industrial zones in different provinces.

For her part, Warning said her country attaches great importance to strengthening economic relations with Egypt as it is one of the most important economic and trade partners to Germany in the Middle East region.

She also highlighted the importance of providing government support for all development cooperation projects implemented by Germany in Egypt with the aim of accelerating their pace to achieve the best results as soon as possible.

Warning pointed out that Germany is keen to provide more training and technical support programs in Egypt in the fields of SME development, technical education and vocational training, which will contribute to the development and modernization of the industrial sector in Egypt and will provide more employment opportunities for young people.

On Wednesday, Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said German investments in Egypt reached $641.4 million through 1,103 companies in the sectors of chemicals, petroleum, telecommunications, gas, car industry, and iron and steel.

Nasr clarified that Germany ranks the 20th in the list of countries investing in Egypt, aiming to upgrade its position to be among the top 10 investing countries.

Trade exchange between Egypt and Germany rose 5 percent in 2017, reaching €5.81 billion, compared to €5.57 billion in 2016, Nassar said earlier.

Total Egyptian investments in Germany recorded $35.5 million in the fields of finance, medicine, furniture, appliances, medical supplies, tourism and trade, the minister added.

]]>
9/20/2018 1:40:28 PM
<![CDATA[Presidential decree approves grant to apply int'l standards on EEHC financial reports]]>
The agreement was inked in Cairo between the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on August 6, 2017.

The grant is worth $1,969 million.

The decree was published in the official gazette on Thursday. ]]>
9/20/2018 12:14:01 PM
<![CDATA[Planning minister chairs AIBK general assembly meeting]]>
The get-together comes upon Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli's decision on authorizing the planning minister to preside over the bank's ordinary and extraordinary meetings.

At the beginning of the meeting, Saeed thanked AIBK Chairman Hani Seif el Nasr for the unique achievements attained via developing and upgrading the activities of the financial institution.

Seif el Nasr underlined that the bank managed to surpass challenges over the past years. He reviewed the report of the board of directors on the bank's activities in 2017.

He further pointed out to the tough decisions and challenges witnessed during 2017 when the economic reform policies were implemented, adding that the AIBK managed to achieve the difficult equation of increasing production and using the provided resources besides expansion and attaining growth.

There has been a labor reshuffle in the bank via honing the skills of the employees at all levels in order to achieve sustainable development for the bank, Seif el Nasr asserted, noting that the small and medium enterprises are among the priorities of the financial institution. ]]>
9/20/2018 12:11:37 PM
<![CDATA[FEDCOC to submit feasibility studies on logistic centers to cabinet next week]]>
In statements to MENA on Thursday, Ezz said the feasibility studies include costs of establishing and operating logistic hubs, adding that a timetable will be set in line with priorities.

The studies tackle the volume of consumption and size of population in each governorate, its imports from the neighboring governorates and abroad in addition to its exports and the existing industries, he affirmed.

Ezz further underscored that a logistic hub will be established in each governorate, adding that other centers will be constructed on the borders with Libya and Sudan.

There will be also logistic centers in Jordan, Eurasia and Africa, he reiterated.

A meeting with bodies concerned was held to probe a suggestion on establishing logistic centers within 18 months by the State to uproot bureaucracy of plots of land allocation, Ezz underlined, adding that contracts will be inked with the State to operate these centers or buy them.]]>
9/20/2018 12:05:57 PM
<![CDATA[EU-Arab summit in Cairo to review cooperation issues]]>
Ahmed Abu Zeid said the venue of the summit has been set in advance in line with Resolutions no 147 and 148 of the Arab League Council and Resolution 691 of the 2017 Arab summit which was held in Jordan's Dead Sea.

Abu Zeid made the remarks in response to questions by diplomatic editors about recent statements by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Maria Mogherini and European Council President Donald Tusk in this regard
]]>
9/20/2018 11:45:43 AM
<![CDATA[PM reviews initiative for encouraging using hybrid vehicles]]>
This came during the premier's meeting with Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar.

Madbouli stressed that the country was paying a special attention to develop the auto industry and offer more incentives to encourage it locally.]]>
9/20/2018 11:43:07 AM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 16.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 357-day term and the second worth LE 8.2 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
9/20/2018 11:34:37 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Industries Federation hosts 1st WTO celebration ]]>
The federation clarified in a statement that the celebration will be organized by the Egyptian Export Council for Handicrafts and the Egyptian Chamber of Handicrafts, under the auspices of the Egyptian Federation of Industries.

The event comes as part of Egypt's participation in the international celebration of the launch of the Charter of Fair Trade, which coincides with the three-year launch of the United Nations for the goals of sustainable development 2030, which takes place in several capitals of the world.

The ceremony will also include the announcement of the first batch of Egyptian handicrafts companies that have become members of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) through a program organized by the Export Council to increase the export of handicrafts as the organization opens new international markets for these products.

“This event is important to Egypt as it is working towards increasing exports through the implementation of its National Strategy for Sustainable Development (Vision 2030),” Vice-Chairman of Export Council for Handicrafts and Member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Egyptian Industries Hesham el-Gazzar.

He added that Vision 2030 stipulates that the new Egypt has a competitive, balanced and diversified economy based on innovation, knowledge, justice, social integration and participation with a balanced and diverse ecology system that invests the genius of the place and human to achieve sustainable development and improve the quality of life for Egyptians.

Upon Vision 2030, Egypt launched Strategy 2020 in November 2016. It includes five main axes: industrial development, small and medium enterprise (SME) development and entrepreneurship, export development, training and technical education development, and corporate governance and development.

The strategy aims at increasing exports in the first place after strengthening the local industry.
]]>
9/20/2018 11:24:28 AM