<![CDATA[rss-All News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[All News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[What you need to know about “21” sentenced to death in Egypt ]]>
The Public Prosecutor's Office charged the defendants with establishing a group contrary to the law, which is intended to disrupt the institutions of the state from carrying out its work, and to attack the personal freedom of citizens, endangering public peace and embracing jihadist ideas.

According to the Public Prosecutor's investigations the ‘Damietta Cell’ is linked with the Daesh terrorist group, and planned to carry out hostile operations against state institutions, the assassination of army and police officers, and some of its elements traveled to Syria and received training in the civil war.

Security forces arrested the cell’s elements in early July 2014. The first court session was in February 2016, and continued for 19 sessions. The case includes 28 defendants, including 16 fugitives and 12 detainees.

In a court session dated August 24, the Public Prosecutor’s representative asked the court to apply the maximum punishment to the accused, as the defendants from no. 1 to no. 25 traveled illegally to Libya through the western border of the country. Additionally defendants no. 3, 19, 21 set up camps in Sinai to train terrorist elements and were involved with the terrorist elements in Syria.
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2/23/2018 12:24:56 PM
<![CDATA[U.N. Security Council to vote on Friday on demand for Syria truce]]>
For a sixth straight day, warplanes have pounded the densely populated agricultural pocket east of the capital, the last rebel bastion near Damascus. The escalation has killed at least 417 people and injured hundreds more, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says.

Medical charities say jets have hit more than a dozen hospitals, making it near impossible to treat the wounded.

The Britain-based Observatory said government warplanes and artillery hit Douma, Zamalka, and other towns across the enclave in the early hours on Friday. A witness in Douma, who asked not to be identified, said by phone the early morning bombing was the most intense so far.

The bombing of eastern Ghouta since Sunday night has been among the fiercest of the war, now entering its eighth year.

The Civil Defence in eastern Ghouta said its rescuers rushed to help the wounded after strikes on the town of Hammouriyeh on Friday morning. The emergency service, which operates in rebel territory, says it has pulled hundreds of people from under the rubble in recent days.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.

Damascus and Moscow say they only target militants, and that they aim to prevent rebels from shelling the capital with mortars. They have accused insurgents of holding residents as human shields in the Ghouta.

Nearly 400,000 people live in eastern Ghouta, a pocket of satellite towns and farms that has been under government siege since 2013.

The U.N. envoy for Syria has pleaded for a truce to halt one of the worst air assaults of the seven-year war and prevent a "massacre".

The U.N. Security Council was considering a resolution, which Kuwait and Sweden drafted, demanding "a cessation of hostilities throughout Syria for all military operations" for 30 days to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

The vote is set to take place on Friday. The resolution does not cover the groups Islamic State, al Qaeda and the Nusra Front, which Moscow and Damascus say they have targeted in eastern Ghouta.]]>
2/23/2018 11:34:05 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's strategic rice reserves enough to last until April]]>
The minister added in an official statement that the ministry agreed to double the quantities of rice the government purchases from local suppliers.

The statement pointed out that the price of rice will be LE 6,100 Egyptian pounds ($345) per ton.

Egypt increased its production of rice last year and worked on increasing its strategic rice reserves.

In December, Supply Ministry spokesman Mamdouh Ramadan said that Egypt has enough locally produced rice to feed demand for the next 12 months.
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2/23/2018 11:23:54 AM
<![CDATA[Gas deal with Israel is solution regarding arbitration with EMG: PM]]>
The prime minister added at a press conference that there are more than one arbitration cases with Israel, one of them is with the Israeli electric company and the other one is with EMG.

He pointed out that the government is now focusing on the new gas discoveries, referring that gas production will increase to 3,000 million cubic feet per day by the end of 2018.

Ismail added that Nawras field produces 1,150 million cubic feet, Atoll field produces 350 million cubic feet per day, and the West Delta produces 700 to 750 million cubic feet per day.

The total production of Zohr field is 2,700 million cubic feet, with an initial production of 350 million cubic feet, the prime minister clarified.

He explained that by the end of 2018 Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency of natural gas, and in 2019 there will be a surplus, explaining that Egypt will not export its surplus, but it will be used in the developmental axes of Egypt.

Ismail added that the reserves of Zohr gas field are equivalent to all reserves found in the eastern Mediterranean.

Around 64 BCM of natural gas from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs will be exported to private Egyptian company Dolphinus over a decade for $15 billion, according to a Monday statement by Delek Drilling, one of the two companies leading gas projects in reservoirs.

The agreement stipulates that the supply will continue until 2030 or until the 64 billion cubic meters have been fulfilled, whichever is sooner.

Egypt is expected to stop importing liquefied gas by June 2018, after the production of its giant Zohr gas field began by the end of 2017; Zohr contains about 850 billion cubic meters (30 trillion cubic feet) of gas.

In addition to Zohr, Egypt accomplished three other gas production projects which are Torres and Libra, Atoll, and Norse.

These four projects added 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day to raise Egypt’s daily production to 5.5 billion cubic feet a day.

Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for production and fields’ development Mohamed Abdel Azim said earlier that Egypt’s natural gas production will reach some six billion cubic feet a day by the end of fiscal year 2017/18.

The new discoveries are expected to turn Egypt into a net exporter of natural gas as the country is expected to halt gas imports by mid 2018.]]>
2/23/2018 11:22:17 AM
<![CDATA[President Aliyev keen to boost ties with Egypt: Azerbaijani economy min.]]>
In statements to MENA ahead of leaving Cairo Thursday night, Mustafayev lauded President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s statements during their meeting when he said “Egypt’s doors are open to Azerbaijan.”

The coming few months will witness more meetings between Egyptian and Azerbaijani businessmen to discuss cooperation in many fields, including industry, tourism, health and education, he added.

The Azerbaijani minister also underscored the importance of bolstering bilateral cooperation in the oil sector.

Asked about tourism, Mustafayev called for a resumption of direct flights between Cairo and Baku, which were operated for just a short period.

Such a move will help increase the number of Azerbaijani tourists in Egypt, he said.

Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani minister stressed Baku’s full support for Cairo in its ongoing efforts to combat terrorism.]]>
2/23/2018 11:18:35 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi campaign urges citizens to cast their ballots in upcoming elections]]>
The organisational structure of the campaign was completed, as it covers every governorate across the country, Shaka explained.

This came in the second press conference of the campaign held in a hotel in Cairo.

Shaka warned against rumors which aim to spread a state of depression among citizens about not participating in the coming elections.

Meanwhile, Campaign's General Coordinator Mohamoud Karim underlined a number of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's accomplishments during the past years, citing the social protection programs, the new Suez Canal project, infrastructure projects, health care, the new administrative capital and Dabaa nuclear power plant.]]>
2/23/2018 11:11:55 AM
<![CDATA[Shorbagy qualifies for 2nd round of Windy City Open Squash Tournament]]>
Shorbagy, seeded fourth in the tournament, qualified to the second round after beating his Hong Kong rival Lee in a 55-minute match that ended 3/1.]]>
2/23/2018 11:10:11 AM
<![CDATA[Hong Kong harbour gets star attraction with sculpture park]]>
The Harbour Arts Sculpture Park, which officially opened on Thursday, is a collection of works by 19 local and international artists including Britain's Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin, Japan's Yayoi Kusama, as well as Jenny Holzer and Hank Willis Thomas from the United States.

The series of installations aims to increase public access to art in a city known more for its exclusive high-end galleries and lucrative auctions.

"I think public art is a unique place to make a statement and I wanted to make a work that people could inhabit and basically become a part of," said Willis Thomas, perched inside a large metal speech bubble.

The work, "Ernest and Ruth", is one of two of his sculptures in the project, which was organised by the nonprofit Hong Kong Arts Centre in collaboration with local partners.

On the harbourfront, intrigued visitors had already begun taking pictures of themselves with Kusama's oversized pumpkin sculpture on Thursday afternoon, while children played among the other works dotted on the grass.

Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong, whose angular golden artwork "Asteroids & Comets" is a constellation of three-dimensional star maps, said younger visitors were the quickest to engage with the art.

"This morning some children they saw the work and just charged right in and started jumping up and down inside without reading any of the captions," he told AFP approvingly.

Hong Kong is increasingly burnishing its artistic credentials and has hosted the annual Art Basel, Asia's largest art fair, since 2013.]]>
2/23/2018 11:05:30 AM
<![CDATA[Film about downfall of Brazilian President Rousseff hits screen in Berlin]]>
“O processo” (“The Trial”), directed by Maria Augusta Ramos, blends footage of Rousseff’s trial with images of protesters who campaigned against her and others who took to the streets to back her.

“It says a lot about what’s happening right now,” Ramos said in an interview on Thursday, a day after her film premiered at the Berlin film festival. “The country remains completely divided.”

Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, fell from power in August 2016 after an impeachment process that split public opinion amid a corruption scandal and economic crisis. Her allies say her removal for breaking budget rules was a coup.

“When you have a parliamentary coup, it has profound consequences for society as a whole at every level and this is what we’re seeing now,” Ramos said.

Democracy in Brazil is “sick” and the country needs to deal with big issues, she said.

“It’s impossible when you have a coup d‘etat, a parliamentary coup ... to believe that it hasn’t affected democracy at all,” she said.

Ramos said she hoped “O processo” would help Brazilians look at those events in a less emotional way.


Brazil holds elections in October with popular ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva likely to be barred because of a corruption conviction.

“I‘m really worried about the elections this year,” Ramos said. “I deeply hope that we have really democratic, open elections with all the candidates that people want to vote for and that includes Lula.”

Near the end, the film points out that nine months after Rousseff’s removal from office, her successor, President Michel Temer, was accused of corruption by the attorney general.

“History keeps repeating itself,” Ramos said, adding that disillusionment and frustration were prevalent in Brazil.

“O processo” is among around 400 films screening at the Berlinale. The festival runs until Feb. 25.

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2/23/2018 11:00:35 AM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Vitamin B5]]>
It plays many roles regarding your health, such as converting nutrients from food into energy, balancing blood sugar, reducing bad cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, preventing nerve damage and pain, and preventing heart failure. It also helps maintaining and regulating your metabolism.

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Salmon is a good source of vitamin B5. Via CC/Pexels.

A deficiency in vitamin B5 can manifest itself as fatigue, depression, irritability and insomnia, among other symptoms. People at a greater risk of developing a vitamin B5 deficiency include alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives/birth control pills and people with severe malnutrition.

When used in skincare, vitamin B5 is converted to provitamin B5, which is called Panthenol. Panthenol is a fantastic skincare ingredient, as it can help to heal, protect and hydrate the skin. It is a humectant, meaning it can bind water to the skin to increase hydration, and also improve its softness and elasticity. It offers relief from itchiness and pain, and it reduces redness. Wounds treated with provitamin B5 have resulted in regenerated tissue that is more solid and elastic. These properties make it an excellent ingredient for anyone with dry, tight, dehydrated or acneic skin.
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2/23/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Idris Elba brings "Yardie" to Berlin International Film Festival]]>
"Yardie ... is a reminder of where we come from in England," Elba said at a news conference after a screening of his film.

The film follows the journey of D., a young gangster who loses his older brother to ghetto rivalry in Kingston, Jamaica.

Ten years after his brother's death, he is still traumatised. His adopted father, a drug dealer, sends him to London in an attempt to dissuade him from carrying forward the cycle of vengeance.

But his brother's ghost continues to haunts D. and he cannot rest until he takes revenge.

Elba said the film was inspired by the trauma of losing his father five years ago.

The 1992 novel by Jamaican-born British author Victor Headley on which the film is based was described by its publisher as the first popular title aimed at a black audience in Britain.

Elba said his film was not about "black people" but about Jamaican culture, adding: "I think it's a dangerous thing to categorize stories by colour. I am very much a storyteller by culture."

Through songs performed by D. and his brother during the movie, Elba wanted to explain and give context to Jamaican music and reggae for an international audience.

"Even Bob Marley's records, "Lively Up Yourself", "Survival" -- do these people outside of Jamaica really know what those songs were about, and what they meant to Jamaica?" Elba said.

"Yardie" is among around 400 films screening at the Berlinale. The festival runs until Feb. 25.]]>
2/23/2018 9:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt expects promising year of achievements, major events]]>

In the following lines, Egypt Today will shed the light on the most promising projects and events ahead for the Egyptians.

Presidential Election

The upcoming presidential election will be the most important event for the Egyptians in 2018. The National Election Authority (NEA) is expected to officially announce on February 24 the final list of candidates in the elections.

Chairperson of al-Ghad Party, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, will be the only challenger against President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi who is running for a second term.

Over the last few months, a number of political and public figures announced their bid for the election, but none of them continued the race, including human Rights lawyer Khaled Ali, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and former Military Chief of Staff Sami Anan who was basically removed from the voters’ database.

The NEA announced that the voting process in the 2018 presidential election will start on March 26, in a televised statement on January 8.

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Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election on March 26-28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote on March 16-18, said NEC Chairman Lasheen Ibrahim in a press conference.

He added that the deadline for any candidate to retreat will be on March 1. The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.

The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.

Air links between Egypt and Russia

After more than 27 months of direct flights suspension between Cairo and Moscow, the Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov announced that commercial passenger flights between the two countries will resume in February. During that period, the Egyptian government spared no effort to find a solution to the issue, due to the importance of this anticipated step to Egypt.

In October 2015, the Airbus A321, operated by Metrojet, crashed over the Sinai Peninsula, which was carrying Russian tourists returning from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 on board.

Although Egypt-Russia investigations have yet to reveal the reason of the crash, Russia, along with England and some other countries, decided to suspend direct flights to Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh for indefinite period. The decision decimated Egypt's vital tourism industry.

The tourism sector is one of Egypt’s main foreign currency earners, which has suffered badly from the travel ban that turned the once 100 percent occupied resorts to empty places.

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To understand the impact of a possible resumption of air links, one should know that Egypt is highly regarded as a tourist destination that can attract diverse types of tourists, such as those interested in exploring the country’s ancient culture, or those who want to enjoy sunny beaches.

Tourist inflow to Egypt peaked in 2010, when 14.7 million tourists visited the country, but the number fell to 4.5 million in 2016.

Russian and British tourists capture the largest portion of tourist inflows to Egypt. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the Russian tourist inflow to Egypt reached its peak in 2014, with tourists recording 3.1 million. Following the Russian plane crash, this number went down to 2.38 million in 2015.

The British tourist inflow used to range between 800,000 to one million tourists, but this number also declined after the suspension of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh. British flights are now limited to the tourist areas in the Red Sea and the Upper Egyptian cities of Luxor and Aswan.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi visited Moscow in early December 2017 when he signed an air security agreement that will hopefully set the required procedures settle the issue permanently. It comes after several countries and international aviation bodies praised the security and safety measures adopted in the Egyptian airports following the Russian plane disaster in October 2015.

Sirius Aero, the largest Russian airline of business aviation, announced on February 17 that it has obtained the government's permission to launch its first commercial passenger flight from Moscow to Cairo since October 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the resumption of regular air traffic between Moscow and Cairo on January 4 after the Egyptian authorities strengthened security measures at the Cairo International Airport, in compliance with Russian demands.

Egypt’s tourism recovers

There are indicators that suggest that tourism will bounce back, with the Ministry of Tourism announcing that tourist numbers are estimated at 8 million by the end of 2017, compared to 4.5 million tourists last year. How this can be possible?

The capacity of South Sinai’s hotels, including Sharm El-Sheikh, represent 35 percent of the total hotel capacity in Egypt, estimated at 225,000 rooms, of which about 65,000 rooms are in the Red Sea, 30,000 in Greater Cairo, and the rest in other provinces.

It means that the majority of Egypt’s hotel capacity lies outside the banned region. However, South Sinai represents 40-45 percent of Egyptian annual tourism income, and it can add $12 billion annually.

Meanwhile, the ministry said in a previous statement that a noticeable influx of Asian tourists started flocking to Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. The Asian visitors have mitigated the negative effects of the absence of Russian and British tourists.

China’s top public travel agency, China International Travel Service, reported a 58 percent increase in tourists flying to Egypt in 2016 compared to 2015, while Japan’s HIS travel agency said the number of tourists heading to Egypt was multiplied by four to five times last year.

The boom in Asian interest may be a result of the World Tourism Organization's decision to name Luxor the world’s tourism capital of 2016.

According to CAPMAS, the number of tourists who visited Egypt in fiscal year 2016/17 rose by 259,700 tourists to 732,700 tourists.

The return of Russian flights and tours could be a massive boost to tourist numbers that reached 5.3 million tourists in 2016, compared to 14.7 million visitors in 2010. However, it should be noted that the industry is already recovering gradually.

Administrative Capital

The first phase of the construction of Egypt's New Administrative Capital is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, according to government sources.

The first phase of the new capital, which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in an official inauguration ceremony in October 2017, covered an area of 167 square kilometers.

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Upon completion, the country's ministries and presidency are set to be transferred to their new headquarters in the first half of 2019.

The new administrative capital will be divided into 20 districts that could house up to six million people. It is also planned to include educational institutions, hospitals, 40,000 hotel rooms, a theme park, solar plants and a new international airport.

Counter-Terrorism in Sinai

The Egyptians were shocked with the bloody terrorist attack that hit the main mosque in North Sinai’s Al-Rawdah Village on 24 November 2017. It took the lives of 311 people, roughly 22 percent of the village’s male residents, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics’ (CAPMAS) 2016 report.

Although the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2017, issued in late November, excluded Egypt from its list of the ten countries most affected by terrorism, this year witnessed the deadliest attack in the history of the country, raising a question: when will the ongoing terror attacks in Egypt, particularly the Sinai Peninsula, end?

The Sinai insurgency initially consisted of separate militants who exploited the chaotic situation in Egypt following the 25th January Revolution and launched a series of attacks on government forces in Sinai. Since 2014, the terrorist attacks started to take shape of regular and organized operations. The most dangerous terrorist group, Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis (ABM), pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) threatening of more raucous attacks.

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The Egyptian authorities have attempted to restore security in the Sinai through both political and military measures. Egypt launched several military operations, including Operation Eagle in mid-2011, Operation Sinai in mid-2012 and Operation Martyr's Right from 2015 till present. The ongoing operation was considered to be the largest military action in the Sinai Peninsula in years. The operation targets sites in Rafah, Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, all towns in northern area of the peninsula.

The army announced in mid-2017 that the military’s Martyr's Right operation resulted in the death of about 500 militants and destroyed hundreds of hideouts and vehicles used by terrorists since its beginning in September 2015. The army’s strategy to face terrorism was based on three stages. The first depended on monitoring terrorism regional and international networks that provide logistical and financial support to terrorists in the country.

The second stage was based on the execution of military sweeping operations in cooperation with police forces and the residents of the Sinai Peninsula, aiming to achieve full elimination of the terrorists’ presence. The third stage sought to launch comprehensive development projects to improve the living status of the residents in Sinai.

In early February, the army spokesman Colonel Tamer el-Rifai announced in a strongly worded televised statement Friday morning that the military and police forces were initiating a large-scale security operation. He said that, in addition to the northern Sinai Peninsula, this will involve actions in the Nile Delta, Central Sinai and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya, strongholds of a persistent Islamic State group insurgency that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police.

Operation Sinai 2018 is targeting “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations”, el-Rifai said. He did not say how long it would last, but said that it involved land, sea and air forces. The air force has launched attacks against militant hide-outs in North and Central Sinai, and the navy has tightened control of the waterways to cut off supply lines, he said.

Meanwhile, a source from the Interior Ministry told state agency MENA that the country has raised the security alert to its highest level nationwide, in light of the “fierce war” by the police in coordination with the armed forces to eradicate “the roots of terrorism.”

According to the source, security measures in the vicinity of major state institutions, houses of worship and tourist hotspots have been intensified.

Egypt achieves gas self-sufficiency

Minister of Oil Tarek al-Mula stated in January that Egypt’s natural gas production had reached 5.5 billion cubic feet, and is projected to increase production to six billion cubic feet by the end of 2018, to make Egypt self-sufficient in natural gas.

Egypt’s newly discovered Zohr gas field was considered the largest natural gas well in the Middle East within the last 50 years. The project comes at a crucial time for the Egyptian economy, with various economic organizations lauding the discovery.

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Egypt is currently highly import-reliant on gas: being the world’s 8th biggest importer of natural gas worldwide. However, by its second phase, the Zohr gas field is expected to reverse Egypt’s position and make it an exporter of natural gas, rather than an importer.

The Zohr gas field project has come at a cost of $15 billion in investments, provided through collaboration between Egypt and Italy. The field may have a potential of up to 850 billion cubic meters of gas and is therefore one of the largest gas discoveries in the world.

FIFA World Cup

Egypt’s national team will be among 32 squads from around the globe taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia which will begin on June 14 and end on July 15.

This will be Egypt’s first time to qualify for the World Cup since 1990.

Egypt qualified for the football's most prestigious tournament after a thrilling 2-1 win against Congo at Borg El Arab Stadium on in October 2017.

Mohamed Salah scored the first goal in minute 63 of the match while the second goal came after a penalty sending the Pharaohs to the World Cup finals.

Salah is now Egypt’s fifth top scorer in history with 31 international goals.

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2/23/2018 8:28:14 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. gun lobby slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacre]]>
NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump's call to arm teachers to prevent school shootings, and weighed in on a long-running political and cultural divide over access to weapons that has been inflamed by last week's massacre at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff.

"The elites don't care not one whit about America's school system and school children," LaPierre told a friendly audience of conservatives outside Washington. "Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all individual freedoms."

The U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms.

At the White House, Trump told local and state school officials he had discussed his ideas to stem gun violence in schools with the NRA, the politically influential gun lobby that backed him in the 2016 campaign. He called the group "Great American Patriots."

"There's a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done," he said. "The NRA wants to do the right thing."

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer condemned LaPierre's comments and said the NRA was "once again spewing pathetic, out of touch ideas, blaming everything but guns."

The Feb. 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the latest in a series of deadly shootings at U.S. schools and has spurred unprecedented youth-led protests in cities across the country. Many of the teenagers and their parents taking part have called for more curbs on guns.

LaPierre, speaking at the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference, portrayed the NRA as the true protector of the country's schoolchildren and offered free training to those who want to bear arms to protect schools.

"We must immediately harden our schools," he said. "Every day, young children are being dropped off at schools that are virtually wide open, soft targets for anyone bent on mass murder." It should not be easier to shoot up a school than a bank or a jewelry store, he added.

The NRA set up a booth at the conference to sign up new members and recruit campaign field workers for the November mid-term elections in which Democrats are trying to take over control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.

ARMED TEACHERS

"I'm strongly for concealed carry, strongly for arming the teachers like Trump said," said Nick Fuentes, 19, from Chicago, as he stood outside the booth. "Teachers who are adept at firearms should be armed."

LaPierre attacked Democrats by name including Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Christopher Murphy and also took a swipe at the FBI for failing to follow up on a tip about the alleged shooter in the Parkland massacre. The FBI has said it failed to act on the tip.

Florida Governor Rick Scott also criticized the FBI for failing so far to provide details about why it did not respond to the tip. "Family members and loved ones of the victims deserve answers today," Scott said in a statement.

Trump reiterated his idea, first raised on Wednesday during an emotional discussion with people affected by the shooting, to arm teachers, a notion raised by some politicians in the past but dismissed by critics as fraught with danger.

"Anyone who pushes arming teachers doesn't understand teachers and doesn't understand our schools. Adding more guns to schools may create an illusion of safety, but in reality it would make our classrooms less safe," said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers union.

At an hourlong meeting on school safety with 10 state and local officials, Trump said armed teachers with an aptitude for guns would deter would-be shooters.

"A gun-free zone to a killer, or somebody that wants to be a killer, that's like going in for the ice cream," Trump said. "They're not going to walk into a school if 20 percent of the teachers have guns."

Trump repeated his support for tightening background checks for gun buyers, with an emphasis on mental health, and lifting the age limit to buy some kinds of guns. He also said he would push for an end to the sale of bump stocks, which allow rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.

The White House said Trump does not want to ban sales of an entire class of firearms despite mounting pressure to put assault weapons such as the one used in the Florida shooting out of civilian reach.

While gun laws vary widely by state, most federal gun control measures would require Congress to act.

A 19-year-old former student at Stoneman Douglas, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with carrying out the Parkland shooting. Authorities say he was armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault-style rifle that he had purchased legally last year.]]>
2/23/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudis promised double the fun in drive to lure back tourist dollars]]>
The state wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment, lifting a ban on cinemas and putting on shows by Western artists.

U.S. rapper Nelly performed in Jeddah in December, albeit to a men-only crowd, and Greek musician Yanni played to a mixed-gender audience.

The gradual relaxing of gender segregation risks causing a backlash from religious conservatives, but public objections to a wider programme of reforms have been more muted in recent months after several critics were arrested.

At an event to launch the 2018 entertainment calendar, Ahmed al-Khatib, chairman of the state-run General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said infrastructure investments over the next decade would reach 240 billion riyals ($64 billion), including an opera house to be completed around 2022.

That will contribute 18 billion riyals to annual GDP and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030, the GEA said.

"The bridge is starting to reverse," Khatib said, referring to the causeway linking Saudi Arabia with more liberal Bahrain where many Saudis flock for weekend getaways.

"And I promise you that we will reverse this migration, and people from Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain will come to Saudi."

However, on Thursday night, the Minister of Culture and Information said Khatib's opera plans were an infringement of the role of the General Authority for Culture, a separate government body, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The entertainment plans are largely motivated by economics, part of a reform programme to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The Vision 2030 plan aims to increase household spending on cultural and entertainment events inside the kingdom to 6 percent by 2030 from 2.9 percent.

"We are bringing the most exciting and famous events to Saudi Arabia this year," Khatib told Reuters in an interview, adding that state-sponsored entertainment events would be staged in 56 cities.

"We are creating new local events with local content," he said. "Almost 80 percent of the calendar (events) are for families."

Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas late last year, with plans for regional and global chains to open more than 300 movie theatres by 2030. The first cinemas are expected to start showing films from March.

Last year, the country announced plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Red Sea coast and an entertainment city south of Riyadh featuring golf courses, car racing tracks and a Six Flags theme park. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)]]>
2/23/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Suicide bomber throws grenade into US embassy compound in Montenegro]]>
Authorities in Podgorica have released no theories as to the motive for the early morning attack in Montenegro, which recently joined NATO, but said it was unlikely to have been a terrorist attack.

"At this moment we have not found (evidence) to talk about terrorism. Everything else is being investigated," prosecutor Lepa Medenica told reporters.

"In cooperation with the FBI, police are checking his social media accounts and investigating if (the attacker) D.J. worked alone or had accomplices, as well as what was the motive of the attack," Montenegro's deputy police chief Enis Bakovic said.

The attacker, identified only by his initials and as a 43-year old Montenegrin citizen born in Serbia with no criminal record, "committed suicide by activating a hand grenade M-75, after he had thrown one into the embassy compound," Medenica said.

A US State Department spokesperson said officials were "working closely with police to identify the assailant(s)".

Montenegro's main daily paper Vijesti published a picture, apparently from the attacker's Facebook page, showing an award he won for his service in the Yugoslav army in 1999, which was signed by the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

That was the year in which a NATO air campaign against the rump Yugoslavia -- composed of Serbia and Montenegro -- ended the Kosovo war. Montenegro declared independence in 2006 and has espoused pro-Western policies ever since.

- 'Man's body removed' -

An AFP correspondent who arrived on the scene shortly after the blast did not see any damage.

Police said the explosion had left a crater in an inner courtyard, but that there was no other damage to embassy property.

On its Twitter account, the embassy said all its staff were "safe and accounted for" but it cancelled all visa services for the day, although access was available for US citizens "on an emergency basis".

A guard at the sports centre who asked not to be named said he "heard two explosions, one after another".

"Police came very quickly and the body of a man was taken away," he told AFP.

- New NATO member -

The heavily secured embassy building is located on the outskirts of Podgorica's city centre, near the secret police headquarters and the Moraca river.

Police said it had stepped up security of all embassies and consulates in the country.

The small Adriatic state of some 660,000 people joined NATO last May, a decision that provoked violent protests by the pro-Russian opposition in 2015.

In October 2016, authorities said they had thwarted a plot by pro-Russian militants to storm parliament and oust the pro-Western government on the eve of general elections.

Authorities alleged that "Russian state bodies" were involved in the conspiracy, which they said was aimed at preventing Montenegro from joining NATO.

In October 2011, the US embassy in Sarajevo in neighbouring Bosnia was the target of an Islamist attack.

Mevlid Jasarevic, who fired on the embassy building with an automatic rifle, wounding a police officer, was also injured in the ensuing gunfight.

Jasarevic was later sentenced to 15 years in jail.

According to figures published in November by a regional think tank, 1,000 people from the western Balkans have gone to join jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq since 2012.

Twenty-three of those were from Montenegro, whose population is predominantly Orthodox Christian.

Last month, a court in Montenegro for the first time sentenced one of its citizens for having fought in Syria.

Hamid Beharovic, 39, was found guilty of fighting for Islamic State group between April 2015 and May 2016. He was given a six-month jail term.]]>
2/23/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Kremlin critic Navalny held, then released ahead of Russian election]]>
The 41-year-old anti-corruption campaigner was repeatedly jailed last year for organising some of Russia's biggest protests, targeting what he says are the luxury lifestyles of President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle.

Navalny's detention on Thursday came shortly after his campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, tweeted that he had been detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Volkov later tweeted that he had been sentenced by a court to 30 days in jail.

Navalny said Volkov had been planning to fly to the Russian regional republic of Bashkortostan to organise election-monitoring activities.

Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said Volkov had been found guilty of organising illegal protests, and that it was "obvious" he was being punished for Navalny's calls for a boycott of the March 18 election, which Putin is expected to win easily.

"As a high turnout is the Kremlin's main goal, the authorities are very sensitive about our efforts to reduce it," she said, adding that Navalny would keep up his calls.

Navalny has been barred from running in the election over what his supporters say is a trumped-up suspended prison sentence. Instead, he hopes for a boycott to undermine Putin's legitimacy.

Navalny tweeted that he had been detained by police on Thursday as he left a dental appointment. He was released just under an hour later, saying police had opened a case against him for organising illegal protests.

"They offered me a lift somewhere, but I declined and have gone to work. I don't understand what happened and why it took seven people to detain me," he said.

If found guilty, Navalny could also be jailed for 30 days, which would keep him behind bars until after the election.

INCREASING PRESSURE

Navalny has come under increasing pressure from authorities as he has sought to rally Russians against the election, which he says is a sham and a rigged contest.

Although Putin looks certain to secure a fourth term against rivals of little standing, analysts say the Kremlin is keen to boost his legitimacy with a high turnout, and avoid the impression that voters have stayed home in protest at falling living standards.

Navalny was detained at an anti-election protest in Moscow in late January and had his website blocked earlier this month after refusing to remove material covered in a court injunction.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday but has previously said Navalny does not represent any real threat to Putin.

Yarmysh said the head of Navalny's Anti-corruption Foundation had been sentenced to 10 days in jail on Tuesday for organising an unsanctioned protest in January.]]>
2/23/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[North Korea says U.N. chief 'picking a quarrel’ with sanctions remarks]]>
North Korea's U.N. mission said in a statement that Guterres had made "reckless remarks" during a speech last week to the Munich Security Conference.

"This is nothing but an absurd sophistry inappropriate to his duty as Secretary-General of the United Nations and only make us to think whether he is a kind of henchman who is representing the United States," the North Korean U.N. mission said.

The governments of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in a standoff over the North's development of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States. Months of tension were marked by Trump and Kim exchanging insults, fueling fears of war, until this month when the relationship between North Korea and U.S. ally South Korea showed signs of thawing.

The United States was to blame for the situation on the Korean Peninsula, said the North Korean U.N. mission, criticizing Guterres for not mentioning Washington in his Munich speech.

Guterres told the conference: "It is important to note that the unity that the Security Council has been able to ... put, through sanctions, a very meaningful pressure over North Korea, and that pressure in my opinion is absolutely essential to be maintained."

The Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

The North Korean U.N. mission asked Guterres to push the Security Council to welcome "the process of improved inter-Korean relations and discouraging neighboring countries from disturbing the process."

Kim Jong Un surprised the world when he said North Korea would join the Winter Olympics in South Korea, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in has delayed military exercises, feted Kim's sister at the Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang and given conditional consent to a summit.

Guterres said in his speech that "even if the relations between the two Koreas improved, let's be clear that is not the central question we are facing. The central question remains the question of denuclearization."]]>
2/23/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Anger in NE Nigeria over Boko Haram 'abduction' response]]>
Police said on Wednesday that 111 girls from the state-run boarding school in Dapchi, in Yobe state, were unaccounted for following a jihadist raid on Monday night.

Hours later, Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said "some of the girls" had been rescued by troops "from the terrorists who abducted them".

But on a visit to Dapchi on Thursday, Gaidam appeared to question whether there had been any abduction.

"The girls scattered during the attack, and we can't be sure whether they were lost or taken," he said. "We have no certainty that these boys (Boko Haram) took these girls.

"Nobody saw these girls being taken in vehicles. It is possible some of the girls came across motorists and they gave them a ride to some places."

As news of his comments spread, groups of angry youths set up barricades and burned car tyres in the streets, hurling missiles at the governor's convoy.

An AFP reporter said several vehicles suffered smashed windscreens from stones and parts of concrete blocks, while police and soldiers chased rioters down side streets.

Bego's statement had been the first official acknowledgement of an abduction, two days after Boko Haram fighters stormed the remote town in pick-up trucks and a lorry.

The disappearance sparked fears of a repeat of the 2014 mass kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a similar school in Chibok, in neighbouring Borno state.

Initially, the students in Dapchi were reported to have fled with their teachers at the sound of gunfire. Families claimed the authorities tried to cover up the abduction.

A federal government delegation dispatched from Abuja spent less than an hour on the ground at the school meeting Gaidam and military commanders before leaving by helicopter.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed made no direct comment on Gaidam's remarks, but said some students "have phoned from their hiding places... (and) other locations".

He told reporters: "As things develop we will let you know. But we cannot categorically say, 'x number of girls have been abducted'. But we can say that not all have returned."

- 'Devastated' -

Inuwa Mohammed, whose 16-year-old daughter, Falmata, was missing, said he was "devastated by this twist of events" and that his wife fainted on hearing the news and was in hospital.

"I woke up with the strong hope of meeting my daughter and my wife had been making preparations for a warm welcome, only for us to receive this shattering news that all along the story has been a rumour," he added.

The attack will again raise questions about the government's grip on security in remote northeast Nigeria, after nearly nine years of fighting and at least 20,000 deaths.

Residents said fighters dressed in military fatigues and turbans arrived unchallenged, firing weapons and shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest").

Safai Maimagani, a herbal medicine vendor, said the militants headed towards the school on the edge of the sleepy farming community.

"Not long afterwards they returned," he said. "I heard shrieks of girls from the lorry."

Muhammad Kabo, a tea seller, gave a similar account: "They were here for less than an hour. I heard girls wailing in the truck and it was clear that they abducted some girls from the school."

A school security guard who gave his name as Baa-Koro said the gunmen tried to stop the girls from fleeing and tricked them into believing they had come to rescue them.

"Some of the girls believed them and climbed up into the lorry. Many others just kept running," he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat the Islamic State group affiliate and has repeatedly maintained they are now a spent force.

But civilians -- especially those displaced by the conflict -- remain vulnerable to suicide attacks and hit-and-run raids.

The Dapchi attack also calls into question how far pledges to improve security at schools have been implemented nearly four years after the Chibok abduction.

Since May last year, 107 of the 219 held since 2014 have either escaped or been released as part of a government-brokered deal.

Security analysts suggested government ransom payments to secure the release of the Chibok girls could have given the under-pressure group an incentive for financing.]]>
2/23/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump doubles down on call to arm school teachers]]>
In a morning tweetstorm, Trump forcefully defended the proposal he floated a day earlier in a meeting with survivors of last week's Parkland shooting -- but which is strongly opposed by teachers' unions, and numerous lawmakers from both camps.

"Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!" Trump tweeted.

"A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!"

Trump insisted he was not advocating arming every American teacher, only those with "military or special training" -- suggesting that would be around 20 percent of them, or around 700,000 educators.

The president meanwhile reiterated his support for the "great people" of the National Rifle Association, whose leader Wayne LaPierre lashed out Thursday at the gun lobby's critics, accusing them of a "shameful politicization" of the deaths of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

After a poignant exchange with Parkland survivors and bereaved parents, Trump was meeting Thursday with state and local officials including Christine Hunschofsky, the Democratic mayor of Parkland, to discuss ways to improve school safety.

But teachers' unions were quick to condemn his proposal to arm educators, with the American Federation of Teachers claiming Trump was in favor of an "arms race" that would "turn schools into militarized fortresses."

"Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them—or worse, doesn't care," the union's president Randi Weingarten said.

Summing up the opposition of many lawmakers, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal called the idea of arming teachers "toxic lunacy -- an NRA-backed distraction from common sense action.

"Arming teachers is inane and insane -- a sure path to reckless and panicky shooting, gun theft, and other deadly dangers. A non-starter in the Senate."

- 'They hate the NRA' -

Trump's televised White House meeting on Wednesday came as students staged street protests across the country to demand stricter gun laws following the Valentine's Day rampage in Parkland by a 19-year-old former student.

He heard wrenching first-hand accounts from bereaved parents and friends, and schoolchildren who narrowly escaped with their own lives.

In a signal of the fine political line that Trump is trying to walk between his political supporters on the right and the majority of Americans who favor tighter controls, the 71-year-old president promised "very strong" background checks on gun owners, as well as a push to improve mental health care.

The US Congress has long been deadlocked on the gun debate, accomplishing nothing despite a spate of mass shootings and polls showing that Americans support stricter gun laws by a two-to-one margin.

According to a Gallup tracking poll, 60 percent of Americans now favor tougher gun sale laws.

Trump also advocated raising the legal age for purchasing guns, as well as banning devices that clip on to the back end of a rifle and harness the gun's recoil, essentially turning a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one.

"Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!"

Currently under federal law, anyone 18 or over can buy a gun from a private, unlicensed seller, although a handful of states have set the minimum age at 21.

But the NRA hit back hard at any suggestion of raising the legal age for gun purchases in a statement issued after the White House meeting.

Delivering his first public comments on the Parkland shooting at a conservative conference near Washington, LaPierre accused gun control advocates within the Democratic Party of seeking to roll back the constitutional right to bear arms.

"The shameful politicization of tragedy, it's a classic strategy right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement," he said.

"For them it's not a safety issue, it's a political issue," he said. "They hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom," he said.

He also doubled down on the NRA's longstanding position that armed Americans were the first line of defense in confronting deadly attacks.

"Lean in, listen to me now, and never forget these words: to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun."

Earlier, in a fired-up address, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch slammed the FBI for missing a series of warning signs ahead of the Florida shooting, while asserting that the mainstream media benefited from such tragedies.

"Many in legacy media love mass shootings" she told the crowd. "Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you."]]>
2/23/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Congolese refugees killed in rations protest - Rwandan police]]>
Officers fired teargas at the group of around 3,000 protesters who police spokesman Theos Badege said were pelting them with stones and pieces of metal.

The refugees had been there since Tuesday after travelling around 15 km (10 miles) from the refugee camp in Kiziba to the U.N. office in Karongi, western Rwanda, to demonstrate against the 25 percent cut in food provided by the U.N. refugee agency.

The UNHCR agency said in January it was having to reduce the rations due to funding shortages.

"It was necessary for the police to tell (them) to show respect and warn them but as the police addressed them, they started throwing stones and police used necessary power,” Badege told Reuters.

He said police started firing teargas in the air and at the refugees when some officers were injured by the protesters.

"That was done today and they left the place. Unfortunately some of them were injured and though we are yet to get figures, some of the refugees died,” he said.

Other refugees said police had also shot at them and at least one person had been killed.

“We were shot at the UNHCR offices as we were trying to speak up our rights. My nephew Mucyo Christian died and my siblings were injured," refugee Bakunzi Emile told Reuters by phone.

Refugees said police used live bullets there but Badege said it was not true.

Refugees said police also attacked them in the Kiziba camp. Badege said they went there to rescue an immigration officer who had been taken hostage by refugees.

Rwanda hosts about 174,000 refugees, including 57,000 people from neighbouring Burundi who fled violence in 2015. Most of the rest fled the Democratic Republic of Congo during bouts of instability there over the past 20 years. The Kiziba camp houses 17,000 Congolese.

UNHCR said in a statement on Thursday that its funding appeal of 2018 for Rwanda of $98.8 million was only 2 percent funded, and the World Food Programme has warned of more cuts if its monthly requirements of $2.5 million were not met.

"UNHCR urges the refugees to respect local laws and express grievances through dialogue, while calling on authorities to handle the situation with calm and restraint," it said.

Jeanne d'Arc DeBonheur, Rwanda's minister for disaster management and refugees affairs, said earlier police had to act for security reasons.

"They must leave that place and go to the camp. Even we agreed with UNHCR that they cannot get any support while they are still camped there," she said. ]]>
2/23/2018 1:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Macron offers tough love for farmers ahead of Paris show]]>
Macron invited hundreds of young farmers to the Elysee presidential palace before the annual Paris farm show this weekend, a politically important event which takes place just after farmers staged protests across France.

The government is facing discontent over issues including trade talks with South American countries and an overhaul of subsidies for disadvantaged farm belts, sapping goodwill created by legislative proposals for fairer farmgate prices.

"Let's not be naive, we won't fix our problems in a few months ... but I want to give French agriculture a future," Macron told the young farmers.

Macron pledged to clamp down on farmland purchases by foreign buyers, highlighting access to land for young farmers as a vital issue as France faced the prospect of 40 percent of current farmers retiring by 2020.

"We cannot let hundreds of hectares be bought up by foreign powers without knowing what the aim of these purchases is," he said in a speech. "We are therefore clearly going to put in place regulatory safeguards in this area."

Macron was alluding to land deals in 2016 and 2017 that French farming groups and media have linked to Chinese fuel services group Hongyang.

While Chinese investors have acquired a number of wine estates and formed partnerships with dairy companies in France, the purchase of 2,600 hectares of cropland in central France over the past two years has hit a nerve.

Hongyang could not be reached for comment.

Macron also sought to reassure farmers that he would defend them in trade talks with the Mercosur bloc, negotiations that have raised fears of an influx of South American beef.

He reiterated French "red lines" over food and farming standards and said he would demand a safeguard clause to suspend any trade accord if agricultural markets were disrupted.

But he said existing imports of South American beef at full tariffs showed the French meat industry had failed to modernise, allowing imported beef to claim 70 percent of restaurant demand in France.

"Who can look me in the eye and tell me that Mercosur is the cause of their difficulties?," he said.

Macron said an election pledge to invest 5 billion euros ($6.2 billion) in agriculture would start being implemented later this year, using financial mechanisms like state-backed loans for young farmers.

Farmers attending the reception reacted cautiously.

"He met our expectations with his message, but there weren't enough hard figures," said Paul Chanvillard, a 26-year-old dairy farmer.]]>
2/23/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Romanian minister calls for prosecutor's sacking, graft crackdown under threat]]>
Tudorel Toader read a summary of a 20-point report arguing for Laura Codruta Kovesi's dismissal that he compiled himself, telling a news conference she was responsible for "acts and facts intolerable to the rule of law."

She has led anti-corruption prosecution agency DNA since 2013 and, under her management, conviction rates have risen sharply in one of the European Union's most corrupt states, winning plaudits from EU authorities in Brussels who have Romania's justice system under special monitoring.

The country's ruling Social Democrats tried a year ago to decriminalise several corruption offences by emergency decree, leading to its largest street protests in decades.

A judicial overhaul approved by the ruling coalition late last year - which was criticised by the president, thousands of magistrates, the European Commission and the U.S. State Department - is back in parliament after the Constitutional Court ruled some of its provisions were unconstitutional.

"DNA is not the same as its chief prosecutor, whose actions have proved can jeopardise the institution through an excess of authority... defying parliament's authority and challenging Constitutional Court rulings," Toader said.

The minister, part of a one-month old cabinet that is Romania's third in just a year, declined to answer reporters' questions. Some of the arguments he invoked were unproved local media allegations of misconduct.

President Klaus Iohannis, who has the final say on the removal of chief prosecutors, said in a statement Toader's report was unclear and needed analysis.

"The president has repeatedly said he was satisfied by the activity of DNA and its leadership, an opinion he continues to have," the statement said. 'YOU'RE NOT GETTING AWAY WITH IT'

DNA has investigated lawmakers, ministers, mayors, magistrates and businessmen in recent years, exposing conflicts of interest, abuse of power, fraud and the award of state contracts in exchange for bribes.

It has sent over 70 members of parliament to trial since 2006. The speakers of parliament’s lower house and senate are both currently on trial in separate cases.

In a news conference last week, Kovesi defended DNA against attacks by some of those currently on trial, saying she would have no reason to resign if she was asked to.

"This attack isn't about Kovesi, it is about the prosecutors who have done their job. It aims to make the Romanian state kneel, humiliate society and the Romanian people," she said.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside government headquarters following Toader's news conference, chanting "You're not getting away with it".

More were joining them and demonstrations also broke out in at least three other cities, according to social media postings by participants.

"In case there were people doubting the justice minister was not a political actor, this evening has clarified that," said Sergiu Miscoiu, political science professor at Babes-Bolyai University. ]]>
2/23/2018 1:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Upper Egypt witness first victory for girl against harasser ]]>
“It all began while I was out on an August Friday to do some house shopping, when a guy sexually harassed me in the street. I shouted at him but he started to beat me so I responded by beating him back with my bag,” Rania told TV presenter Wael el-Ebrashy during his daily show ‘Al Ashera Masa’an - 10 pm’ on the private TV channel of Dream.


“What surprised and annoyed me the most was the reaction of the pedestrians who were passing by during the incident, not only they didn’t help me out to stop or catch him, they even tried to release the harasser from my grip and let him escape,” Rania expressed her disappointment during her phone interview with Ebrashy.


Out of Rania’s decision to act positive, she asked the owners of the surrounding shops to provide her with the CCTV footage of the incident, in order to prove the violation against her to the police.

Rania is a girl from a little village in Qena, Upper Egypt, lives with her mother and other three sisters .She graduated from the Faculty of Science.

Residents of Upper Egypt are usually more conservative more than other Egyptian regions; they wear traditional customs with giving less space of women freedom. There is also a culture where each family member is responsible for the integrity and the behaviors of other members.

Although this is the first harassment case brought to court in Upper Egypt, it is not the first in Egypt. The first harassment case in Egypt was in 2008 when Noha Ostadh filed a case against Sherif Gomaa who harassed her from his car as he drove slowly alongside her.

The video of Rania and the harasser went viral on different social media platforms where most of the comments expressed support to her stance, and stood up for her brave retaliation against the defendant.

The harassment law was first issued in Egypt in June 2014 during the tenure of the interim president Adly Mansour, it states that the minimum term of imprisonment for the assaulter is 6 months and/or paying a minimum fine of LE 3000 ($170) and maximum fine of LE 5000 ($283).

Ahmed Abd el-Moghny, a lawyer for the Women’s Center for Guidance and Awareness declared that the judgment can be seen as a deterrent for others as the harasser committed an outrageous act in public, according to Al Masry Al Youm newspaper.]]>
2/23/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Perfect February revives Madrid's season ]]>
Real Madrid revived their fans’ hopes to achieve a title this season after poor results in the first half of the season.

Real Madrid started February at the fourth position at the Spanish League after bad results in January that increased the gap with the league leaders, Barcelona.
Real Madrid were also eliminated from the Spanish Cup after losing to Leganes at the quarter finals.

Real Madrid lost two points in their first game in February after a 2-2 away draw to Levante. This draw made the fans doubt the club’s ability to defeat France’s Paris Saint Germain at the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16.

Real Madrid players responded a week later in front of their fans with a stunning 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad; that victory boosted Real Madrid’s fans’ much needed confidence four days before the match against the Parisian giants at the UEFA Champions League.

The master scene in February was the game between Real Madrid and PSG when Real Madrid players managed to turn the game from a 1-0 loss to a 3-1 win; Real Madrid will travel to Paris to play the second leg on March 6 with a two point aggregate.

Real Madrid continued to win two away consecutive games against Real Betis 5-3 and Leganes 3-1 to return to the third place at the League and reduce the gap with Barcelona to 14 points.

]]>
2/23/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Five-day assault on Syria enclave kills more than 400]]>
Mounting calls for a humanitarian truce in one of the bloodiest episodes of Syria's seven-year conflict went unheeded as 46 more people were killed by air strikes and rocket fire.

Diplomats were working on securing Russian support for a UN Security Council resolution demanding a month-long ceasefire in the enclave which the world body's chief Antonio Guterres described as "hell on earth" but no date was scheduled yet.

People huddled in basements as government forces pounded the besieged enclave with rockets and bombs, turning towns into fields of ruins and even hitting hospitals.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders said 13 of the facilities it supports in Eastern Ghouta were damaged or destroyed in three days, leaving remaining staff with very little to save the hundreds of wounded brought to them every day.

In the hospital mortuary in Douma, the main town in the enclave just east of Damascus, bodies wrapped in white shrouds were already lining up on the floor, two of them children.

- Nowhere safe -

"Five days of air strikes and intense artillery fire by the regime and its Russian ally have killed 403 civilians, including 95 children," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Morning rain appeared to initially keep warplanes away on Thursday but the sky cleared by midday and jets, some of them Russian according to the Observatory, soon returned.

Russia has so far denied direct involvement in the assault on Ghouta but the pro-government Syrian newspaper Al-Watan reported on Thursday that Russian warplanes and advisers had joined the battle.

Regime and allied forces have been massing around the enclave, in which an estimated 400,000 people live, ahead of a likely ground offensive to flush out holdout Islamist and jihadist groups.

"We are 14 women and children living in a room that is 10 feet wide, with no toilet and nowhere to wash," said 53-year-old Umm Abdo, who joined a large group in the basement of a school in Arbin.

The brief respite provided by the rain on Thursday encouraged some residents to venture out of their basements and shelters, to buy food, check on their property or enquire about their relatives and neighbours.

In the town of Hammuriyeh, a queue had formed outside a shop as starving residents tried to stock up but another rocket sowed panic and sent everybody back to their shelters.

In Douma, a young boy tried to peddle lighters on the street but rocket fire quickly forced him to scamper back to cover.

- Powerless -

An AFP correspondent saw rescuers known as the "White Helmets" forced to stop their efforts to retrieve a wounded woman from the rubble of a collapsed home when air strikes resumed.

When they ventured back to the site, the woman was dead.

The indiscriminate bombardment and the strikes on medical facilities sparked global outrage but few concrete options emerged to stop the bloodletting.

"The killing of children, the destruction of hospitals -- all that amounts to a massacre that must be condemned and which must be countered with a clear no," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The aid community voiced its frustration as the world appeared once again powerless to stop a conflict that has left almost 350,000 dead in seven years and caused destruction rarely seen since World War II.

- Russia -

Humanitarian agencies are "sickened that no matter how many times they've raised the alarm, taken the step of speaking out, called on the Security Council to do something, the violence and brutality will sink to new lows," said the Syria INGO Regional Forum.

Talks for a deal between the regime and the armed groups controlling Ghouta appear to have stalled.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a press conference in Belgrade that jihadist fighters in Ghouta had rejected an evacuation deal.

"A few days ago, our military in Syria suggested to the fighters that they withdraw peacefully from Eastern Ghouta, like the evacuation of fighters and their families that was organised in East Aleppo," he said.

The head of the defence committee in Russia's lower house of parliament said Thursday that more than 200 news types of weapons were tested as part of his country's military support to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"It's not an accident that today they are coming to us from many directions to purchase our weapons, including countries that are not our allies," he said.]]>
2/23/2018 12:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Boeing, Lockheed interested in launching rockets from Brazil]]>
"They were very impressed," Defense Minister Raul Jungmann told reporters. "They showed interest, but I can't say whether it will materialize."

Alcantara's location makes it attractive because one-fifth less fuel is used to launch satellites into orbit along the equator compared with sites farther north or south.

Besides SpaceX, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co , the Alcantara visit included smaller aerospace U.S. companies Vector Space Systems, which launches small satellites, and Microcosm, which focuses on providing low-cost access to space, an organizer of the trip said.

Rubens Barbosa, a former Brazilian ambassador to the United States who organized the visit to the base, said the U.S. companies were eager to use the Alcantara site.

However, Elon Musk's SpaceX, fresh off the successful launch this month of the world's most powerful rocket, said the comments were not correct.

“Reports that SpaceX is interested in launching from Brazil are inaccurate,” spokesman John Taylor said in a statement.

Lockheed Martin and Vector Space Systems did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Boeing said it sent two executives to visit the base.

"Boeing sees this as an exciting time in the space industry as we build rockets for launch, test new spaceships, and develop innovative technologies for keeping humans alive on orbit in deep space," the world's top planemaker said.

"International partnerships will play an important role in making that a reality, and we look forward to Brazil's participation," Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing is currently seeking to buy Brazil's Embraer , the world's third largest commercial plane maker and the main player in the country's aerospace industry.

American companies will not be able to launch rockets from Brazil until the South American country signs a Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) with Washington to protect U.S. intellectual property.

A previous attempt to do so in 2000 was scuttled by the leftist government of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when he took power in 2003 and has never been ratified by Congress.

Brazilian lawmakers are expected to approve a new TSA that is now being negotiated with the United States.

Jungmann said in addition to U.S. companies that China, Russia, France and Israel were interested in a partnership with Brazil to use the Alcantara site. Brazil envisions multiple users for the base.

"I think we could setup five launch platforms," Jungmann said.

A variety of countries have worked with Brazil on space issues. Over the past two decades, China has put up five small satellites that Brazil uses to observe agriculture, the environment and the destruction of Amazon rainforest.

Brazil abandoned plans to build its own rockets after an explosion and fire in 2003 at Alcantara killed 21 people.

Brazil then turned to the Ukraine to provide space technology but canceled the deal in 2015 after the former Soviet Union republic's financial problems left it unable to provide rockets as promised.]]>
2/23/2018 12:28:40 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. official focused on election security being shoved aside]]>
Matthew Masterson, currently chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and a former Ohio state official, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners, according to sources familiar with the matter.

It is up the House speaker to recommend a nominee for the commissioner post that Masterson currently holds, with the president then making a formal nomination.

Masterson has been a popular figure among state election officials, many of whom have praised his expertise and leadership on cyber security issues and expressed chagrin at his pending departure. The agency was created by Congress in 2002 to assist states in complying with federal election standards.

The action raises fresh questions over the degree to which Republican President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans who control Congress are taking steps to protect the security of American elections, and some state officials have accused them of doing too little to address the threat.

U.S. voters in November will go to the polls in midterm elections, which American intelligence officials have warned could be targeted by Russia or others seeking to disrupt the process.

There is intense scrutiny of the security of U.S. election systems after a 2016 presidential race in which Russia interfered, according to American intelligence agencies, to try to help Trump win with presidency. Trump in the past has been publicly skeptical about Russian election meddling.

The reason for passing over Masterson and whether the decision originated with Ryan or the White House remained unclear. Some Republicans over the years have sought to eliminate or reduce the agency, arguing that it represents a federal overreach into the role of states in running elections.

Masterson originally was picked by former Speaker John Boehner, a Republican and fellow Ohioan, and nominated by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, before being confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in 2014.

House speakers have discretion to make recommendations for certain federal positions, a Ryan spokeswoman said. She declined to say whether a replacement had been selected for Masterson or whether cyber security would be a priority in filling the post, referring further questions to the White House.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment. Masterson also declined to comment.

Masterson, who already was due to give up his rotating chairmanship this month, is expected to remain a commissioner until his replacement is chosen by Ryan, formally nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate.

'PRETTY REMARKABLE'

Masterson has spent the last year as the commission's chairman, focusing largely on election cyber security, state election officials said. Twenty-one states experienced probing of their systems by Russian hackers during the 2016 election, according to U.S. officials.

Though a small number of networks were compromised, voting machines were not directly affected and there remains no evidence any vote was altered, according to U.S. officials and security experts.

"It is pretty remarkable that in this environment, given the importance of this issue, that the speaker would choose this moment to not reappoint the person doing the most work in this area," said Judd Choate, Colorado's election director and the immediate past president of the National Association of State Election Directors.

The commission was formed in the aftermath of the 2000 U.S. presidential election won by Republican George W. Bush that came down to disputed paper ballots cast in Florida. Its responsibilities include maintaining voluntary guidelines for voting systems, including cyber security standards, that most states use when purchasing new voting equipment.

Since the 2016 election, almost all 50 states have taken steps to purchase more secure equipment, expand the use of paper ballots, improve cyber training or seek federal assistance, according to groups that track election security.

U.S. intelligence officials have described the targeting of state election systems as part of a wide-ranging effort by Moscow that also included propaganda efforts and hacking to sow discord during the 2016 campaign, boost Trump and disparage his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office last Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for their alleged involvement in a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper with the 2016 election.

Under law, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House each recommend one commissioner to be nominated by the president to fill the agency's four spots. The Republican-led House Administration Committee last year passed a measure that would terminate the agency on the grounds that it has outlived its usefulness.]]>
2/23/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Youth decorate Cairo’s Opera metro station walls]]>
1 (2) Egyptian commuter is looking at the paintings of Cairo’s Opera metro station walls in which the face of the famous writer, Taha Hussein shines - Mohamed al-Hosary


“As the metro gathers Egyptians from different walks of life, we have chosen this metro station, aiming to spread happiness among all people,” said Yara Ali, member of “Mobdeoon.”

2 (1) A group of 11 young artists that goes by the name of “Mobdeoon” (Innovators), have colored Cairo’s Opera metro station walls to represent the solar system - Mohamed al-Hosary


“The Metro welcomed our initiative and cooperated with us by buying all the utensils we needed to pursue our artwork,” added Ali.

“We have intentions to continue coloring the rest of the metro stations.” Moreover, Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat, integrating the metro station on Tuesday, encouraged us to continue spreading their art, saying, “Don’t stop by just coloring Opera station.”

The team worked tirelessly for three weeks from 9 am to 7 pm, However, the result was worth it. The beautiful wall features Egypt’s most famous artists such as Umm Kolthoum and Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

4 (1) A group of 11 young artists that goes by the name of “Mobdeoon” (Innovators), have colored Cairo’s Opera metro station walls to represent the solar system - Mohamed al-Hosary


Our initiative “Let’s color it” was launched two years ago, Ali said, “we started by painting walls in Masr el-Gedida.”

5 (1) A group of 11 young artists that goes by the name of “Mobdeoon” (Innovators), have colored Cairo’s Opera metro station walls to represent the solar system - Mohamed al-Hosary
]]>
2/23/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Palestinian President Abbas leaves U.S. hospital and is fine]]>
He told Reuters that Abbas had left the hospital in the U.S. city of Baltimore and would be returning home to Ramallah in the West Bank on Friday. ]]>
2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[BT, Youm7 honor Sports Minister Abdel Aziz for launching Sports Support Fund]]>CAIRO – 22 February 2018: A shield of honor was awarded to Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel Aziz on Thursday for his contributions and achievements in the sports field in Egypt.


The shield was handed to Abdel Aziz by Khaled Salah, editor-in-chief of Egyptian influential daily Youm7 and head of the editorial board of Business Today Egypt.


Abdel Aziz’ latest achievement is launching the “Egyptian Sports Support Fund” to support sports in Egypt and put it back on the global sports map by providing proper preparation for Egyptian athletes according to international standards.


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Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel Aziz receiving the BT100 shield of honor – Egypt Today/Hossam Atef

The minister affirmed, upon being honored, that the fund came to light after thorough research and study by the Cabinet.


He added that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was so convinced of the fund that it got announced early, the matter which motivated whoever was agreed responsible for the fund to immediately start acting upon it.


Abdel Aziz pointed out that sports clubs are suffering, especially after the pound floatation, even if the state decided to increase its support to clubs by 25% next year, it will not be of much significance, therefore, the fund poses the only solution for the advancement of sports in Egypt.


It is agreed that the fund, financed by businessmen and public and private authorities, will be sponsoring athletes who will represent Egypt in the Olympics.


Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today on Monday held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.


The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy. It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors.


The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.


The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.

]]>
2/22/2018 11:47:17 PM
<![CDATA[Ireland team to face Wales in the Six Nations]]>
15-Rob Kearney, 14-Keith Earls, 13-Chris Farrell, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray; 8-CJ Stander, 7-Dan Leavy, 6-Peter O'Mahony, 5-Devin Toner, 4-James Ryan, 3-Andrew Porter, 2-Rory Best (captain), 1-Cian Healy.

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Jack McGrath, 18-John Ryan, 19-Quinn Roux, 20-Jack Conan, 21-Kieran Marmion, 22-Joey Carbery, 23-Fergus McFadden.]]>
2/22/2018 11:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sergi Roberto renews his contract with Barcelona ]]>
“I have always wanted to be here, I have been a Barca fan since I was little, I have been at Barca for 12 years and my objective is to stay as long as possible,” Roberto told the press after signing his new contract.

Roberto, 26, is a Barcelona academy product and he spent all his life as a footballer inside the Catalan club. He joined the club academy when he was 14 and since then he established himself as one of the most promising talents at the club’s academy.

“Sergi is an example for many players. We are grateful for his patience, his perseverance. He's had and will have a lot of offers, but we're thankful that he's decided to stay here,” Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, told the press after Roberto signed his contract.

Roberto joined the first team in 2010 under Pep Guardiola and he struggled five years to earn a position at the starting line-up but in 2015, Roberto became one of the starters at Barcelona squad.

Roberto has achieved 13 titles with Barcelona including two UEGA Champions League titles in 2011 and 2015 and four Spanish League titles.
]]>
2/22/2018 10:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Anti-hepatitis C campaign expands to last 10 governorates]]>CAIRO –22 February 2018: The Ministry of Health announced the launch of the hepatitis C field inspections in the remanding 10 governorates, as a part of the Ministry’s nation-wide initiative to eliminate the spread of the Hepatitis C by 2022.

Last week, the Ministry announced that 17 governorates have been targeted by the Ministry’s walk-in HIV testing.

During a meeting on Thursday, Minister of Health, Ahmed Emad el-Din discussed with the Ministry’s leaders the progress made so far in the campaign and the cluster of the medical conveys in the new target governorates. Nearly 80,000 tests have been carried out by 56 medical convoys in 17 governorates so far, according to the Minister.

He also confirmed that the remaining provinces includes the governorates of Qalioubia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Matrouh, Ismailia, Suez, South and North Sinai and Al Wadi Al Gedied, explaining that there will be 31 walk-in points established and distributed to thoroughly cover the said governorates, along with total 124 mobile medical vehicles for testing opportunities.

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

By 2022, Egypt will be hepatitis C free, announced Yehiya el-Shazly, President of the National Committee for Fighting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections, around a year ago.

Under the directives of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Health Ministry announced a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV), after infection rates hit their highest in Egypt in 2014, according to the World Health Organization.

Two million citizens infected with HCV virus have already been treated, the Ministry of Health announced in December 2017.

During his recent visit to Egypt, Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos accompanied the medical convoy that was sent out to Cairo’s largest slum, Ezbet el-Hagana, to spread awareness about hepatitis C and to conduct inspections.
]]>
2/22/2018 10:09:09 PM
<![CDATA[How technology can revive endangered Nubian language ]]>CAIRO – 22 February 2018: When an indigenous language dies, it takes a culture, an irreplaceable heritage and a part of the history of a nation with it to the grave.


On the occasion of the International Mother Tongue Language Day, which falls every year on February 21, and in light of the categorizing of the Nubian language in Egypt as one of the endangered indigenous language in Africa, according to the Google-powered Endangered Languages project, Egypt Today spoke to Momen Talosh, the co-founder of the Nubi App which is considered a complete repository of the Nubian language and its related history.


“The App has been now downloaded 13,000 times and its content is being regularly updated. It includes different and simple sentences that are used for dealing with daily situations,” Talosh told Egypt Today on Monday.


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Introductory page of the Nubi App - Official Twitter account

Launched back in February 2017, the Nubian App also contains a complete touristic guide of the most popular Nubian-styled cafes and restaurants; along with other easy lessons provided in the both dialects of the Nubian language - the Kinzi and the Visicci - through animated characters which bear original Nubian names.


Besides, the App also serves as a marketing platform for the Nubian vendors and homemade products manufacturers and makers.


“Our slogan is ‘We bring Al-Nuba to your fingertips’,” the 28-year-old programmer said, adding that he is currently collaborating with the Washington-based Nuba initiative to push for including the Nubian language in the globally-acknowledged languages in the Google Translate service and the keyboard options.


Nubian heritage and language are a fundamental part of Egypt’s history and cultural diversity. On the banks of the Nile, the indigenous Nubian created a well-established civilization that endured for hundreds of years, Talosh added.

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Screenshots from the app - Google Play store

The extinction of the language as Talosh put it is because of the compulsory displacement of Nubians around the time of the construction of the High Dam in Aswan back in 1922. The subsequent relocation of the ancestral Nubians in the big cities like Cairo and Alexandria caused the gradual erasure of the indigenous language.


“[Our] first generation ancestors spoke and understood the Nubians well, while the second one rarely spoke the language but understood it well, and the third one (grand children), to which [I] belong, neither speak nor understand the language, which gives us an alarming inkling that the language is on its way to extinction,” Talosh concluded.

]]>
2/22/2018 9:56:21 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi’s precedential campaign holds 1st press conference]]>CAIRO – 22 February 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s campaign held a press conference on Thursday to announce the details of Sisi’s electoral program.

During the press conference, the campaign featured a video titled “A Tale of a Homeland” to review the achievements made during Sisi’s four-year tenure. Egypt Today presents a wrap-up of the main themes tackled during the conference.

The NEA has already officially announced the official slate for the presidential election, which included the incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and al-Ghad’s Mousa Moustafa.

On January 25, Chairperson of El-Ghad Party, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, announced that he would run for the upcoming presidency election scheduled to be held by the end of March.

Mousa received endorsements from 20 Members of Parliament- the majority of them represent Monufia Governorate- in order to announce his official Presidential bid.

According to the election’s timetable set by the NEA, voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, on January 8.

Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while Egyptians living abroad will vote between March 16 and 18.
]]>
2/22/2018 9:43:22 PM
<![CDATA[Gremio win Recopa Sudamericana ]]>
The first leg in Argentina ended with a 1-1 draw. Luan Vieira opened the score for Gremio before his teammate Bruno Cortez scored an own goal to end the game at a stalemate.

In the second leg, Gremio needed to achieve a victory to win the title as the away goals rule would not be used if the second leg also ended with a draw.

Everton Soares had a chance to score for Gremio as he dribbled past Independiente’s goalkeeper, Martín Campaña but the defense stopped the ball before crossing the line to keep the draw.

Independiente were the better side after Everton’s chance, Leandro Fernández’s shot was saved by Gremio’s goalkeeper, Marcelo Grohe.

Luan missed a chance to open the score for Gremio before the half time to end the first half with a goalless draw.

In the second half, Gremio dominated the game and the substitute, Jael Ferreira missed two chances to score while the visitors failed to create chances to score to end the regular time 0-0 and the game went to extra time.

Gremio kept their dominance at the extra time and had many attempts through Jael and Luan but Campaña saved all their attempts to end the extra time with a draw and take the game to penalties.



Gremio scored all their penalties while Martín Benítez missed Independiente’s last penalty to crown Gremio Recopa Sudamericana champions.



This was Gremio’s second title after their first win in 1995 when they also defeated Independiente 4-1. ]]>
2/22/2018 9:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Happy Birthday Drew Barrymore]]>
Born in 1975, Barrymore was the daughter of actor John Barrymore Jr and actress Ildiko Jaid, or Jaid Barrymore. Her parents soon divorced, with her mother getting Barrymore to act as soon as she was a year old, starring in commercials. While she first debuted in the surreal 1980 film “Altered States”, it was “E.T: The Extraterrestrial” two years later that turned the young little girl into a Hollywood star.

Alas, with fame came trouble; Barrymore was drinking by the time she was 10 and grew into a 'bad girl' image, which she exploited but led to harming her career. She started living on her own by the time she was 15, but found herself chasing controversy, especially after exposing herself on TV during the “David Letterman Show” in 1995.
She managed to turn things around when she founded her own production company, Flower Films. Eventually, she grew out of her bad girl image to become a romantic leading lady, finding a niche that she excelled at.

Here's a look at ten of her best roles:

E.T: The Extraterrestrial (1982)


Spielberg's beloved classic about a young boy who meets the titular ET also served as the world's first major introduction to the charming sweetness of a young Barrymore. She played little sister Gertie, who formed her own special little friendship with the alien visitor.

Firestarter (1984)


After “ET”, Barrymore began to take up more serious roles even while she was still a child; here she stars in an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King, where she portrays a troubled little girl with psychic powers, capable of starting fires just by thinking and on the run from government agents.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)


Having shed her reputation as a bad girl, Barrymore started her voyage into the world of romance. One of her most notable early romantic films is this charming re-telling of “Cinderella”, this time set in France with the twist that the fairy tale was based on real events; Barrymore portrays Danielle, sent to live with a wicked stepmother after the death of her father. She finds hope and romance in a meeting with the Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who she helps shape into both a better man and king. Leonardo Da Vinci's even there to help them out.

Never Been Kissed (1999)


The first film Barrymore worked on as producer, she also starred as the leading lady in this quirky rom-com about a newspaper reporter named Josie Geller, who finds herself going back to high-school for an undercover story. While High School's filled with bad memories, it also provides a chance for her to finally find love.

Charlie's Angels (2000)


Bringing the 1975 TV series to the big screen, Barrymore stars alongside Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz as the titular 'Charlie's Angels', three Private Investigators working for the mysterious Charlie, who use martial arts, espionage and their good looks to kick butt in secret missions. Barrymore also served as the film's producer.

Donnie Darko (2001)


Despite having a minor role in this surreal, mind-bending cult classic, Barrymore was instrumental in getting made, as she helped serve as producer, helping director Richard Kelly acquire the funds and actors needed to finish. Barrymore portrayed Donnie's quirky teacher, Karen Pomeroy.

Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)


Based on real events, Barrymore portrays single mother Beverly Donofrio, who had a bright future as a potential writer before becoming pregnant at age 16. Despite it all, she struggles to finish her education and pursue her dream career, but the pressures of parenting and her disastrous marriage threaten her dreams.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)


George Clooney directed this adaptation of Game show host Chuck Barris's memoir, where he claims to have lived a double life as a CIA Hitman. Barrymore stars as Penny, love interest to Chuck Barris.

50 First Dates (2004)


Starring alongside Adam Sandler for this quirky rom-com, Barrymore portrays Lucy Whitmore, who falls in love with Sandler's character, Henry Roth. Just as Henry's ready to start a serious relationship with her, he discovers an odd aspect about Whitmore; she suffers from short-term memory loss, meaning she'll constantly forget about Henry, over and over. He doesn't let that stop him however; he's dedicated to making her fall in love, over and over again.

Gray Gardens (2009)


This HBO adaptation of a 1975 documentary of the same name tells the story of Edith Bouvier Beale (Jessica Lange) and her daughter Edith (Barrymore), or 'Big and Little Edith', the aunt and cousin to President JFK's wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. These two eccentric women lived away from society in the derelict mansion of Grey Gardens. ]]>
2/22/2018 8:35:52 PM
<![CDATA[UNSC votes on ceasefire resolution amid escalations in Ghouta]]>
“There is an urgent need to reach a ceasefire between the political parties inside eastern Ghouta in Syria in order to avoid a real and serious humanitarian catastrophe,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued Thursday, February 22. It was added that communications are taking place now between several governments and international organizations in order to control the consequences of the current dangerous situation.

The statement also expressed Egypt’s deep concern over the latest escalations and their effect on the Syrian civilians. The ministry condemned any shelling of civilian areas in Ghouta, Damascus and throughout Syria.

Egypt has been a key player regarding reaching a stable circumstances in Syria and especially, in Ghouta. It has been announced more than once than any solution other than a political one will not end the struggle as it won’t fulfill the Syrian people’s demands of a stable and secure country.

In July 2017 Syria's Tomorrow opposition movement signed a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian regime in Eastern Ghouta . The agreement was signed with Egyptian mediation after three day-negations in the presence of representatives of the Syrian opposition, Syrian regime and the Russian Defense Ministry.

The agreement’s stated conditions include: “a complete ceasefire binding to all parties, the entry ban of all military troops into Eastern Ghouta, and building Russian observation sites inside Ghouta to monitor the parties’ commitment to the agreement.”
“This agreement should ease the Syrian people's suffering, and improve their living conditions,” the ceasefire statement released by the movement read.


The movement also thanked President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and the Egyptian government for its mediation and efforts in hosting the negotiations and the signing of the agreement. “Finally we hope this agreement is one of the steps towards achieving peace inside the whole Syrian territory.”

Because of this agreement, humanitarian aid reached Eastern Ghouta for the first time in five years.

In September 2017, Egypt hosted a two-day conference between the Syrian parties as another step towards peace. It represented a real chance for the Syrian tribes to sit-down and talk in an environment that believes in political solutions and national dialogues as the only path for stability and unity.

However, the cease fire didn’t last long, amid mutual accusations between the Syrian government and opposition that both of them are violating the peace calls to stop violence, Moscow announced that peace talks had ‘collapsed’.

Several international governments and organizations including France, the United Nations and the United States of America demanded all parties drop their weapons and start real dialog.

Other accusations of using chemical weapons against the Syrian people were reported by the American administration, blaming the Syrian regime; which completely denied the accusations.

As per a request from Kuwait and Sweden, the United Nations Security Council will vote on Thursday on a draft law for a 30-day ceasefire in order to allow the humanitarian aid to reach the city again.

The law (if agreed) will temporarily end the Syrian people’s struggle, stopping the siege imposed on them for a long time, and especially during the past five days. According to UN statistics about 346 civilians have been killed and 878 others have been injured in Eastern Ghouta since February 4.

The Syrian political situation has been deteriorating since protests emerged with the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011, when the opposition created the Free Syrian Army to face Assad’s forces. The situation worsened when the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group began interfering in the country in 2014.

About 470,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the war as of February 2016, according to the latest data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some 1.6 million Syrians have been domestically displaced, while the number of refugees reached 4.8 million people, the data added.]]>
2/22/2018 8:26:40 PM
<![CDATA[Oeberg crowns Sweden fightback fit for a king]]>
In tough weather conditions, the 15km individual Olympic biathlon champion sliced through the pack, shooting accurately and skiing brilliantly to return to the podium at the Pyeongchang Games alongside her relay team mates.

"She's very good, quite simply, that's it, fantastic," the king said.

Having seen her claim an individual gold medal, Oeberg's team mates believed in her ability to turn the race around despite the windy and snowy conditions, but they were by no means sure she could pull it off.

"I had hope, when she exchanged it was just under a minute and I know Hanna is in super form. I couldn't let myself believe that it would go this well," Mona Brorsson told Reuters.

"I was in getting changed and I didn't have so much hope for the last leg, I didn't know where she was at the exchange, and there was a gap to the top and they had good racers on the last leg too," Anna Magnusson said.

"Then when Hanna left the last shoot in third place, I thought we're going to get a medal, she's not going to let this go. I felt safe in that," Magnusson added.

Lead-off racer Linn Persson had perhaps the worst weather conditions to contend with.

"It was tough, it was hard. Especially on the shooting range I felt the wind was blowing a lot," she said.

But Oeberg, who shot to stardom in her home country following her win in the individual race, never doubted that she could close the gap.

"I believed that it was possible. I saw the relay earlier and I saw that there was big swings earlier in the race. When I went out I thought I'd do all I could and if I can focus on the shooting range it could take us far," Oeberg told Reuters.

"Maybe I didn't believe that it would take us all the way to a medal, but when I went out after the last shoot, it was just a case of going for it" she added.

In doing so, she completed a comeback fit for a king.

"It looked so difficult, it looked very hard, but we were saying in this group that I was standing with that you can never give up," the king said after congratulating Sweden's medal winners. "There's always a chance in this sport." ]]>
2/22/2018 8:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Stoke must turn performances into points, says Lambert]]>
Stoke are 19th in the league and without a victory since they overcame Huddersfield Town in Lambert's first game in charge last month.

They were close to recording a win last time out against Brighton and Hove Albion but Charlie Adam's late penalty was saved.

"I'm delighted with the effort they've shown in training and games," Lambert told reporters on Thursday.

"We've looked as though we can win games and we look as though we can really compete, which is really pleasing.

"We have to be ready (for a fight). As long as the players realise that, they will be fine. As long as they think they can win games and have the belief they can win games and the boys know what they're doing, then we'll be fine."

Lambert confirmed Peter Crouch (ankle) and Stephen Ireland (calf) will remain on the sidelines for Saturday's league trip to Leicester City, although Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi returns to the squad having recovered from a leg injury.

The manager could also hand a first-team debut to 18-year-old Tyrese Campbell, who has scored 12 goals in 15 appearances at Under-23 level this season, three of which came in a 4-1 win over Fulham last weekend.

"Age doesn't concern me, what concerns me most is a player's ability, so if he (Campbell) is good enough then I will throw him in - that is how I see it," he added.

"I needed a manager to throw me in when I was young and without the belief of a manager I would never have got my opportunity." ]]>
2/22/2018 6:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Mido to coach PSG youth team ]]>
“There are negotiations going on, it might happen very soon,” Mido told Kingfut on Wednesday.

Mido, 34, has experienced French football when he played at Paris Saint Germain’s rivals, Marseille, in 2004. He wore the club’s jersey at 34 games scoring nine goals according to transfermarkt.com.

“I have rejected an offer to manage a Saudi Arabian club to focus on my negotiations with PSG,” Mido told “Everyday Football” program.
Mido has spent more than 10 years playing in Europe. He represented many big clubs in Europe like Ajax Amsterdam, AS Roma, Tottenham Hotspurs, Celta Vigo and Marseille.

Mido has started coaching in Egypt after his retirement in 2013 and he managed Zamalek, Ismaily and Wadi Degla.

If the deal is sealed, Mido will be the second Egyptian manager to work in Europe after Hany Ramzy who managed Belgium’s Lierse in 2013.
]]>
2/22/2018 5:52:09 PM
<![CDATA[Business News Wrap-Up]]>EGX ends 3rd week of February in green

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended the third week of February in green, amid Egyptian buying.

The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.49 percent, or 74.43 points, to end at 15,318.92 points.

Restaurants, Hotels, Suez Canal record highest revenues in Q1



The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in its monthly bulletin that the Restaurants and Hotels sector and the Suez Canal sector recorded the highest revenues among all sectors during the first quarter (Q1) of Fiscal year 2017/2018.

Dollar exchange rate shows varied performance at major banks



The US dollar exchange rate showed varied performance during morning transactions at major banks on Thursday.

The dollar exchange rate dropped one piaster recording LE 17.59 for buying and LE 17.69 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

Egypt’s 10 concessions to drill for gas in Mediterranean Sea



Egypt is moving towards self-sufficiency in gas and becoming the Middle East’s energy hub, with expectations to stop importing liquefied gas by June 2018, after the production of its giant gas field, Zohr, began last December.

Egypt Today reviews the concession areas in the Mediterranean Sea and the companies working on them.

CBE issues LE 16B in T-bills Thursday



The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, is scheduled to issue LE 16 billion in treasury bills on Thursday.

The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 7.5 billion with a 182-day term and the second worth LE 8.5 billion with a 357-day term.

Egypt Post offers ATM cards with no minimum charge



Egypt Post’s Board Chairman Essam al-Saghir said Wednesday that Egypt Post launched an ATM service for citizens with no minimum charges, adding that an ATM card could be issued with a balance of LE 10 ($0.57).

Egypt agrees to finance Japanese schools with $175.7M



Prime Minister Sherif Ismail witnessed the signing of a concessional financing agreement by the Japanese government in the framework of the Egyptian-Japanese Education Partnership Program to support and establish Japanese schools in Egypt with total support of $175.7 million.



]]>
2/22/2018 5:43:00 PM
<![CDATA[American Lamoureux sisters spell double trouble for Canada]]>
In fact it was just double-trouble afflicting them in the form of identical twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.

The siblings from Grand Forks, North Dakota, accounted for two crucial goals in a sweet win for the Americans over their arch-rivals.

Coming into the game, both sisters were plenty tired of silver medals, of which they each have two from stinging defeats by the Canadians in Sochi and Vancouver.

Monique, whose married name is Lamoureux-Morando, was the Canadians' first big headache when she tied the game at 2-2 on a breakaway off a feed from Kelly Pannek with a little over six minutes remaining.

"It was towards the end of my shift and they were going for a change I think, and she (Pannek) turned and fired it, didn't even look and put it right on the money, and I went in on a breakaway and was able to put it in the back of the net," she said.

"I was going high glove, it didn't go high glove but it went in, so I don't care."

When the Canadians could not answer the game went to overtime and from there to a shootout.

The score was still deadlocked after the first five rounds of the shootout and then it was Jocelyne's turn.

"I was told when the fourth shooter was going that I was going to be sixth if it came down to that," said Jocelyne, whose married last name is Lamoureux-Davidson. "So I stopped watching after that to be honest."

"I just came in slow, took a few inside edges, glad I didn't blow an edge on that. I knew that was the move I was going to do. It worked against Russia. Going to my backhand I just brought back to my forehand, I knew when that went in that Maddie was going to stop the next one."

Indeed, goaltender Maddie Rooney did stop the next one.

"Our journey has certainly been unique, but it's always been the two of us," Monique said. "I can't imagine what it would be like not to have her next to me on the ice, and we've pushed each other and we wouldn't be where we are without the other."

"So to have your best friend with you through all the good times and the bad times and to win in the way we did makes it special."]]>
2/22/2018 5:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Saving Abu Simbel: 50 Years On]]>
Fresh out of college, I was assigned by the government to go work near the borders of Sudan on the Abu Simbel project. I was ecstatic to receive the assignment, despite it meaning I would live in the middle of the desert for four years. It was a prestigious and interesting project with international experts; it was bound to give me tons of experience. The experience was an educational one, and it truly set my career off and opened many doors for me.

Image 1


When we first got there, there was nothing but a temple and the desert. Initially, all us Egyptian engineers lived in a boathouse right next to that of the international engineers’, which really meant we all got close to one another and socialized all the time.
Shortly after, I was tasked with building the housing complex, which is now the Nefertari Hotel, in addition to my work at the temple. I would work from 8am to 2pm on construction work and then go back to the boathouse to finish paperwork.

The Abu Simbel temple complex is located in Nubia, 230 kilometers away from Aswan and dates back to 1244 BC. Only discovered in 1813, after being buried by sand, the temple complex was built by Ramsis II over the course of 20 years and consists of two massive rock temples. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Nubia’s most important monuments.

After the Aswan High Dam was built, the Nile water level in this area continued to rise dangerously, posing a serious threat to the Nubia area, including the Abu Simbel temples. The UNESCO joined forces with Egypt and a team of international engineers from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Egypt to launch the ambitious project to relocate the Abu Simbel temples in November 1963, and successfully completed the mission in September 1968. Costing $40 million at the time, the international collaboration effort aimed to protect and safeguard one of the biggest historical monuments in the world.

The project to relocate and save the Abu Simbel temples was a complex and carefully designed one, with various details involved, and absolutely no room for mistakes or lack of planning. There is no doubt that building the High Dam in Aswan kept a lot of water behind the dam, and day after day, the water levels became higher and higher and would have eventually flooded the temples of Abu Simbel.

Salvaging Abu Simbel
Until a permanent solution was found to relocate the temples, a cofferdam was built around the two temples to protect them against the rising water levels. The 370-meter-wide dam was made of steel sheets that were filled from both sides and reached 27 meters in height. A pumping station and drainage were built to prevent any water from sweeping away the project area.

The complex is made of several rooms and halls that are filled with drawings and ornaments and that tell tales of victories achieved by Ramsis II, including his victory in the Battle of Kadesh. It is divided into two temples; the Great Temple is dedicated to the sun god Amun-Ra, Ptah and Ra Harakhte. The small temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and carries various depictions of his wife Nefertari.

abousimple
The statue of Ramses the Great at the Great Temple of Abu Simbel is reassembled after having been moved in 1967 to save it from being flooded.

The temple complex measures 63 meters in length from its entrance and all the way to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary. Inside, two statues, that of Amun and Ramsis II, are illuminated on the sunrise of October 22 and February 22 of every year, but never on the other days, which shows intricate astrology and engineering knowledge of the time. Historians argue that these two dates most likely coincide with the king’s birthday and coronation day.

On the outside, four distinct 20-meter-high statues of Ramsis II and two of his wife, Nefertari, adorn the entrance and show the greatness of ancient Egyptian arts.
To start excavations to extract the two temples’ walls and ceilings from inside the mountain, we had to cover the entire facade with sand fills to protect them from any debris from the excavation process, then dig a tunnel for workers to enter and exit the site.

The temple’s roof was supported by steel scaffolding; and rubber sheets were placed to protect the inscribed blocks throughout the cutting process.

The excavation process was then carried out carefully from the top of the mountain using bulldozers. Before reaching the roof, engineers ensured workers used only electric jack hammers till they reached a depth of 80 centimeters, to cut the roof without any damage. At this point the workers had to be very careful in saving the pharaoh’s art by using sawing machines until they got to 70 centimeters of depth. The last 10 centimeters were cut with handy saws.

The entire 807 blocks of the Great Temple were re-cut and re-built in this manner, as were the 235 blocks of the Small Temple. Each block was duly numbered, and two pore holes were bored inside each block. Steel bars were fixed into the holes with epoxy before the blocks were carefully transferred by crane to a storage area.

The next stage was re-erecting the walls and roofs of the temples using reinforced concrete from the back, so visitors couldn’t see them once complete. Two domes were then built to cover the structure of the temple, which was a very clever idea to hold the construction. The thickness of the reinforced concrete dome was between 1.4 meters and 2.10 meters, and it measured 17 meters in depth. The foundation dome was 22 meters high and 60 meters in diameter. The dome is considered one of the strongest in the world because it is effectively carrying the great weight of the artificial hill, several layers of rubble and rock that were compacted together to form a mountain shape.
The statues of Ramsis II were then placed and the cutting lines were filled with chemical materials and powder mixed together with fine dust of the cutting blocks that were carefully chosen to give the exact original colour.

Complicated as it was, the most impressive thing about this salvage project, from the engineering point of view, remains the intricate calculations to achieve the original solar-alignment, something ancient engineers carefully designed to let the sun pass twice a year for 63.1 meters through the temple to illuminate Ramsis’s face on February 22 and October 22.

Life in the Camp
When my duties were done, it was time to socialize; I am a very sociable person and had very good relationships with my coworkers. I would arrange boat trips on Fridays for foreign and Egyptian engineers to go to Lake Nasser, which is beautiful. We also had a club on the premises and a swimming pool, so we spent our free time playing golf, table tennis, tennis and swimming. The social relationships we built there with Germans, Swedes, French and various other nationalities really made a difference in the experience and we kept in touch after the project was done.

But I did more than work and have fun; I was very active in the community and constantly making suggestions through the media to improve the area. I remember once working on a feature for Akher Saa magazine on Nubian weddings; but because all the workers on camp were men, and I wanted to stage a wedding for photography, I got some workers to pose as brides inside camel caravans.

Almost 50 years later, I was invited for an event by the UNESCO to celebrate our efforts. I went back to the site, and I was proud to see the work I have done remain intact throughout all those years. I also got to reunite with everyone I worked with; Egyptians and foreigners.

But overall, Abu Simbel was the project of a lifetime, and I still remember all the happy, difficult and rewarding moments I lived there.

Medhat Ibrahim is an architect and one of the consultant engineers who worked on the 1968 UNESCO-led project to relocate the Temple of Abu Simbel.

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2/22/2018 5:29:59 PM
<![CDATA[Schulting wins gold in women's 1000 metres short track]]>
Italy's Arianna Fontana, who won the gold in women's 500 metres, took bronze in the final, which featured a dramatic wipeout by the two South Korean favourites, Shim Sukhee and Choi Minjeong.

As they rounded the second-to-last turn and were attempting a move up from their positions at the rear of the pack, they bumped into one another slid into the sidewall. Shim was assessed a penalty for impeding.

"At the end we got tangled, and I think then we fell down," Shim said. "I feel sorry for that and at that moment I was worried if Minjeong got hurt. She said she’s OK, but I still feel sorry for her."

Choi won the gold in women's 1,500 metres.

Schulting, who finished seventh in 1,500 metres, led from about the midway point after jockeying back and forth with Boutin in the early laps.

Fontana held on in third while the two Koreans were positioned at the back after they made an early attempt to move up on the inside, but it did not pan out.

"It feels great. I didn’t think it could be possible, you know the 1,000 metre is not my best race, but today I started good and I felt good," Fontana said.

For Boutin, the result was a step up from her two previous bronze finishes in the women's 500 and 1,500 metres.]]>
2/22/2018 5:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends 3rd week of February in green]]>
The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.49 percent, or 74.43 points, to end at 15,318.92 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose to 856.10 points, with a 0.13 percent 1.14 point increase, and the broader index EGX100 edged up 0.01 percent, marking 2047.29 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased by 0.11 percent, or 2.93 points, closing at 2676.88 points.

Market Capitalization gained LE 3.8 billion, recording LE 883.46 billion, compared to LE 879.59 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 320.14 million shares traded through 26,745 transactions with a turnover of LE 1.27 billion.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 78.08 million while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 35.59 million and LE 4.49 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 20.24 million, LE 17.35 million and LE 41.13 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations bought at LE 98.33 million while Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 18.24 million and LE 1.37 million, respectively.

Trans Oceans Tours (TRTO), Mohandes Insurance (MOIN) and Nile Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries-Nile (NIPH) were top gainers of the session with 12.50 percent, 9.27 percent and 8.17 percent, respectively.

Rakta Paper Manufacturing (RAKT), Medical Packaging Co SAE (MEPA) and Orange Egypt for Telecommunications (OREG) were top losers of the session with 3.79 percent, 3.77 percent and 3.37 percent, respectively.

The Egyptian exchange ended Wednesday session on a mixed note, EGX30 increased 0.17 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.47 percent, EGX100 stood at Monday’s level, marking 2047.06 points, and EGX50 leveled off 0.66 percent.
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2/22/2018 4:40:46 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi selects star, Moussa selects plane as symbols in election ]]>
President Sisi’s election campaign is scheduled to hold a conference on Thursday evening to declare its plans during the coming period.

Sisi expressed his intention to run for president during his closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of a Homeland” conference, where the president and the Egyptian government presented an overview of the projects and achievements made in different fields during the last four years.

On his official Twitter account, Sisi called on the Egyptian people to participate intensively in the upcoming election and give their votes to whomever they see most eligible

On January 31, the National Election Authority (NEA) said that President Sisi and Head of Ghad Party Moussa have applied to run in the 2018 presidential election.

Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the NEA on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.

The final list of the candidates will be announced on February 24, he added, noting that the deadline for any candidate to retreat will be on March 1. The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.



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2/22/2018 4:21:49 PM
<![CDATA[Salah is one of the best players in the world, Totti]]>“The level he is playing at at the moment, he is one of the best players in the world and I think he can and will get even better,” Totti told The Mirror on Thursday.

Salah shared Roma’s dressing room with the club’s legend, Totti between August 2015 and June 2017 when Salah left Roma to join Liverpool while Totti announced his retirement after being a senior player for Roma for 25 years.

Totti added “I know him well; he is a good friend and wants to keep ­improving, to keep ­getting better as a player.”

Salah scored a goal to lead Liverpool to 5-0 victory over Porto in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg in Portugal.

Totti believes in Liverpool’s chances to win the Champions League because they have a player like Salah, he said, “there are more complete teams in the competition but when you have a player like him, you start to believe anything is possible. He is one of those players who can make the difference in the big games.”
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2/22/2018 4:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Russia would back 30-day Syria ceasefire but not for militants: Lavrov]]>
Lavrov's comments, made during a visit to Belgrade, were quoted by the Interfax news agency. Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad's government in the Syrian conflict. ]]>
2/22/2018 3:56:49 PM
<![CDATA[Restaurants, Hotels, Suez Canal record highest revenues in Q1 ]]>
The bulletin showed that the revenues of the Restaurant and Hotel sector grew 50.8 percent in the first quarter of this fiscal year, recording LE 19.9 billion, compared to LE 13.2 billion in Q1 of 2016/2017.

The revenues of Suez Canal reached LE 12.2 billion, compared to LE 11.5 billion in Q1 of the prior year, with a 6.1 percent increase.

The bulletin showed that the revenues of the Service sector increased by 3.1 percent as it recorded revenues of LE 43.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017/2018, compared to LE 42 billion in the same period of 2016/2017.

Revenues of the Agricultural sector reached LE 125.1 billion, compared to LE 121.5 billion in Q1 of 2016/2017.

The Information Bulletin is a monthly statistical bulletin issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). It includes various data on population, financial, economic and social indicators, among others.


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2/22/2018 3:45:06 PM
<![CDATA[Trump says arming some teachers would stop shootings "instantly"]]>
His idea has already drawn a strongly divided reaction in a country where there are fierce divisions on how to curb mass shootings and everyday gun violence.

Trump, a Republican who has backed gun rights, raised the idea of arming teachers during an emotional, hour-long discussion on Wednesday with students who survived the attack on a Florida high school and a parent whose child did not.

"Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!" Trump wrote in a series of posts on Twitter early on Thursday.

Seventeen students and staff members were killed in the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school.

A 19-year-old former student at the school, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with carrying out the shooting. Authorities say he was armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault-style rifle.

Trump said on Wednesday he would tighten background checks for gun buyers and consider lifting the age limit to buy some kinds of guns.

At Wednesday's meeting, Trump said, "If you had a teacher ... who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly."]]>
2/22/2018 3:38:35 PM
<![CDATA[Why is the entire world love Fairouz?]]>

She sang for Childhood



“Teery Ya Tayara” (Fly Plane Fly) (1967)



She sang for youth



“Shayef El Bahr Sho Kbeer” (Can you See How Big is the Ocean) (1967)



“Yese’ed Sabahak” (May your Morning be Cheerful) (2001)



She sang for love



“Kifak Enta” (How have you Been) (1991)



“Ana La Habibi” (I Belong to my Lover)



“Sa’altak Habibi” (I asked you Love) (1975)



She sang for Grief



“Za3ly Tawal ana wyak” (Our Sadness Prelonged) (1983)



She sang for Happiness



“Sahr El Layali” (Oh Sleepless Nights)



She sang for Music



“Oudoak Ranan” (Your Oud Sings)



She sang for flirtation



“Baadak Ala Bali” (You’re on my Mind) (1974)



“Habytak” (I loved you) (1970)



She sang for Contestation



“Ya Aked El Hagabyen, Katalteny Martayn” (You Eyebrow Man, you Killed Me Twice) (1967)



“Ma Kedert Neseet” (I couldn’t forget)



She sang for Nostalgia



“Shat Eskenriya” (Alexandria’s Beach) (1987)



She sang for Break Ups



“Adash Kan Fi Nas” (How many People were There) (1987)



She sang for Patriotism



“Watany” (My Country)



“Le Beirut” (To Beirut) (1983)



“Kestna El Arabiya” (Our Arab Story)



She Sang for Palestine



“El Kods El Atika” (My Jerusalem) (1987)



“Ana La Ansak Flestine” ( I will never forget you Palestine)



“Salamy Lakon Ya Ahl El Ard El Mohtala” (My Greetings to You, Residents of the Occupied Lands)



“Zahret El Meda2an” (Flower of all Cities)



She sang for Being Alienated



El Ghorba (Alienation)



She sang for Farewells



“Sar Lazem Awda’akon” (It is Time to Say Goodbye) (1997)


]]>
2/22/2018 3:36:14 PM
<![CDATA[EU's top court says Poland breached air pollution rules]]>
Environmentalists have called on Poland to take action to improve air quality, which in some places, especially in the south, can be worse than in Beijing and New Delhi, the world's most polluted cities.

But activists said the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party had been slow in introducing anti-smog regulations and complained to the EU.

The issue is one of several disputes straining ties between Warsaw and Brussels. This week the EU's top court adviser said Poland breached the law with increased logging in its ancient Bialowieza Forest.

The European Commission took Poland to court over its slow response in addressing poor air quality caused by extensive coal and rubbish burning in homes.

The European Court of Justice ruled limits to regulate the amount of pollutants in the air had been "persistently exceeded."

The air contained too much PM10, particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers, which can damage health if breathed in.

Poland exceeded the daily legal amount of pollutants in 35 of its 46 "air quality zones" and nine of those zones also failed an inspection of the annual legal limit, the court said.

"Fighting smog is one of the government's priorities. But we will not be able to do it within a year," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a conference after the court ruling.

Piotr Wozny, a deputy minister responsible for air quality, blamed former governments for neglecting the problem and announced a pilot programme to help 22 of the most polluted towns.

The government and local authorities will spend 750 million zlotys ($220 million) to help poorer households make their homes warmer and want to offer subsidies to households to buy more eco-friendly furnaces, the environment minister said.

"We would like to agree with the European Commission the conditions of a special operational programme for clean air," Wozny said, adding Poland wanted to end the fight with smog by 2027.

Environmental group ClientEarth said if Poland continued to breach air pollution limits it could face "hefty" fines imposed as a result of another court process.

Poland's Environment Ministry said there was no risk Warsaw would be penalised as a direct consequence of the court's ruling on Thursday.

Last month, the European Commission warned nine other member states, including Germany and the United Kingdom, that it could take legal action if they did not present "additional credible, timely and effective measures" to tackle air pollutants.

All have submitted information to be evaluated, according to a Commission spokesman.

Targets introduced to reduce the amount of pollutants for 2005 and 2010 are being exceeded in 23 of the EU's 28 members.

Bulgaria faced similar charges to Poland in April 2017.]]>
2/22/2018 3:34:12 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi receives message from Azerbaijani president]]>
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev delivered the message to the president in a meeting attended by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Azerbaijani ambassador in Cairo.

The Azerbaijani minister lauded President Sisi's efforts to restore stability in Egypt, amid the crises in the region, affirming that Egypt is considered a pillar for achieving peace in the entire region, said Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi.

Mustafayev said that holding the fourth session of the Egyptian-Azerbaijani joint committee in Cairo reflects the distinguished relations binding both countries and contributes to pushing forward cooperation, Radi added.

He voiced his country's keenness on boosting investments in Egypt, especially in light of the mega development projects currently under-implementation which offer promising opportunities in various fields, Radi noted.

He also invited the Egyptian investors to visit Azerbaijan to explore spheres of joint cooperation and large capabilities in it, especially in the fields of gas, oil, tourism, health, medicines and education, Radi further noted.

Sisi sent his greetings to the Azerbaijani president, asserting the strength of bilateral relations and Egypt's keenness on boosting joint cooperation in various fields.
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2/22/2018 3:27:26 PM
<![CDATA[Ethiopia releases 1,500 prisoners in eastern Somali region: statement]]>
"On Wednesday, over 1,500 prisoners were released following a pardon by President Abdi Mohammed Omer," the Somali Region's communications bureau said on Facebook late on Wednesday, referring to the regional president.

"The inmates had been jailed on charges that include anti-peace activities," it added, without giving details.

Ethiopia has already released more than 6,000 prisoners since January, including some high-profile journalists and opposition leaders. They were charged with a variety of offences, including terrorism.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the releases were designed to increase "political space" in Ethiopia following anti-government protests that began in 2015.

Hundreds of people were killed during two years of protests that convulsed the country's two most populous provinces, whose ethnic Oromo and Amharic communities complain they are under-represented in the country's corridors of power.

Friday's declaration of a six-month-long state of emergency followed Hailemariam's surprise resignation on Thursday. He remains in office, overseeing the region's biggest economy, until a new prime minister is appointed.

The government previously imposed a state of emergency in October 2016, which was lifted in August 2017. During that time, curfews were in place, movement was restricted and about 29,000 people were detained. It's unclear how many remain in prison. ]]>
2/22/2018 3:24:00 PM
<![CDATA[Barcelona's Pique in the clear for derby celebration]]>
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Thursday it had ended its investigation into the defender.

Pique said he had suffered abusive chants throughout the match on Feb. 4 and that "telling the crowd to be quiet was the least I could do".

His behaviour, however, was criticised by La Liga's president Javier Tebas, who said it provoked Espanyol's fans.

Following the incident, the Spanish top flight said from now on it would ask the federation to investigate overzealous celebrations from players.

The RFEF criticised Pique's behaviour, but said there was no case to answer.

"The player's words don't contribute to a model of prudence and don't help consolidate sport as a space exempt from social confrontation," said a statement from the Federation's Competition Committee.

Before the game Pique taunted Espanyol's credentials by saying they were from the municipality Cornella and not the city of Barcelona, prompting an angry response from the club and the town hall of Cornella.]]>
2/22/2018 3:23:18 PM
<![CDATA[6 terrorists arrested at Aboul Fotouh farm jailed for 15 days ]]>
The prosecution accused the six defendants of being members of terrorist groups which aim to destabilize the country’s security, constitution and law. The accusations also included attempting to toppling the current regime along with endangering Egyptian society.

All of the six ‘terrorist elements’ as identified in the interior ministry’s statement issued on Wednesday has in their possession (when arrested) three rifles. It was added that Aboul Fotouh knew that these wanted elements were hiding on his farm, and that he gave direct orders to a number of his assistants not to expel them.

On Tuesday, February 20, the Cairo Criminal Court ruled to place Aboul Fotouh along with 15 others on terrorist-linked watchlist.

Aboul Fotouh was arrested last week on six charges, including incitement of violence. He has been ordered to be detained for 15 days following an investigation by the National Security prosecution.

The list of charges included, “inciting violence against the state and the constitution, call for a boycott of the upcoming Presidential elections in March, being a member of a law-labeled terrorist group and communicating with fugitives, destabilizing Egypt’s stability and security aiming to topple the current regime, calling for chaos and spreading rumors and finally hindering the state’s organizations from practicing their role regarding stabilizing and securing the country.”

On February 12, an Egyptian lawyer submitted an official complaint to the public prosecutor, calling for the arrest of Aboul Fotouh, after he appeared on an Al-Jazeera television show from London. Lawyer Samir Sabry accused Aboul Fotouh of “spreading fake news” and demeaning Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

On Tuesday, January 28, five political figures released a joint statement calling for Egyptians to boycott the process because the elections will not be fair.

The figures include Aboul Fotouh; former parliament member and chairman of the Reform and Development Party Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat; former science consultant for the presidency Essam Heggy; former chairman of the Central Auditing Authority Hisham Genena; and political science professor Hazem Hosni.

The five political personnel expressed in the statement their discontent with alleged security and administrative practices undertaken to inhibit competition in the upcoming election. However, they did not mention any details about the allegations.

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2/22/2018 3:21:37 PM
<![CDATA[New book unveils secret moments of Naguib Mahfouz’s life]]>
The book is comprised of intercepts and conversations that Mahfouz had with his friend el-Ashry; it also showcases seven years of the life of Mahfouz after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988.

Some of the chapters portrays the moments Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize, his encounters between cinema and books, his life at coffee shops, and his uncountable personal statements.

El-Ashry also explains about the events behind the painting and sculpture of Mahfouz by Ahmed Sabry and Abdelaziz Saab respectively. Both artistic works have not been exposed to the public to this day, according to a press release by the Academic Bookshop.

Publisher and head of the Academic Bookshop Ahmed Amin mentioned in the press release that el-Ashry’s book is worth reading as it contains special unknown moments of Mahfouz’s life.

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2/22/2018 3:20:56 PM
<![CDATA[UN pleads for truce to avert "massacre" as strikes hit Ghouta for 5th day]]>
At least 368 people have been killed, including 150 children, in the rural eastern Ghouta district on the outskirts of Damascus since Sunday night, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

More than 1,850 people have been wounded in the assault by Syria's military and its allies. Planes have struck residential areas and, according to medical charities, hit more than a dozen hospitals making it near impossible to treat the wounded.

"There is a need for avoiding (a) massacre, because we will be judged by history," U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said. He called on the U.N. Security Council to declare a ceasefire.

President Bashar al-Assad's main ally Russia, which wields a veto on the Security Council, said it could support a 30-day truce, but not one that included the Islamist militants it says the eastern Ghouta operation is meant to target.

The existing "de-escalation zone" agreement that has failed to halt fighting does not include the Islamist faction formerly known as Nusra Front, and rebels in Ghouta say it is the presence of a small number of Nusra militants that is constantly used as a pretext for the siege and bombardment of the enclave.

Residents of Douma, the biggest town in eastern Ghouta, described plumes of black smoke billowing from residential areas after planes dropped bombs from high altitude. Searches were under way for bodies amid the rubble in the town of Saqba and elsewhere, said rescuers.

In Syria's north, where Turkey launched an offensive in the past month against a Kurdish militia, the Kurds said pro-government fighters were now deploying to front lines to help repel the Turkish advance, though assistance would be needed from the Syrian army itself.

Government forces also entered a part of Aleppo controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, a witness and the Observatory said, although the YPG denied this.

The Kurdish YPG - allies with the United States in other parts of Syria - have sought help recently from the Russian-backed Damascus government to resist the Turkish thrust - an example of the strange bedfellows in a multi-sided conflict that has drawn in neighbours and world powers.

UPHILL

International attention is now focused on the humanitarian plight in the eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been under siege for years and where government bombardment escalated sharply on Sunday, causing mass civilian casualties.

De Mistura said he hoped the Security Council would agree to a ceasefire resolution, but acknowledged it would be hard. "I hope it will. But it’s uphill. But I hope it will. It is very urgent," he told Reuters at the United Nations in Geneva.

Moscow and Damascus say their assault on eastern Ghouta is necessary to defeat rebels who have been firing mortars on the capital - government territory throughout the war.

"Those who support the terrorists are responsible" for the situation in eastern Ghouta, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters. "Neither Russia, nor Syria nor Iran are in that category of states, as they are waging an absolute war against terrorists in Syria."

A White House statement said Washington backed the U.N. call for a ceasefire to allow access for aid and medical evacuations.

"The United States also calls upon Russia and its partners to live up to their obligations with respect to de-escalation zones, particularly those in eastern Ghouta and to end further attacks against civilians in Syria."

Aid workers and residents say Syrian army helicopters have been dropping "barrel bombs" - oil drums packed with explosives and shrapnel - on marketplaces and medical centres.

Residents and insurgents in eastern Ghouta say Russian planes are also involved. Syrians say they can identify Russian aircraft because they fly at higher altitude than Syrian planes.

Damascus and Moscow deny using barrel bombs or hitting civilians. They say rebels hold civilians as human shields.

Video footage obtained by Reuters showed wreckage at the Al Shifa hospital in the town of Hammouriyeh. Staff said it had been hit by air strikes and artillery.

"The clinics department is out of service, the clinical care unit is out, the surgery unit is out, the incubator unit is out, the pediatric section is out, all of the departments of the hospital are completely out of service," a man identified as a medical worker said.

"There were casualties among our staff, among patients, among the children we had," he said, adding that doctors had performed an operation in the rubble because it was impossible to evacuate in time.

SCORCHED EARTH

Opposition-held eastern Ghouta has been under siege by Assad's forces since 2013. After government gains since 2015, it is the final rebel bastion near the capital.

Along with Idlib province in the north, part of Aleppo province and a strip in Syria's southwest, it is one of just a handful of areas left where large numbers of people remain in territory controlled by fighters seeking to overthrow Assad. The president has vowed to regain control of every inch of Syria.

Residents and opposition figures say the Syrian government and its allies are deliberately harming civilians with a "scorched earth policy" to force rebels to surrender.

"They want to break our will and turn Ghouta into another Aleppo but this is their dream," Yusef Dughmi, a resident in the devastated eastern Ghouta town of Arbin, said overnight.

Basema Abdullah, a widow who was huddled in a basement with her four children in Douma, said: "We are in desperate need for your prayers," before the phone connection was cut off.

One of the main rebel groups in eastern Ghouta said Moscow would accept only a rebel capitulation. "The Russian concept is complete surrender to the Assad regime's authoritarian and security grip and they need no excuse to storm the Ghouta," said Wael Alwan, spokesman for the Failaq al Rahman group.]]>
2/22/2018 3:20:05 PM
<![CDATA[Huddersfield's survival hinges on reaction to defeats - Wagner]]>
Huddersfield snapped a run of five league losses with a 4-1 victory over Bournemouth in their last game. They have 27 points to sit one spot above the drop zone and face six bottom-half sides in their next seven games.

"We know we have a chance to stay up and the most important thing will be how we deal with defeats, because we'll have some defeats in the next 11 games," Wagner said.

"There are fixtures that are more winnable than others and maybe our advantage is that we're so calm and so clear in our head," the German added.

"We know where we've come from and we can be focused on what we have to do, rather than contend with all the other talk that maybe other teams who are in our situation have to deal with."

Huddersfield's first top-flight season in 45 years began strongly but inconsistency has plagued the West Yorkshire club.

They also take on Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in the coming weeks.

"I'm excited to see where this will end. It feels a little bit like the last few months of last season in the Championship when I was very proud of what the players had done."

Huddersfield travel to basement side West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday.]]>
2/22/2018 3:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[11 Consumer Protection Law articles that save buyers’ rights ]]>
1- Businesses have an obligation to provide proof of purchase to consumers for goods or services, i.e. receipts. If the business refrains from issuing a receipt, it shall pay a fine of no less than LE 30,000 ($1,698.30) and no more than LE 1 million.

2- A fine of no less than LE 30,000 and no more than LE 1 million shall be imposed on the businesses that don’t declare the prices of their goods, or for those that sell trade goods that incite racism or religious hatred.

3- Misleading ads entail a fine that ranges from LE 50,000 to LE 1 million.

4- The producers and companies are prohibited from announcing fake sales or sharing misguided information of prices under the pretext of taxes. They are also warned of changing the expiry date.

5- It’s prohibited to declare a project, without getting the license and setting the date of the project’s delivery. The producers and companies are obligated to declare the cost of services and products.

6- The producers are obliged to provide spare parts even after the warranty period as long as the product's actual life is valid.

7- It’s prohibited to import, produce, trade, or even advertise products that may abuse citizens and differ between races, colors, or religions.

8- It’s forbidden to advertise competitions on products without getting the approval of the Consumer Protection Agency.

9- The consumer has the complete right to replace the damaged or defective Item within 30 days not 14 days.

10- Street vendors are not allowed to sell their products at homes without getting the permission of the consumer him/herself.

11- This law grants the authority of judicial seizure to some workers in the Consumer Protection Agency.

Atef Yaacoub, head of Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) stated that this draft law overcomes the flaws in the current law, stating that the current law does not provide consumers with enough protection.

He said that the CPA received 38,000 complaints last year, compared to 13,000 in 2011.
]]>
2/22/2018 3:14:37 PM
<![CDATA[What does your handwriting say about you?]]>
In an interview with Business Insider, McKnight revealed, “Just from analyzing your handwriting, experts can find over 5,000 personality traits.” Egypt Today presents some of these factors and their correlated aspects that you may not have considered before.

Size:



Large letters usually indicate that one has a love for attention and self-expression, according to Bright Side. They enjoy socializing, and are people-oriented. They also may tend to put up this fake façade of confidence in order to protect themselves and their feelings. They seek mutual understanding and companionship.

Conversely, Bright Side notes, as does Cosmopolitan’s Kerry Ward, that small letters mean that one can be quite shy, intellectual and reserved. They have this passion for being precise and doing things accurately. They are very diligent, focused and concentrated. Most of the people with small-sized letters might be introverted.

Average letters, as per Ward, on the other hand, show how you have the ability to adapt to any situation, overcome any rough patches in your life, and even turn it to work in your favor. People with average sized handwriting are quite levelheaded and grounded; they know how to make quick decisions.



Slants:



According to a research carried out by the National Pen Company in the U.S., writing with no slants means that one is probably ruled by logic. People with un-slanted handwriting are usually emotionally stable, pragmatic and practical. They tend to have full control of their emotions.

If one writes with a slant, then one is either an introvert or extrovert, depending on which side their slants favor. Right slants indicate that one is open, sociable and friendly. They can be quite impulsive, but heart-centered; and, they value personal relationships and appreciate close friends and family.

The research suggests that left slants are on the other side of the spectrum. Those who favor the left side are usually those who work behind the scenes. They are introspective and patient. If you are left-handed and write in left slants you might be expressing rebellion.



S p a c I n g:



The study also shows, as does MailOnline’s Victoria Woollaston, that wide spacing reveals one’s love for freedom and their deep hatred for crowds. Interestingly, those with narrow spacing usually do not have the best time management skills. They are afraid of being alone and always want to be in a crowd.

Even spacing in handwriting is usually attributed to those who are levelheaded and aware of boundaries. They also do not like to be overwhelmed with too many events or issues at the same time.



Pressure:



Cosmopolitan, Bright Side, MailOnline and the National Pen Company agree that those who write with heavy pressure usually take things quite seriously and to heart. They usually feel pressured by small incidents, which they later realize should not have pressured them as much as it did. They feel deeply and react quickly.

Those who write with light pressure, on the other hand, usually are very empathetic and active. They want to finish writing quickly so that they can go out and experience the world. They really enjoy moving from one place to another.


]]>
2/22/2018 3:13:52 PM
<![CDATA[ National newspapers' portals to be updated]]>
The National Press Authority signed a cooperation protocol with the Communications Ministry to upgrade the papers' portals in both Arabic or English languages, said Communications Minister Yasser el Qadi.

Under the 18-month, the ministry will also develop the human cadres in national newspapers, he added.

The protocol aims at helping these national newspapers to cope up with the information technology revolution, especially social networking websites which are highly favored by most of people.

He said the ministry began taking steps to set up an academy for training in coordination with the authority and national newspapers, noting that editing news for papers is different from social networking websites.

Karam Gabr, head of the National Press Authority, said he believes that national press is not going to disappear and that it is capable of addressing the problems it has been suffering from for more than 50 years now.

He added that there will be other modernization projects aiming at honing skills of journalists and helping them better communicate with Egyptians abroad.

Head of the Syndicate of Press and board chairman of Al Ahram newspaper Abdel Mohsen Salama and other board chairmen of national newspapers attended the signing ceremony.
]]>
2/22/2018 3:04:46 PM
<![CDATA[Criminal court sentences 21 persons to death for joining terrorist group]]>
Sixteen of the defendants were sentenced in absentia.

The court also ordered that four defendants in the same case be imprisoned for life and three others for 15 years.

The list of charges against the defendants included joining a group that calls for disrupting the constitution and laws, spreads extremist and takfiri thought and attempts to topple the ruling regime and assault army and police personnel and vital facilities with the aim of causing public disorder and endangering social peace and national stability and security. ]]>
2/22/2018 3:02:15 PM
<![CDATA[Army spox: Purged areas in N. Sinai rehabilitated into normal]]>
Refai highlighted joint maritime drills by the Egyptian and French navy in the Red Sea, where the Egyptian helicopter carrier Mistral, frigates, rocket launchers and special navy forces and students are training as part of the “Cleopatra 2018” exercise Feb.20-23.

The drills include protecting maritime transport, searching suspect vessels, and the scenario of freeing an island, confronting any threat at sea.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian navy is playing its role in the “Sinai 2018” operation, protecting Egypt’s mining and oil resources, and is training on “unconventional” threatening scenarios above and underwater.

In North Sinai, Refai said updates on the operation are being communicated to the media via daily statements. He provided a wrap up of two weeks of the operation as follows:

A total of 71 terrorists have been killed and five have been arrested. On the other hand, seven members of the Armed Forces and police have been killed, Refai confirmed, offering his condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers. Six other soldiers have been injured.

Some 1,852 criminals or people suspected of assisting terrorists have been arrested. A large number of them have already been released after investigations proved them innocent, according to Refai.

The air forces destroyed 158 targets, while 413 have been destroyed by the artillery. A total of 1,282 terrorist hotbeds and stores have been cleared, as well as four “media and transmission” centers used by the terrorist groups.

Tons of drugs and explosives have been destroyed, as well as hundreds of vehicles and motorcycles used by the terrorists, Refai said.

]]>
2/22/2018 2:55:19 PM
<![CDATA[Man lobs grenade at U.S. embassy in Montenegro, then blows himself up]]>
No casualties were reported from the embassy which confirmed a small explosion near its compound. The U.S. State Department said checks were being carried out to ensure all staff were safe.

Policemen with submachine guns and police vehicles were out on the streets near the embassy building on Thursday morning after the incident.

"All appropriate state bodies are undertaking measures and activities with an aim of resolving this case and securing full safety and security of the U.S. embassy's staff," Montenegro's interior minister, Mevludin Nuhodzic, said in a video message, condemning the incident.

Montenegro state television quoting police sources said the attacker was a 43-year old man born in Serbia and residing in Podgorica. Montenegro police declined to confirm media reports to Reuters.

The government, in a tweet, said that about half an hour after midnight "an unknown person" had committed suicide with an explosive device.

"Immediately before, that person threw an explosive device from the intersection near the Sport Center into the U.S. embassy compound." The device was most probably a hand grenade, it said.

The embassy was closed for issuing visas on Thursday and it warned U.S. citizens to stay away until further notice.

"The U.S. embassy in Podgorica advises U.S. citizens there is an active security situation at the U.S. embassy in Podgorica," it said on its website.

Montenegro is the smallest of all former Yugoslav republics and became the 29th country to join NATO last May.]]>
2/22/2018 2:53:23 PM
<![CDATA[Amazon Studios to adapt its first space opera ]]>
Amazon has successfully acquired the rights to produce the first book in Bank's Culture series titled "Consider Phlebas". First published in 1987, the book is a far-future exploration of an advanced galactic society known as the Culture, which unites species from across the stars, including humans, under one Utopian society. Of course, it isn't all perfect in paradise; the Culture is under threat from the Idrians, highly religious and war-like aliens who have hired a shape-shifting hitman known as Horza in order to retrieve a powerful piece of Culture technology; a lost Artificial Intelligence known as a Mind.

The works of Banks have been considered literary treasures amongst science-fiction enthusiasts, and the enduring popularity of his works has seen multiple attempts by Hollywood to buy the rights to adapting his worlds. Now, Amazon has won that war, enlisting Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment to produce the series while the estate of the author will serve as executive producer.

Screenwriter Dennis Kelly is reportedly working on the script according to The Verge.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has stated that a mission for the company is to “find its Game of Thrones”. The dominance of Netflix has seen Amazon attempt to pick up the slack, having bought rights to develop properties based on sci-fi classic “Ringworld”, and even Tolkein's “Lord of the Rings”. It remains to be seen as to whether or not their efforts will bear fruit, but the digital giant is certainly not holding back in acquiring what it can.

If “Consider Phlebas” proves successful, Amazon may have struck gold; before his death in 2013, Banks had filled the “Culture” series with 10 massive books in total, each a standalone story that together form a vast science-fiction epic.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:52:07 PM
<![CDATA[The story behind ‘The Merry Widow’ operetta ]]>
“This operetta will be staged in Egypt for the third time after a long [pause],” Erminia Kamel, artistic director of Cairo Ballet Company told Egypt Today. She continued that late renowned director Abdel-Moneim Kamel took the initiative to introduce this operetta to the Egyptian Opera scene for the first time in 1990s. A performance of the opera was held then but it was directed by Abdallah Saad; this time it is directed by Mahdy El Sayed.

“The Merry Widow” revolves around the story of a woman born in a small eastern village, who then marries a rich old man leaving the poor country. The woman returns to her country as a rich widow and the country’s governor starts to woo her into marrying one of the country’s inhabitants as an attempt to help the country with her wealth. The widow suddenly meets her first lover who at the beginning refuses love her again after she left him for another man. The widow marries her first lover at the end of the operetta and ends up donating a large amount of money to save her country’s future.

Erminia clarified that the performance’s scenario will be the same as the original story except that it will be conducted in Arabic. When Kamel first directed this operetta specifically, he insisted to direct it in Arabic to have the audience more involved dramatically in the play itself.

As for her expectations, Erminia believes the audience will enjoy the operetta, “There will be many artists creating a beautiful world on the stage; actors, singers and beautiful orchestra by the prominent musician Hisham Gabr,” she stated. It only consists of two acts. The operetta is not only solely based on a romantic plot, but is also largely comedic.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:45:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s 10 concessions to drill for gas in Mediterranean Sea]]>
The Italian energy company Eni discovered in 2015 Zohr gas field in the Shorouk concession with around 850 billion cubic meters of gas.

In 2010, the US Geological Survey estimated in a study that the gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea are about 345 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The study added that it also contains huge amounts of oil reserves of 3.4 billion barrels of oil, along with large amounts of gas liquids.

Egypt's natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta reach about 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In addition to the discovery of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas in Zohr field, Egypt is drilling for gas in different areas in the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt Today reviews the concession areas in the Mediterranean Sea and the companies working on them.

gas fields
Map of the Egyptian gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.


The Italian energy company Eni and its concession areas

The Italian Company has three concessions in the Mediterranean Sea; the first is Al Shorouk where it discovered Zohr gas field, approximately 190 kilometers north of Port Said in an area of 100 square meters (39 sq mi) and at a depth of 1,450 meters (4,760 ft).

In addition to Al Shorouk Concession, Eni is working on North Leil and Karawan concessions in the west of Zohr field.

British Petroleum has three concessions

British Petroleum Company is working on three concession areas in the Mediterranean Sea; the first is North al-Maks area, in west of Zohr field, the second is North el-Taneen, and the third is al-Tabya area in the south of Zohr field.

Moreover, BP holds 100 percent interest in the Atoll concession, and the company announced that the project was delivered seven months ahead of schedule and 33 percent below the initial cost estimate.

The project in the East Nile Delta is pumping out 350 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) and 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of condensate.

Three concessions are drilled by the Italian Company Edison

The Italian Company Edison is drilling on three different concessions which are North Theka and Ras Habi in the south of Zohr field, while its third concession is in the north of Port Fouad and in the east of Zohr Field.

While the remaining concession in the Mediterranean Sea is in Northern Arish, located in the southeast of Zohr, and is operated by Dana Gas.

Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla said earlier that Egypt accomplished four important projects for gas production in 2017 which are Torres and Libra, Atoll, Norse and Zohr.

These four projects added 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day to raise Egypt’s daily production to 5.5 billion cubic feet a day.

Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for production and fields’ development Mohamed Abdel Azim said earlier that Egypt’s natural gas production will reach some six billion cubic feet a day by the end of fiscal year 2017/18.

]]>
2/22/2018 2:36:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt rapporteur of 30th FAO Regional Conference for Africa]]>
Egyptian Agriculture Minister Abdel Men'em el Banna is expected to give a speech at the conference, in which he will review steps that have been implemented in Egypt to achieve a true and sustainable agricultural development, said a statement by the Agriculture Ministry on Thursday.

The Egyptian minister will also shed light on the opportunities available in Egypt thanks to the mega agricultural projects launched by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

This year's FAO regional conference for Africa is held under the theme “Sustainable Development Of Agriculture And Food Systems in Africa: Improving the Means Of Production And the Creation of Decent And Attractive Employment For Youth” with the participation of more than 38 African ministers of agriculture along with senior regional and international experts and officials specialized in agriculture and food sectors.

This year's edition aims at tackling the latest challenges pertaining to food and agriculture spheres as well as boosting regional connectivity in view of the world policies and political causes.

Banna arrived in Khartoum Wednesday to take part in the ARC meetings. He was received by the Sudanese ministers of agriculture and livestock alongside Egypt's acting ambassador in Sudan, Karim Essam.

Banna is scheduled to hold, on the sidelines of the FAO regional conference, several meetings with a number of Sudanese officials including the ministers of agriculture and forestry and livestock and the Nile State governor for talks on activating bilateral cooperation.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:31:25 PM
<![CDATA[Zamalek seeks 5th consecutive victory against Al Nasr]]>
Zamalek’s manager, Ihab Galal, will depend on a massive attacking line of Kasongo Kabongo, Mohamed Antar, Abdallah Gomaa and Emad Fathi.

Zamalek’s fans are putting all their hopes on the club’s top goal scorer in the league, Kasongo, to lead the team to achieve their fifth consecutive victory after defeating Tanta, Smouha, Wadi Degla and Petrojet.

Kasongo scored seven goals with the club including two goals against Petrojet last week.

“They do not have anything to lose as they are at the bottom of the table. We should give everything on the pitch to keep our amazing run,” Galal told the press on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Al Nasr hopes to recover from their 5-0 loss to Al-Ahly last week by securing a strong result against Zamalek. “We are facing difficult circumstances as many players are suffering from injuries and we were forced to give the chance to players from the youth team,” Al Nasr’s manager, Sayed Eid, told the press ahead of the game.

Zamalek are competing with Ismaily and Al-Masry to secure the second place in the League in order to qualify to the CAF Champions League next season.

Zamalek currently comes third at the Egyptian League table with 45 points; they are one point behind the second-placed, Ismaily, and 21 points behind the leaders, Al-Ahly.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Khaled Ali sued over sexual harassment allegations ]]>
Sabry in his complaint said that several members of the Bread and Freedom Party, and especially head of the women affairs committee Elham Eidarous, have already accused Ali of sexual harassment and demanded that he be questioned officially.

He added that his admission and apology which were included in the statement published on his Facebook page on February 19 prove that the allegations are true.

A statement Issued by the Journalist Youth Front Wednesday argued that incidents of sexual harassment shouldn’t be ignored without taking official and serious legal action towards it; that a real investigation against Ali would refrain such abuses from occurring again.

In a long statement issued on February 19,

Ali announced his resignation

as a member of the Bread and Freedom Party and as counselor for ECESR. He apologized about the sexual harassment allegations that were circulated against him by an anonymous girl though an e-mail shared by her with a small group of friends.

Moreover, Ali said that he is feeling sorry for the harm that he might have caused previously for that girl and for affecting her feelings or making her think of him as a harasser. He apologized to his kids, family and all the women he worked with previously.

Ali made it clear that he was surprised by the e-mail that went viral between the NGO members. He said that he used to work with her (the girl who sent the e-mail) and that he had nothing but respect for her during the long period they worked together.

Lawyer and human activist Khaled Ali was formerly a presidential candidate during the 2012 elections; however, he only amassed 134,056 votes, according to the National Election Authority’s (NEA) statement. Also, on November 6, 2017, Ali officially announced his intention to run for the 2018 presidential elections, but later retracted his decision for political reasons. Ali is also considered one of the left-wing political figures in Egypt. He has several well-known political stances that earned him a popular base. It is unconventional for an Egyptian politician to apologize and resign after being charged with sexual harassment; more stubborn attitudes are common in similar cases.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:29:53 PM
<![CDATA[335 travel docs for Egyptian violators of Kuwaiti residence law]]>
Speaking to MENA, Essam said the move comes after the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry decided to extend for two month, to end on April 22, the grace period given to residency law violators to adjust their status.

The Egyptian consulate in Kuwait examined the applications presented to it by 355 Egyptian expats who are living in Kuwait in violation of the Kuwaiti residence law and accepted to issue travel papers for just 335 of them, she said. Those of the remaining 20 were rejected because they had no official documents to prove that they hold the Egyptian nationality," she added.

She advised Egyptian expats violating the Kuwaiti residence law to make use of the Kuwaiti initiative and legalize their status as soon as possible.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:13:51 PM
<![CDATA[AFDA head: Sisi's visit to Algiers had 'profound impact']]>
In statements to MENA on Thursday on the sidelines of a ceremony to honor Algerian Freedom Fighter Djamila Bouhired in Aswan, Abu Ayesh described as "distinguished" Egyptian-Algerian ties following the June 30 Revolution in 2013.

Algerian people never forget Egypt's support for Algeria's revolution against the French occupation in 1954, said Abu Ayesh, the spouse of the Egyptian ambassador in Algiers.

Also, Egyptians never forget the Algerian people's support for Egypt after the June 30 Revolution, she stressed.

She further noted that she organized a visit for 25 diplomatic spouses in Algiers to Egypt, saying the visit will include must-see tourist attractions in Luxor and Aswan.

The visit aims at getting them acquainted with the Egyptian civilization, promoting tourism and bringing closer Arab and foreign diplomats, she said.

The Association for Diplomatic Spouses in Algiers organizes three main activities each year; an international food day in March, a tourist trip of Luxor and Aswan in February and the annual International Bazaar, she said.

Revenues from the bazaar, which is a charity event, are channeled to fund civil society organizations operating in the humanitarian fields, including maternal and child healthcare, persons with special abilities and cancer patients, she noted.

She extolled Egypt's honor of Algerian revolution icon Djamila Bouhired, urging youth to follow in her footsteps, particularly in light of the current conditions in the Arab region and the celebration of the International Women's Day.

Algerian Freedom Fighter Djamila Bouhired is currently visiting Aswan to participate as a guest of honor in the 2nd Edition of the Aswan International Women's Film Festival.
]]>
2/22/2018 2:03:52 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate shows varied performance at major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate dropped one piaster recording LE 17.59 for buying and LE 17.69 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

The dollar exchange rate stood at LE 17.63 for buying and LE 17.73 at Banque Du Caire and the Arab African International Bank.

At Bank of Alexandria, the dollar exchange rate stood at LE 17.63 for buying and LE 17.73 for selling.

At Banque Misr, the dollar exchange rate stood at LE 17.58 for buying and LE 17.68 for selling.

The dollar exchange rate dropped by two piasters registering LE 17.65 for buying and LE 17.75 for selling at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. ]]>
2/22/2018 1:53:40 PM
<![CDATA[Algeria's Bouhired praises Sisi's anti-terror efforts]]>
"Egypt is waging a fierce war against black terrorism that seeks to divide the Arab region," Bouhired told MENA.

Bouhired stressed that she will never forget Egypt's stance in support of the Algerian revolution.

She also reiterated that Arab youths are capable of foiling the West's plots to control the Arab region thanks to their cultural, political and social awareness.

Bouhired is a heroine of the Algerian War of National Liberation from France, 1954–1962. She is known throughout the Middle East as "the Arab Joan of Arc. ]]>
2/22/2018 1:52:51 PM
<![CDATA[We will keep fighting in La Liga: Ramos ]]>CAIRO – 21 February 2018: Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos revealed on Wednesday that his team will fight until the end to achieve the league title after defeating Leganes 3-1 to reduce the gap with the leaders, Barcelona, to 14 points.

“We've turned things around and we're achieving our objectives little by little. We will keep fighting in La Liga and will try to cut the gap by as many points as possible,” Ramos told press after the game.

Real Madrid returned from a 1-0 loss after five minutes to win the game 3-1, with Ramos scoring the third goal through a penalty.

Ramos added, “These victories always help to boost morale. Despite the bad results, this is the path to follow and we will keep improving and trying to concede as few goals as possible.”

Ramos will miss Madrid’s upcoming game against Deportivo Alaves, as he is suspended for yellow card accumulation after getting a yellow card against Leganes.

Real Madrid are having an amazing week, as they achieved three consecutive victories. They defeated Paris Saint Germain 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday before defeating Real Betis 5-2 on Sunday night, followed by their 3-1 victory over Leganes on Wednesday. ]]>
2/22/2018 1:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 16B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 7.5 billion with a 182-day term and the second worth LE 8.5 billion with a 357-day term.

T-bills are usually issued every Sunday and Thursday.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 370 billion, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.
]]>
2/22/2018 12:47:47 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho promises 'big night' after Seville stalemate]]>
United's goalless draw away to the Spanish side in Wednesday's first leg means the three-times European champions are obliged to win the return game if they are to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2014.

"We now have one match to decide everything at Old Trafford. For sure, Old Trafford misses knockout Champions League. So I think Old Trafford needs a big Champions League night, and that's going to happen," Mourinho told reporters.

The club's last appearance in the Champions League knockout stage was when they faced down a two-goal deficit and beat Greek side Olympiakos 3-0 at Old Trafford in 2014.

They were beaten by Bayern Munich in the next round and have not been to the knockout phase in the competition since.

On Wednesday, Mourinho defended his side's cautious approach in the atmospheric Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, saying his team had controlled the game even though Sevilla created more chances.

"The only moment where we felt relieved was when they had a couple of chances and David (De Gea) made two great saves," added Mourinho.

"That gave this fantastic stadium the emotion they normally have for 90 minutes. Apart from that, the game was even."

The Spanish side have some concerns heading into the second leg. They have lost just once in all competitions at home in the last 15 months and gave a typically bold display in front of their boisterous supporters but could not take their chances.

Sevilla, however, have lost every away game to Spain's top four this season and during last year's Champions League campaign were eliminated by Leicester City when they lost the second leg away 2-0 after a 2-1 success at home.

Their coach Vincenzo Montella did not hide his disappointment they could not take an advantage into the return leg in Manchester on March 13.

"We created enough chances to score a goal or two so I'm a little sad but we have to be pleased with our performance," said the Italian.

Defender Gabriel Mercado added that they would be working on ways to break down De Gea at Old Trafford.

"De Gea is a very difficult goalkeeper to beat but we'll try to get past him in the return leg," added the defender. "They will take the initiative in the second leg but we usually want to play our part and we'll try to own the game.

"We're 90 minutes from doing something historic."]]>
2/22/2018 12:36:07 PM
<![CDATA[Biopic explores secret scandal behind 'Pippi Longstocking']]>
"Becoming Astrid" by Danish filmmaker Pernille Fischer Christensen exposes the little-known backstory behind one of the world's most enduring girl characters, with her gravity-defying red plaits, abundant freckles and superhuman strength.

While still a teenager in conservative Sweden in the 1920s, the then Astrid Ericsson had an affair with her boss, the married editor-in-chief of the local newspaper, and fell pregnant.

The film examines the wrenching choices she was forced to make as a result, and the life lessons she drew.

"What happened here in this story made Astrid a really, really strong person," Fischer Christensen said. "One of the things she might have learned from this is you have to think for yourself.

"(Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel) Kant also said this but Astrid Lindgren says these things in a very, very simple way that just enters you when you are a child."

Fischer Christensen, 48, who called Lindgren "one of the most innovative and influential artists of our time", said Lindgren and her characters set an example for generations of people.

"I would not be the same person if I had not had Pippi," she said.

- Cast out -

The movie, which drew enthusiastic applause and a lot of tears at a press preview, introduces Astrid as a teenager living on her family's farm in a close-knit but judgemental tiny community.

Taken with her writing talent and independent streak, the editor, Blomberg, offers her a job but quickly falls in love with her and they begin a discreet affair.]]>
2/22/2018 12:28:23 PM
<![CDATA[Pizza is healthier for breakfast than cereal]]>
According to recent research, we are better off eating pizza for breakfast than cereal. Pizza is packed with protein and way less fats and sugar than cereal, making it a healthier alternative for breakfast. Remarkable and shocking, but absolutely true!

Dietitian Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, told The Daily Meal that a slice of pizza actually has the same calories as a bowl of cereal. Hence, it is acceptable and even nutritious to substitute cereal for pizza. Since cereals are full of sugars and no fibers, they can cause a sugar crash after a couple of hours of consumption, making you lazy and unproductive throughout your day. Pizza, on the other hand, has more fibers, carbohydrates and less sugar, which will make you active and less likely to feel hungry quickly.



“Because eating a slice of pizza for breakfast when you really want it will prevent you from binging on an entire pie later,” Amer wrote in her blog.

Aligned with Amer’s view, a 2014 study found that people eat up to 132 percent more than the recommended serving of cereal, in turn surpassing the recommended daily sugar intake. Not only that, the study also revealed that this excess amount of cereal is often consumed simply during breakfast or, in other words, in one serving. On the other hand, pizza contains grains, vegetables and proteins, all of which are needed daily food groups.



Still, research reveals that it somewhat depends on the types of pizza and cereal one is consuming, meaning there are cereals that are packed with important and nutritious fibers that would keep you full and are beneficial for your digestive tract. Of course, there are greasy pizzas that are high in fat percentages and result in instant weight gain, in which case cereal would be healthier. In short, eating a healthy cereal is always healthier than pizza, but one is better off eating pizza than sugary cereals.



When the pizza is well-balanced and not too greasy, it is just the right start to the day. However, as mentioned, “Pizzas can be a healthy balance of carbs, fats and protein; so, as long as it doesn’t contain unhealthy additives, who’s to say we can’t eat pizza for breakfast?” Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explained to The Independent.
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2/22/2018 12:26:20 PM
<![CDATA['Star Wars' Mark Hamill to present award at Oscars]]>
Hamill will attend the Oscars, March 4, four days before he is honored personally with his Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

The actor, now 66, joked on Twitter: "Note to self: 1) Talk fast enough so the orchestra doesn't try to play me off. 2) No 'R2-Me Too' jokes. 3) After opening the envelope, don't say 'La La Land.'"

The last quip references last year's unprecedented Best Picture mixup, when that movie was read out instead of the real winner "Moonlight."

Other presenters on the big day at the Dolby theater include Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Eva Marie Saint, Wes Studi, Kelly Marie Tran and Zendaya.

As for that star of Hamill's: "Star Wars fans from around the world and a galaxy far, far away will be excited to hear that legendary actor Mark Hamill will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"We are proud to add this extraordinary talent to the historic Hollywood monument," said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Hamill will receive star number 2,630.]]>
2/22/2018 12:24:45 PM
<![CDATA[Lithuanian amb. says keen on bolstering ties with Egypt in all fields]]>
Egypt is a regional power and an important country in the Middle East region, Daunoravičius said at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Lithuania's independence.

He added that contacts are under way to prepare for a visit to be paid by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevičius to Cairo soon.

A new round of talks at the level of the two countries' assistant foreign ministers will be held soon in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, he told MENA.

Daunoravičius also praised the first-of-its-kind visit paid by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Lithuania in August, during which he discussed with his Lithuanian counterpart Linkevičius the latest political and security developments in the Middle East region. (MENA)]]>
2/22/2018 12:20:01 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Kazakhstan mull joint parliamentary cooperation]]>
Both sides tackled proposals to intensify activities of the Egyptian- Kazakh parliamentary friendship group as well as exchanged visits between MPs, a move that would contribute to developing a constructive dialogue on files pertaining to democracy and legislation, said a statement released by Kazakhstan’s Embassy on Thursday.

The Kazakh ambassador shed light on his country’s priorities during the period of its membership in the UN Security Council (UNSC) in addition to the achievements Kazakhstan made while holding the rotating presidency of the UNSC in January, the statement added.

As well, the Kazakh ambassador briefed Abdel Aal on the foreign policies’ initiatives launched by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the fields of nuke security, inter-faith dialogue, combating terrorism and supporting peace and stability in the Islamic world, read the statement.

Isagaliev expressed thanks to the Egyptian leadership for its constant support to Kazakhstan's regional and international initiatives, hailing the performance of the Egyptian parliament’s legislative committee for issuing several major laws aimed at promoting democracy, improving the living conditions of the Egyptians, developing the civil society and countering terrorism, the statement noted.

He voiced his country’s keenness on fostering cooperation with the Egyptian parliament that has 150 years of experience, according to the statement.

For his side, Abdel Aal praised the Kazakh role in world politics and its important contribution to regional and international causes, asserting that Kazakhstan is a major political partner to Egypt, the statement said.

Abdel Aal affirmed that Egypt is willing to continue supporting Kazakhstan on all levels and at all international forums, it also said.

He underlined the high level of relations between both countries in all political, economic and cultural sectors and expressed readiness to push forward bilateral parliamentary cooperation that will lead to a qualitatively new level of relations, it added. ]]>
2/22/2018 12:13:46 PM
<![CDATA[GE eyes $4B in asset sales, has no plans to sell stock: CFO]]>

Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller, speaking to an investor conference organized by Citigroup in Miami, did not elaborate on the planned asset sales. The disposals could cut cash flow by less than $500 million in 2019, but would have no impact in 2018, she said.

GE has said it plans to sell its transportation unit, which makes railway locomotives; the iconic lighting division that makes bulbs for consumers, and a connections business that sells motors, generators and automation and electrical grid equipment.

Miller said GE does not plan to quickly sell its 62.5 percent stake in oilfield services business Baker Hughes (BHGE.N) before the expiration of a two-year lockup period, reversing an earlier stance that had cast uncertainty around Baker Hughes. Baker Hughes shares rose on Wednesday.

Speaking at an another investor conference in Miami, organized by Barclays, Miller said GE has no plans to raise equity to strengthen its balance sheet.

Miller said the company has gone through a “fairly deep dive into the different elements of the company. And we have no plans for an equity raise. It’s not been discussed,” Miller said.

GE’s chief executive officer, John Flannery, last month spurred speculation about a possible break-up of the 126-year-old conglomerate when he said GE was considering “all options.”

Miller said Flannery was talking about capital allocation. “We’re examining everything,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean we don’t run the company extraordinarily well, and it doesn’t mean it’s to the exclusion of other stakeholders, too.”

Miller warned of “a little bit more noise” before GE Power recovers from a 45 percent profit drop last year. She called 2018 “a reset and stabilization year” for the division, which makes power plants and equipment.

”Turning it around “will take a good 12 to 18 months,” Miller said. She declined to predict when GE Power would regain the double-digit profit margins it had in 2016.

“I think in the next couple of years, we will have good line of sight to that shift,” Miller said.]]>
2/22/2018 12:07:47 PM
<![CDATA[Emaar continues to buoy Dubai, ex-dividend Qatar Islamic Bank tumbles]]>
Emaar, which had been trading near 14-month lows, surged 3.2 percent on Wednesday in its heaviest volume this year as some funds returned to the stock, apparently attracted by undemanding valuations compared to emerging market peers.

On Thursday morning the stock climbed a further 1.9 percent in unusually heavy trade, helping to lift Dubai’s stock index by 0.9 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent in the first half-hour with Al Jazira Bank adding 0.5 percent after the securities regulator approved its request to conduct a 3 billion riyal ($800 million) rights issue.

In Qatar, the index sank 0.8 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank went ex-dividend, tumbling 4.9 percent. ]]>
2/22/2018 11:55:56 AM
<![CDATA[Plumlee set to rejoin Nuggets; Millsap close behind, too]]>
Paul Millsap, sidelined since having left wrist surgery in November, isn't certain of his return date, but Mason Plumlee, out since late January with a calf injury, expects to play Friday when the Nuggets return to action against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.

"It's just great to have those guys back," coach Michael Malone told the Denver Post. "We'll figure out who plays and when they play, but being healthy with 24 games to go (is) a good thing to be."

Millsap probably won't play this week, and his initial action likely will be as a sub, the Post reported.

"Hopefully (I can play) pretty soon," Millsap said. "It feels good now. We'll see how it feels in the morning or after (Thursday's) practice, and we'll go from there. My intention was to come right back after the All-Star break and get into it, but we have to be smart about it. This was my first practice today, full contact, and I have to be smart about my wrist and my body."

Millsap was an All-Star each of the past four seasons while playing for the Atlanta Hawks before signing with Denver as a free agent last July. Through 16 games for the Nuggets, he is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals.

Plumlee, in his second season with Denver, has played 50 games this season, making 26 starts. He is averaging 7.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks.

Malone acknowledged that reintroducing Millsap and Plumlee to the rotation could involve a delicate balance with the Nuggets on a hot streak. Denver won six of its last seven games before the break, posting a minimum of 115 points in those six victories.

"It's a good thing. It's also a challenging thing," Malone said of the return of Millsap and Plumlee. "You look at our offensive numbers in the month of February -- I've never seen numbers like that. Now, unfortunately, our defensive numbers are just as bad as our offense is good. That's where you miss Mason and Paul. People don't understand the impact both of those guys have."]]>
2/22/2018 11:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sun illuminates face of Ramses II in Aswan for 20 minutes]]>
For most of the year, the inner sanctum of the main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness.

Capture 4
Sun on Thursday illuminated the face of Ramses II sanctuary in the Abu Simple temple in south Aswan for 20 minutes in a rare phenomenon that takes place twice a year - Muhammad Fawzy/Egypt Today

The phenomenon started at 6:25 am and continued for nearly 20 minutes.

Led by Ministers Rania el Mashat of Tourism and Khaled el Anni of Antiquities, over 3,000 tourists and Egyptians gathered at Abu Simbel temple to watch the alignment of the sun on King Ramses II's face.

Capture 2
Sun on Thursday illuminated the face of Ramses II sanctuary in the Abu Simple temple in south Aswan for 20 minutes in a rare phenomenon that takes place twice a year - Muhammad Fawzy/Egypt Today

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).

Capture
Sun on Thursday illuminated the face of Ramses II sanctuary in the Abu Simple temple in south Aswan for 20 minutes in a rare phenomenon that takes place twice a year - Muhammad Fawzy/Egypt Today



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2/22/2018 11:30:45 AM
<![CDATA[Asian stocks slip as U.S. rate risk sours sentiment, dollar holds gains]]>
The dollar held onto most of its overnight gains courtesy of higher Treasury yields, though the sudden shift to safety also spurred demand for the Japanese yen.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 lost 0.3 percent and FTSE futures FFIc1 slid 0.8 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS eased 0.8 percent, with most of the region in the red.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 shed 1.1 percent, with office equipment maker Ricoh (7752.T) down more than 5 percent on news it was conducting impairment tests.

Chinese markets were in a better mood, returning from their long holiday break with a gain of 2 percent for the Shanghai blue-chip index .CSI300.

On Wall Street, the Dow .DJI had ended Wednesday down 0.67 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX fell 0.55 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.22 percent. [.N]

The retreat came after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the usual concerns that inflation might disappoint, but also an expectation of faster economic growth due to fiscal stimulus.

In particular, members agreed that “the strengthening in the near-term economic outlook increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate.”

That led investors to narrow the odds on faster hikes with a host of Fed fund futures <0#FF:> hitting contract lows. Three rate rises are now almost fully priced in for this year, compared to two as recently as December.

“Participants saw a more favorable outlook as supporting gradual rate hikes,” noted Barclays analyst Michael Gapen.

“Since then, more stimulus has arrived and there is some tentative, though not conclusive, evidence of stronger wage and inflation data,” he added. “We continue to expect four rate hikes in 2018 and 2019.”

THE THREE PCT BARRIER

That risk was not welcome in the Treasury market, where yields on 10-year notes touched their highest in four years, and those on two-year paper the highest in nine.

Yields on 10-year debt US10YT=TWEB were last trading at 2.94 percent and creeping ever closer to 3 percent - a huge psychological milestone for bulls and bears alike.

For once, the lift in yields seemed to benefit the U.S. dollar which edged up to 90.123 .DXY against a basket of currencies after having rallied 0.3 percent overnight.

The euro slipped to $1.2274 EUR=, from a $1.2359 top on Wednesday and looked in danger of testing its February trough at $1.2204.

The next hurdle will be minutes from the European Central Bank’s last meeting with markets wary in case there is more talk of an eventual winding back on stimulus.

The dollar fared less well on the yen as the Japanese currency caught a safe-haven bid, falling back to 107.32 JPY= from an early 107.68.

The euro skidded to its lowest on the yen in three months at 131.57 EURJPY= and risked cracking major support at its 200-day moving average of 131.12.

Higher bond yields were a deadweight on gold, which pays no return, and left the metal stuck at $1,323.88 an ounce XAU=.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures CLc1 fell 61 cents to $61.06 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 lost 48 cents to trade at $64.94.]]>
2/22/2018 10:56:04 AM
<![CDATA[German court to decide on fate of 15 million diesel cars]]>
Diesel-engine cars have been in the spotlight since Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) in 2015 admitted to cheating exhaust tests, triggering a regulatory and legal backlash against diesel emissions, which contain particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx) and are known to cause respiratory disease.

Environmental group DUH has sued Stuttgart in Germany’s carmaking heartland, and Duesseldorf over levels of particulate matter exceeding European Union limits.

The German states have appealed against the decisions, leaving Germany’s federal administrative court in Leipzig to rule on whether such bans are legal.

Environmental groups say levels of particulate matter exceed the EU threshold in at least 90 German towns and cities.

Carmakers have sought to avert a total ban with an agreement to overhaul engine management software on 5.3 million diesel cars as a way to clean up German cities.

Environmental groups have called software updates insufficient and have lobbied for cars with Euro-6 and Euro-5 emissions standards to receive hardware updates of their exhaust treatment systems.

German auto safety group ADAC said that hardware retrofits of Euro-5 vehicles cost between 1,400 and 3,300 euros and can cut diesel pollution by up to 70 percent.

Retrofits would prove extremely costly for carmakers and an outright diesel ban could trigger a fall in vehicle resale prices, also known as residuals, which are used as a benchmark for pricing leasing and finance contracts.

“The decline in diesel residuals toward the end of 2017 showed a clear acceleration, ending the year at 52.6 percent, having started the year at 56 percent,” analysts at Evercore ISI said in a note on Wednesday.

Evercore ISI forecasts a 5 percent fall in diesel residual values could result in a drop of 1.6 billion euros ($2 billion) in operating profit across eight European and U.S. carmakers.]]>
2/22/2018 10:51:49 AM
<![CDATA[The ‘e-mail girl’ who split civil society apart]]>
That was a short paragraph of a long e-mail that shocked the NGO society and some of the political parties, leading to the sudden and huge resignation of prominent politician Khaled Ali who could have been named president twice.

Two separate stories loaded with a lot of anger, sorrow, vulnerability and, sometimes, grievance were included in an e-mail sent by an anonymous girl to some of her female friends and colleagues, most of whom are working in the civil society community and NGOs. The girl herself turned out later to be one of the prominent NGO activists. Her work is mostly affiliated with the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). However, as the story was building, the girl was keen to preserve her privacy for many reasons.

The details inside the activist girl’s e-mail directly accuses two politicians of sexual harassment and even rape. The first one is prominent lawyer Khaled Ali, and the second, identified later, is a non-active member of the Bread and Freedom Party and activist, named Mahmoud Belal, known for his passion for working as a lawyer in human and women’s rights causes.

The real bang in this story came at its end, not at the beginning. Many uninterested or uneager followers for the NGO news or circles got to know the intricate details very recently —especially when Ali announced his apology and resignation from both Bread and Freedom Party and ECESR on February 19.

Khaled Ali resignation

Considered as a first in the Egyptian political and social community, veteran lawyer and human rights activist Khaled Ali issued a long statement on his official Facebook account on February 19, announcing his resignation as a member of the Bread and Freedom Party and as counselor for ECESR. He apologized to the e-mail girl for the harm that he might have caused previously and for affecting her feelings or making her think of him as a harasser. He apologized to his kids, family and all the women he worked with previously.

Ali made it clear that he was surprised by the e-mail that went viral between the NGO members. He said that he used to work with her and that he had nothing but respect for her during the long period of their working together.



“I thought a lot, and even talked about it with some of my friends, colleagues, and political and NGO activists. I heard a lot of suggestions – some of them advised to ignore the whole issue and others accused her of not being serious, as she didn’t issue a formal complaint to the prosecution. But I was only thinking about one thing, which is my willingness to undergo an investigation in case she asked for it, but later I wondered, what if she didn’t?” Ali wrote in his long statement.

Finally, he demanded that an investigation should be opened, regardless of whether she asked for it or not. “I asked some of my presidential election members to cooperate with other colleagues from the Bread and Freedom Party and form a committee to investigate me over the incident. Shortly later, one of the party members complained against the second lawyer (Mahmoud Belal), who was also accused by the e-mail. The same committee was investigating me and him as two separate incidents.”

“All what was described by the girl in her e-mail cannot be identified as sexual harassment. Accordingly, we believe that Ali didn’t commit anything that could be considered as sexual abuse of any kind.” That was the committee’s final judgment regarding Ali’s incident.

He didn’t mention Belal’s incident in any way, unless saying that some media outlets intended to mix between the two incidents. Further details, however, come from the Bread and Freedom Party statement issued February 17.

According to the statement, Belal’s incident was described by the committee as a “shameful act”, not harassment and not rape.

Many points missed...

Reading the statements raises a lot of questions: What is this committee? Who are its members? How were they chosen? What are the incidents exactly to be judged or identified as any kind of sexual abuse?

As far we know, the committee was formed as per Ali’s request. It was formed by two women and one man, all of whom are unidentified (officially). None of the statements issued by Ali or Ali’s political party named the committee members or mentioned anything about the mechanism of their work.

Many critics were directed to the committee by some of the NGO members and especially the e-mail girl’s friends and supporters. Accusations of not being transparent were circulated.

The committee started its work in December 2017. The Bread and Freedom Party said it was keen to assign members with a long history in feminist and legal matters. All three members were supposed to contact the e-mail girl as a crucial part of the investigation, along with other witnesses of the two incidents, but some refused to cooperate, including the e-mail girl herself.



On February 20, another statement, signed by 129 activists (until now), was issued regarding the incident, titled “a clarifying statement about the two sexual harassment incidents, approved by the complainer.”

The e-mail story

On October 13, 2017, the girl started to share the email with some of her friends, supporters and a mainly small circle of activist females. She then demanded, according to the signed statement, a formal and official apology from the activist who was accused of raping her. She wanted him to be banned of using any legal suit that could give him the privilege of being an activist lawyer specialized in women’s rights cases.

It was explained clearly that the girl refused to go to the prosecution, as she denies the “jailing punishment” idea from her perspective as an activist. Moreover, the girl believed that any legal investigation will only cause her more psychological harm, as no serious procedures would be taken as a result of the lack of eyewitnesses for the two incidents.

“She preferred instead to warn her colleagues and friends rather than issuing a legal complaint. The main purpose of the email was to open a real dialogue between the NGO community members about consent and sexual exploitation of women who work within the civil society,” the statement read.

The e-mail dates the Khaled Ali incident to 2015 at the headquarters of ECESR, and the second (rape accusation) in 2014, as she was at her friend’s apartment under the influence of alcohol.

When she was first requested by the committee to join the investigation, she refused. But later, she demanded some guarantees, including knowing the committee members’ names. She also wanted to know some details about the committee’s work strategy and whether the final results were to be announced to the public. Finally, she wanted to name one or two members to join the committee.

The response was that they will look at her demands after her approval to join the investigation. Accordingly, she turned the whole investigation down.

Women’s rights within the NGO community

The whole resignation and the investigation were not mentioned within the joint statement as the core of the case. Surprisingly, the core was the problem the civil society is facing when a similar incident take place. “NGOs tend to separate the political affairs from the feminine causes and sexual freedom issues, which is a naïve belief,” the statement read. It also criticized the ignorance of women's rights defenders of the basics of dealing with sexual harassment survivors and ways of investigating the cases in which only the testimonies of both parties (abuser and victim) are available.

It was said that all the consequences that took place recently were just a result of the lack of transparency and the “right of knowledge” principle.

Finally, the statement described the incident and its consequences, including the committee’s work, as “ignorance, inaction and deliberate blackout for the favor of political interests.” The statement continued, “what is really shameful is using the female card only when it’s proper for the political and personal interests.” The statement concluded by calling on civil society’s prominent leaders to take an initiative to open the sexual abuse issue and set rules for providing a “safe place” for the survivors.

Egypt Today tried to contact several NGO lawyers, leaders and even some of the members that we knew were part of the investigation; however, all of them either refused to comment or did not feel comfortable being quoted.

Excluding the law in this incident was explained by two reasons. The first one was the girl’s refusal for the “jailing punishment” idea, and the second was all of the gaps that the law suffers from, especially when it comes to women’s issues. However, does it sound a persuading reason for not going to police?

As explained to Egypt Today by sources refused to be quoted in this story, NGOs are supposed to be the same as any other body inside the state, having their own administrative regulations against sexual harassment at work that do not conflict with state regulations, as all the bodies and organizations eventually adhere only to the state’s law.

So many “no’s” were heard from sources who refused to comment on anything related to this story, either the committee’s work or the NGO regulations for protecting female activists working with them. It was obvious that NGO members do not feel comfortable talking about their colleagues or any issues and challenges that they may be facing inside. Additionally, the dispute this issue caused between the activist members and NGOs regarding the investigation mechanism, excluding law and using the female card for certain interests, cannot be ignored.

The NGOs and female activists in Egypt had a crucial role regarding breaking the silence on harassment and all kinds of violence against women. Years of campaigns and hard work improved the situation and melted the ice that was culturally inherited as a Middle Eastern society in which a girl is blamed for her loud voice as inappropriate.

Worthy to know

Lawyer and human activist Khaled Ali was formally a presidential candidate during the 2012 elections; however, he got only 134,056 votes, according to the National Election Authority (NEA) statement. Also, on November 6, 2017, Ali officially announced his intention to run for the 2018 presidential elections, but he later retracted his decision for political reasons. Ali is also considered one of the left-wing political figures in Egypt. He has several well-known political stances that earned him a popular base. It is unconventional for an Egyptian politician to apologize and resign after being charged with sexual harassment; more stubborn attitudes are common in similar cases.

Several sexual harassment and abuse incidents were spotted in Egypt’s streets for a period of time, especially after the 2011 Revolution. In a study by the United Nations in 2013, it was assumed that about 99 percent of Egyptian women experienced different forms of sexual harassment. According to Egyptian law, sexual harassment punishment could reach one year in prison, while that of rape could be up to fifteen years.
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2/22/2018 10:51:36 AM
<![CDATA[Tamer Morsi appointed as new Egyptian Media Group CEO]]>
The former Minister of Investment and the current executive chairwoman of Eagle Capital, Dalia Khorshid, announced that El Sheikh will be replaced by Tamer Morsi to carry out his tasks as the new CEO of the Egyptian Media Group.

Adel Imam, Tamer Morsi, Nehal Anbar and Mahmoud Yassin - Tamer Morsi official Twitter account
Adel Imam, Tamer Morsi, Nehal Anbar and Mahmoud Yassin - Tamer Morsi official Twitter account
Getting to know the new CEO of the Egyptian Media Group

1- He is one of the most prominent and successful TV drama producers. He founded Synergy Productions, which produced widely-watched TV series, like 'Legitimate Right' and 'Dead Heart' in 2008, starring Sherif Mounir.

2- He produced several of Adel Imam's successful works, most notably 'The Naji Atallah Team.'

3- In December 2017, Morsi revealed that he will be launching a Film Production Company soon, after his great success in the television world.

4- He led last year's Ramadan race, which he entered with eight great works. These are: 'Nour's Energy,' 'Security Situation,''She's Crazy,' 'From Land to Air,' 'Adly Allam's Ghosts,' 'Village of Delhab ,' 'Dear God, I am Fasting,' 'Lamiee El-Kot.'

5- He has signed contracts for nine series for next Ramadan, securing the A-List actors.

6- He produced 'YES, I'M FAMOUS,' which featured several international mega stars, including Leonel Messi and Adel Imam.

Leonel Mesi (L) and Tamer Morsi (R) - Tamer Morsi official Twitter account
Leonel Messi (L) and Tamer Morsi (R) - Tamer Morsi official Twitter account
Eagle Capital for Financial Investment has acquired in December 2017 the Egyptian steel tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima’s shares in Egyptian Media Group.

The investment company had appointed El Sheikh as the CEO of the Media Group shortly after acquiring Abu Hashima's shares.

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2/22/2018 3:20:35 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Post offers ATM cards with no minimum charge]]>
Saghir added that this service allows online purchasing inside or outside Egypt, referring that it can be used through any bank’s ATMs.

The chairman told Egypt Today that citizens can get the ATM card from any post office for LE 25 with their national IDs.

Egypt Post has around 400,000 branches in Egypt with 24 million customers.

On October 2017, Egypt Post decided to supersede postal savings books with ATMs in post offices in all governorates nationwide as of October.

Such a decision has been taken after the success of the experimental process held in Cairo and Giza post offices in August.

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2/22/2018 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[FM visits Air Academy; delivers lecture]]>
Tawila accompanied Shourky in a tour at the academy, said the foreign ministry's spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

The top diplomat delivered a lecture before the college's students on the development of Egypt's foreign policy after the June 30 revolution, said Abu Zeid, adding that Shoukry reviewed the Egyptian diplomacy's endeavor over the past four years.

He explained efforts exerted over one year and a half to combat bids to defame Egypt and isolate it from the international community, noted the the spokesman.

The foreign policy was then developed from defense to taking initiatives on addressing main files and restoring Egypt's strong relations with African states, said the top diplomat.
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2/22/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to face Belgium in June]]>
Egypt has a great record against Belgium, as they met twice before in friendly games and the Egyptian national team managed to achieve the victory in both of them.

The first one was in 1999 in Wembley Stadium in London and the game ended with a 1-0 victory for the Pharaohs thanks to a goal from Hazem Imam.



The second game was in 2005 in Cairo when Egypt defeated their visitors 4-0. Emad Motaeb scored two goals, while Ahmed Eid and Osama Hosny added the other two goals.



EFA are still working on reaching an agreement with other national teams to play friendly games before the World Cup.

Egypt will play against Portugal and Greece during FIFA International break in March.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group A alongside Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and the host nation, Russia. Egypt opens their participation against Uruguay on June 15.

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2/22/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[US says drone strike in Somalia kills 3 al Shabab extremists]]>
The US Africa Command statement says the airstrike occurred Monday near Jilib town in Middle Juba region. "We assess no civilians were killed in this strike."

The US has carried out a growing number of drone strikes in the Horn of Africa nation in coordination with Somalia's government. Most are against al-Shabab but a small number have targeted Daesh group-affiliated fighters in the Puntland region in the north.

The US carried out more than 30 drone strikes last year in Somalia after President Donald Trump approved expanded military efforts against al Shabab. The US says it has carried out four such strikes so far this year.

The al Shabab extremist group is blamed for the October truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed 512 people
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2/22/2018 12:27:19 AM
<![CDATA[Celebrations in Aswan rejoice sun perpendicularity on Abu Simbel temple]]>
At least 15 Egyptian and international artistic troupes performed their shows before the guests and audiences during the event.

Artistic troupes from Greece, Tunisia, China, Thailand, Kenya, and India, along with Ethiopia, chosen as a guest of honor, took part in the event.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and Aswan governor Magdi Hegazi were present.

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).
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2/22/2018 12:10:44 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt agrees to finance Japanese schools with $175.7M]]>

The agreement was signed by Minister of Education Tarek Shawqi and Chairman of the Japanese International Cooperation Organization (JICA) Shinichi Keitao.


Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr has signed an exchange of notes on the concessional financing agreement of the government of Japan with Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Takihiro Kagawa.


The agreement aims to strengthen the Egyptian-Japanese educational partnership program by providing necessary support to the human resources working in the sector.


The provided support will develop the educational process through the transfer of Japanese expertise in the educational sector of Egypt at different age levels to improve the quality of educational services provided to students in Egyptian-Japanese schools.


During a visit to Japan in March 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and announced a joint partnership in education, built upon applying the Japanese education model “Tokkatsu”, which consists of class activities, club activities, pupils' council activities and school events.


The Japanese education model was proven successful in 12 schools in 2016-2017 in Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia governorates, leading up to the decision to generalize the system, Chairman of the General Education Sector Reda Hegazy stated in April.

The Japanese experience has included ten activities a day, such as the collection of garbage by students once a day in the morning; monitoring the daily feeding habits of each student; heeding music, arts and painting; spreading awareness of personal hygiene; and developing teamwork skills.
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2/22/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[CSKA beat Red Star 1-0 to reach Europa League last 16]]>
Livewire Dzagoev sealed the contest on the stroke of halftime with a simple close-range finish after a flowing move, with midfielder Konstantin Kuchaev teeing him up with a fine low cross from the left.

CSKA, who won the UEFA Cup in 2005, dominated on a freezing evening against 1991 European Cup winners Red Star and could have won by a bigger margin, but for some poor finishing and good saves by Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Kuchaev shot just wide of the far post from 10 metres with Borjan stranded in the 35th minute and Brazilian Vitinho fired over the bar from long range in the 44th before Dzagoev broke the deadlock.

Kuchaev took a crossfield pass in his stride and curled in a perfect pass for Dzagoev, whose tap-in gave Borjan no chance.

Vitinho fired another fizzing shot over the bar and Borjan superbly kept out a Dzagoev header in the second half before Red Star nearly made the Russian side pay for their misses.

Aleksandar Pesic skewed his shot wide from five metres after a cross from the right in the 81st minute and strike partner El Fardou Ben Nabouhane volleyed wide of the far post in the 90th.

The other return legs will be played on Thursday, with Borussia Dortmund defending a 3-2 lead against Atalanta as they visit the Italian side while Celtic will carry a 1-0 advantage to Zenit St Petersburg.

RB Leipzig are at home to Napoli after winning the first leg in Italy 3-1 and Arsenal should have a simple task against Oestersunds following a 3-0 win in Sweden.]]>
2/21/2018 11:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[JICA president praises Egypt's economic reform decisions]]>
Such economic reforms will put Egypt on the right track of economic growth, Kitaoka said during a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail in Cairo.

He also praised the work progress at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is partially funded by the Japanese government.

Kitaoka said his agency is keen on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt.

Ismail, meanwhile, hailed the role played by JICA in support of development projects in Egypt.

He also spoke of efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to improve the Egyptian economy and enhance services offered to citizens.
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2/21/2018 10:42:29 PM
<![CDATA[6 Muslim Brotherhood terrorists arrested in Behira]]>
The six MB members, who are wanted in several cases, were nabbed with two firearms in their possession, the source added.
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2/21/2018 10:21:45 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry to Azeri min. : Cairo keen to boost ties with Baku]]>
Also, he hailed existing cooperation between Egypt and Azerbaijan in different issues and multilateral organizations.

Shoukry made the remarks during a meeting with Azeri Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, who is currently on a two-day visit to Cairo, where he leads his country's delegation in the meetings of the joint committee between the two countries.

Egypt pays great attention to convening the joint committee meetings in Cairo on February 21-22, with an eye to fostering bilateral cooperation in a number of areas of common concern, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid quoted Shoukry as saying.

Moreover, Shoukry briefed Mustafayev on available investment opportunities in underway mega projects, especially in light of the Egyptian government’s plans to develop infrastructure and support various economic sectors, notably the oil and natural gas, Abu Zeid said.

Egypt looks forward to cementing cooperation with Azerbaijan and pumping further Azeri investments into the domains of major national projects, natural gas and the Suez Canal Development Corridor, the spokesman cited Shoukry as saying.

For his part, Mustafayev commended political rapprochement between the two countries and joint cultural commonalities, citing the Azeri president’s directives to bolster cooperation with Egypt, the spokesman added.

The Azeri minister posted Shoukry on mega economic projects carried out by his country, especially in the fields of infrastructure, gas export, oil and railways.

The two ministers touched on means of reinforcing bilateral relations in various domains, including increasing the number of tourist groups, Abu Zeid noted.
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2/21/2018 10:18:34 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool's Firmino cleared by FA over Holgate clash]]>
English soccer's governing body said the evidence was not sufficient to raise a charge against the Brazil forward after he clashed with Holgate during the third round tie.

Holgate pushed Firmino, 26, into the advertising hoardings in the 40th minute of the Merseyside derby and the Liverpool forward reacted by verbally abusing Everton's 21-year-old English defender.

An animated Holgate, who is mixed-race, then complained to referee Bobby Madley about Firmino's comments.

"Following a detailed investigation into an allegation of discriminatory conduct against Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino by Everton’s Mason Holgate, The FA can confirm that it will not be taking any disciplinary action against Firmino," the FA said in a statement.

The governing body also said they were completely satisfied that the allegation was made in good faith by Holgate and there was no suggestion of it being "intentionally false or malicious".

The FA said it took statements from 12 players and officials from both teams, the match referee and the fourth official. None of those interviewed heard the words alleged to have been said by Firmino, the FA added.

"As part of the investigation, The FA sought the assistance of a Brazilian/Portuguese linguistic specialist on the words alleged," the FA statement said.

"In addition to this, we also obtained multiple angles of video footage, including broadcast and unseen footage showing the incident, which was assessed by two independent Portuguese speaking lip-reading experts."

Liverpool won the game 2-1.]]>
2/21/2018 10:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Ungainly but hugely effective Mueller back to his best]]>
There was nothing spectacular about either of Mueller's two goals in Bayern's 5-0 Champions League win over the Turkish champions, and the first was downright scrappy, but the 28-year-old has never been noted for his elegance.

"The first goal was typical Mueller," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who has been credited with Mueller's revival since returning for a fourth stint at the club in October.

"It's interesting how players prepare for these sort of games. Thomas takes it to another level, he knows that a special performance is needed in the Champions League.

"Had he not got injured, he would have a lot more goals. He is performing well and he motivates the others. He's important for our system and not just because of the goals. He's also important for the vertical game."

Mueller, joint top-scorer at the 2010 World Cup, does not conform to the footballer's stereotype.

He stumbles rather than glides past opponents, his ungroomed floppy hair has not changed in years, he has unusually skinny legs and he eschews tattoos. His wife is an amateur dressage rider rather than a model or actress.

A one-club player, Mueller's name rarely pops up for any of the plethora of awards on the football calendar, but he has an uncanny notion of space and is always in the right place.

In terms of titles, Mueller is one of the sport's most successful players with one World Cup, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, six Bundesliga and four German Cup titles to his name.

The last two seasons, however, have not been his best.

He failed to get on the scoresheet during Euro 2016 and scored a modest nine goals in all competitions last season - the first time in his career he has failed to reach double figures in a full campaign.

Then, in August, Ancelotti did the unthinkable and dropped him for a match at Werder Bremen.

Predictably, that sparked a huge debate and Mueller himself had a dig.

"I don't know exactly which qualities the coach wants to see," he said. "But mine seem not to be 100 percent in demand."

There was even talk of a transfer.

Ancelotti was fired in September, however, and replaced by Heynckes who has once again brought out the best in the enigmatic forward, as he did back in Bayern's treble winning season in 2012-13.

"He can score goals out of nothing - like the 1-0," said Heynckes. "With his speed and reactions, he's often in the right place and that makes him unique. That's the real Mueller." ]]>
2/21/2018 10:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[El-Makkasa fails to reach CAF Champions League round of 32 ]]>El-Makkasa’s first participation at the competition ended, as the first leg in Senegal ended with 2-0 victory for the Senegalese team.

This game was el-Makkasa’s first game under their new manager, Talaat Youssef, the successor of Emad Soliman, who resigned after poor results.
The hosts failed to create many chances to score during the whole game and the visitors’ defense stopped all of el-Makkasa’s attempts to score.

El-Makkasa’s most dangerous attempt in the game came after an hour, but the Senegalese goalkeeper saved Mohamed Mosaad’s shot.

Mohamed Mosaad was tackled five minutes later inside the visitors’, box but the referee did not get him a penalty.

Al-Ahly became the only Egyptian team at the competition, and they will play against Gabon’s CF Mounana at round of 32.

The first game is scheduled on March 6 in Cairo, and the second leg will be played 10 days later in Gabon.
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2/21/2018 9:38:34 PM
<![CDATA[Ozil, Ramsey to miss Arsenal's Europa tie against Ostersunds]]>
Wenger took close to a full-strength squad to Sweden for the first leg which his side won 3-0 last week and will look to give his younger players some game time on Thursday.

Ozil and Ramsey were involved in first team training on Wednesday but Wenger said the Germany playmaker had struggled with illness this week while the Wales international needs more time prove his fitness after returning from a groin injury.

"He (Ozil) was in bed Monday, Tuesday for sickness," Wenger told a news conference. "I would certainly have played him, but because he was sick he will have to work hard tomorrow and will not be involved.

"Ramsey's not in the squad tomorrow, he had a good training session. We will see how his evolution goes between now and (the League Cup final on) Sunday. I don't rule him out."

Wenger confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be given the responsibility of producing chances going forward in the absence of Ozil, and Danny Welbeck will start up front.

Goalkeeper David Ospina, who has been picked for the majority of Arsenal's matches in cup competitions this season, will keep his place ahead of first-choice Petr Cech.

Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, and need to finish the season in top-four or win the Europa League to qualify for next season's Champions League.

When Wenger was asked whether he would prioritise the Europa League as Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho did last term, the Frenchman replied: "He did that much later, once they were in the semi-finals.

"We have to focus on the Premier League. It (Europa League) is one of the priorities we have. We are focused to do well. But ideally we want to come back to the Champions League through the Premier League."]]>
2/21/2018 9:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish Xavier Puigmartì to hold exhibition at Mashrabia ]]>
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One of the artworks that is presented at the gallery - Official Website of Mashrabia Gallery

The major theme of the exhibition is “Landscapes” as it will present natural views especially those of Lake Qarun in Fayoum, where the artist has been working in his own atelier for many years.

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One of the artworks that would be presented at the gallery-Press Photo

This is not the first time for Puigmartì to present his works in Mashrabia as his exhibition, "Memories are not for sale", was also held at Mashrabia in February 2017.

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One of the artworks that is presented at the gallery - Press Photo

Most of Puigmartì’s works feature mural drawings with fictional figures, symbols and icons at play. His belief in freedom and democracy also is well represented in his paintings.

Puigmartì is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1952. Since 1982, he has showcased his works in 35 solo exhibitions held in Egypt, Spain, the United States, France, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Switzerland. However, he considers Cairo his second home.

Besides his artworks, he produced and directed five short movies shot in Egypt in 2009, which were showed at the Cervantes Institute and the National Center for Children´s Culture.

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One of the artworks that is presented at the gallery - Press Photo ]]>
2/21/2018 8:36:49 PM
<![CDATA[Zamalek asks to play their African games in Suez ]]>
Zamalek decided earlier to play their home games at Cairo Stadium, Borg El Arab Stadium and Petro Sport Stadium.

Zamalek’s coaching staff was happy with the stadium’s condition, as the stadium hosted Zamalek’s 3-1 victory over Petrojet in the Egyptian League on Monday.

Zamalek asked the Egyptian Football Federation to inform the officials to allow 25,000 Zamalek fans to attend the club’s African games.

Zamalek will play against the winner between Ethiopia’s Welayta Dicha and Zanzibar’s Zimamoto. The first leg in Zanzibar ended with a 1-1 draw.

The Egyptian Football Federation revealed on Wednesday that the officials will allow 25,000 fans to attend games for all the Egyptian teams participating in African competitions.

Zamalek qualified to the CAF Confederation Cup after placing third in the league last season.
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2/21/2018 8:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[No illegal migration boats from Egypt since 2016: Min.]]>
During the meeting of the ninth session of the Euro-Mediterranean Association, Gendi contended that the Egyptian government has adopted a comprehensive strategy to combat the phenomena of illegal immigration on the legal, military and cultural front.

Gendi pointed out the necessity of supporting the countries that are considered exporters of migrants by providing their youth with decent job opportunities to encourage them to stay in their homelands rather than seek employment overseas.

The governors of Giza, Luxor, Qalyubia and South Sinai, along with 47 international delegations and figures, all attended.

Offering another effective method for confronting illegal terrorism, the minister of local development suggested that countries open their doors for youth seeking quality education. He also praised the efforts of the Euro-Mediterranean regional and local communities in disseminating the culture of expertise exchange, strengthening economic activities in the region, and promoting political dialogue and the practice of democracy.

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

Parliament's efforts to approve the law came following the boat that capsized off the coast of Rashid in Beheira governorate while heading to Europe, killing dozens of people.
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2/21/2018 8:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[Further frustration for Cannavaro as Guangzhou held again]]>
Neither side could find the back of the net in a tense encounter. It means the Italian World Cup winner has yet to steer his team to a win since returning to the club ahead of the new Chinese Super League (CSL) season.

"We prepared very carefully for this game and the team showed outstanding spirit," said Cannavaro.

"What matters most is that we created so many opportunities, but we only have two points."

Guangzhou struggled with a lack of fluency and it was Cerezo who looked the more likely to take all three points with a strong finish inspired by substitute Yoichiro Kakitani.

But the seven-times CSL champions did enough to take a point which leaves them in third place in Group G, two points adrift of leaders Cerezo and one behind South Korea's Jeju United, who handed Buriram United a 2-0 defeat in Thailand.

Japan's Kashima Antlers impressed in their 2-1 win over Suwon Bluewings in which Dejan Damjanovic missed a penalty for the South Korean side. Mu Kanazaki claimed both of the goals to put the J League club top of Group H.

Sydney FC, meanwhile, rebounded from their disappointing opening day performance against Suwon to claim a 2-2 draw with Shanghai Shenhua, although Graham Arnold's side remain bottom of the group.

"It was a much better performance today compared to the first game," said Alex Brosque, who scored Sydney's second and also hit the crossbar in the first half.

"We played a lot better and we moved the ball around a lot more and we had more of the chances. On another night I think we get four or five but it was just that goal was missing."

Al Hilal sacked head coach Ramon Diaz after the Argentine's side lost 1-0 to Iran's Esteghlal in Group D.

Diaz led the Saudi Arabian team to the final of last year's tournament in November where they lost to Urawa Reds. However, Abdullah Al Hafith's own goal just after the restart gave the side from Tehran all three points to leave Al Hilal bottom.

Esteghlal are top of the group with four points, one more than Qatar's Al Rayyan and Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, who shared a 1-1 draw.

Baghdad Bounedjah scored twice as Al Sadd of Qatar moved to the top of Group C with a perfect record as they downed last year's semi-finalists, Persepolis of Iran, 3-1. Uzbekistan's Nasaf Qarshi secured their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 victory over Al Wasl from the UAE.]]>
2/21/2018 7:47:49 PM
<![CDATA[Al Hilal sacks Diaz after losing to Iran's Esteghlal ]]>
Al Hilal, who lost last season’s AFC Champions League final, are suffering this season at the competition. They are at the bottom of their group after a draw against Al Ain and a loss to Esteghlal.

Diaz, 58, was appointed Al Hilal manager on October 15, 2016 and since then established his team as the best team in the country, as they achieved the 2017 league title after five years of absence and the 2017 King’s Cup title.
Diaz also led Al Hilal to the 2017 AFC Champions League final, when they lost the title to Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds.

Diaz’s sacking was a shock to Al Hilal fans, as it came five fixtures from the league end, where they are on top, four points ahead of the second-placed Al Ahly.

Diaz managed Al Hilal in 65 games; they won 52 games, ended 7 games with a draw and lost only six. The team kept an unbeaten run from December 26, 2016 until November 25, 2017.
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2/21/2018 7:41:45 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi reviews Egyptian-Japanese projects with JICA head]]>
During the meeting, Egypt and Japan reviewed the current implemented projects in the framework of fruitful cooperation between the two sides, particularly in the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and Egypt-Japan University for Science and Technology (E-JUST).

Sisi expressed his appreciation of the mutual cooperation between Egypt and the Japanese agency in implementing development projects in various fields, asserting the depth of relations between the two countries.

Egypt is looking for further cooperation with JICA, contributing to advancing the development process and meeting the aspirations of the Egyptian people towards achieving progress and prosperity, Sisi said.

In addition, he ordered Minister of Education Tarek Shawky to pay a visit to Japan next week, accompanied by a delegation of Egyptian educational experts, to get acquainted with the requirements needed for the Japanese schools project in Egypt to succeed.

Sisi further asserted the importance of developing the education system in Egypt. In order to achieve the maximum benefit of the 200 Japanese schools to be established, Japan should administrate the project and not just supervise it.

Sisi also invited Kitao to embark on a field tour in Egypt throughout his visit to survey the latest developmental projects in Egypt.

On his part, Kitao expressed his admiration of the development Egypt has witnessed under the presidency of Sisi, including the development of the Egyptian economy.

Egypt is establishing Japanese schools for the first time in history; the government has planned this project since 2016.
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2/21/2018 7:26:31 PM
<![CDATA[United Company for Pharmaceutics honored at BT 100 ceremony]]>
Being one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals in Egypt and the Middle East, UCP, headed by Hossam Omar, was awarded as one of the top ten economic entities for its leading role in manufacturing medicines and contributing with the Ministry of Health in solving the crisis of medicines in Egypt.

In his speech on behalf of the head of the company, Mohamed Galal, executive manager of UCP, hailed the organization of the ceremony, asserting the recovery of the Egyptian economy as a result of the latest implemented major projects in accordance with the directions of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Moreover, Galal called the investors to increase investment projects in Egypt, enjoying the secured investment climate.

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BT100 honors Egyptian tycoons and key business figures - Egypt Today

Walid Elbansly, finance manager of the company, said that UCP is proud of being a part of this celebration, calling for fruitful cooperation in the coming period to promote investment in Egypt.

He thanked Khaled Salah, editor-in-chief of Youm7 and head of the editorial council of Business Today Egypt, for his amazing organization of the ceremony.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qadi and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National Bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr and e-payment solution provider Fawry. Other companies include Hesham Talaat Mustafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in the Egypt 2030 Vision.
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2/21/2018 7:19:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi’s message on gas import from Israel]]>and working towards becoming the Middle East’s energy hub.

Around 64 BCM of natural gas worth $15 billion from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs will be exported to the private Egyptian company Dolphinus over a decade, according to a Monday statement by Delek Drilling, one of the two companies leading gas projects in the reservoirs. Egypt has another agreement with Cyprus to transmit gas from Cypriot gas-filled Aphrodite to the Egyptian coast.

In light of the recent public interest in the deal, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi spoke Wednesday, clarifying Egypt’s position and the government’s role in the deal.

Sisi started off his speech by explaining that he will address the issue in light of this public interest concerning the import of gas by a private company from Israel. Sisi said, “During the past couple of days, there has been much public attention on the subject of gas; this has made me very happy. It is important for me that Egyptians be happy with their country, keen on it and its interests, and looking out for its future.”



The President clarified that the import of gas is done through the private sector. Private companies will import gas in the framework of their own needs, and will liquefy and export them again; thus, the government is not involved in the deals, explained Sisi.

Sisi assertively said, “As a country, we have nothing to hide, but there are some things that I can say, while others I cannot.” As it stands, explained Sisi, Egypt's consumption of petroleum derivatives ranges between $800 million to $1.3 billion per month, meaning $12-13 billion annually. He continued, “If one buys gas worth $1.5 billion from Israel annually; that means $125 million per month.”

The two newly opened investors’ centers are located in 6th of October City in Giza governorate and Gamasa city in the northern Delta. Through these centers, investors will be able to finalize all related regulations without dealing directly with the Ministry of Investment.

Sisi urged to make the best use of gas in petrochemical industries, which in return will be added-value, instead of solely using it as a fuel, which brings the lowest revenue.

During his speech, Sisi also spoke about Egypt’s route to becoming a regional energy hub. “Every gas that comes from countries around us comes to us first. We then work on it, take money for this work, of course, and then we import it to other countries or keep it if it will still enter production phases.… There are many ways to make profit from gas…but the best way to do so is through importing it and adding value to it. The more that we develop our technologies in this field, the more we will gain, the more we will profit and the more returns we can get from their value-added approach. I do not like to give examples of countries; however, if we look at South Korea, we will see that it does this using its advanced technology; we will do the same.”



The president noted that Egypt’s path to becoming the Middle East’s energy hub is facilitated by the fact that Egypt has many facilities and infrastructural capabilities that other countries within the region lack. Dealing with raw natural gas is not easily found in the region, especially given the high quality that Egypt has. Egypt also has three options to becoming the regional energy hub, explained Sisi; namely, exporting gas through Turkey; exporting gas through the producing countries themselves, which are Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon; or through Egypt.

Sisi then clarified why private companies have been allowed to import gas in this way, explaining that some of the investors, who use gas a lot in their work, believed that the country had harsh laws on the matter. As per the president’s speech, they thought that the state was imposing a heavy cost on them, saying, “If we were to import gas, we would be able to reduce the cost, but give us a chance.”

“So, we thought we would give them a chance. It’ll be a free market, and we let private companies import gas. As a country, of course, we will take fees in exchange for this easing. Investors will import raw gas and use Egypt’s network and infrastructure for purification, refining and treatment, and then this gas will be pumped through our network and we will take money in exchange. We have scored a key goal. Today, Egypt has climbed the first few steps in becoming the regional energy hub; this is what we have been dreaming about. We dreamt of becoming the regional energy hub; we are now on track. Being the regional energy hub has many positive aspects to it, of course.”

Sisi noted that the new law recently passed by the parliament guarantees Egypt’s benefit from the gas, either by manufacturing or exporting it to other countries. “I want people to know, to be certain and sure, that we have allowed for this new law, this easing in the system, as well as many other facilitations, in order for the country [Egypt] to become the regional energy hub. All the gas from the region will come to us first.

The president finished his important speech with a hope that his words clarified the situation for people who may have been concerned. “I hope that my words today have explained the point to all that we are doing. With this action [gas import easing law], and with God’s blessing, of course, Egypt has a huge win in many fields and sectors. This gas was going to be imported and exported anyway. If not through us [Egypt], it would go through somewhere else. You do not know the cost that the private companies that bought the gas paid, but no one in the private sector loses.”

Sisi proudly ended on a note of gratitude and appreciation towards the Egyptian people. “Your attention to the subject is appreciated, respected and cherished by me. I ask of you to continue to keep your eyes on your country and continue to be scared for it, pushing it to be better,” he said.



Agreements signed by private companies to import gas from Middle Eastern countries strengthens Egypt against Turkish ambitions to control the sector in the region, a sector that Egypt has continuously pioneered, an energy expert told Egypt Today on Monday.

Likewise, Medhat Youssef, former head of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, pointed out that Cairo has won the competition with Ankara over the sources of gas in the eastern Mediterranean. Egypt also continues to consolidate its alliance with Greece, Cyprus and the region at large, explained Youssef.

Such deals accelerate Egypt’s plan to be transformed into a regional energy hub. Meanwhile, the government is not committed in the short or long terms per the agreement, as Dolphinus will import the gas to use in privately-owned factories or to liquefy and re-export, according to Youssef.

In the Mediterranean, the Egyptian-Cypriot alliance is the strongest of its kind in the region, because the two countries have large gas reservoirs, and it is also friendly with the European Union, which wants to secure its needs for gas away from Russian domination, Youssef emphasized.

The location of Egypt on the map, its infrastructure and recent gas discoveries make the country “pivotal” in connecting the Cypriot and Greek gas with the Egyptian liquefaction plants, he said.

When a gas pipeline is established between Cyprus and Greece from one side to Egypt on the other side, Egypt will be the sole center for the disposal of eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe or any other place in the world via the Egyptian liquefaction stations, the petroleum expert added.

Agreeing with Youssef, Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said, “The export deals establish Egypt’s status as a regional energy center, which allows the supply of gas both to the Egyptian domestic market and for export.” Abu added, “Concurrently with the implementation of the transactions, we are continuing to promote additional agreements.”

From a political perspective, the agreement is expected to strengthen bilateral relations. “This is the first time since the signing of peace treaties in the Middle East that such significant deals between the countries have been signed,” Israeli Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz said in a statement.



On February 13, the Egyptian cabinet issued the executive statute of a law issued in September 2017 to regulate the gas market, allowing private companies to operate in the field. The new law regulates the activities of the gas market and will help attract the private sector to invest in storing and selling natural gas directly to consumers.

Egypt is also set to become the biggest exporter in the region with the Zohr gas field and other fields in the Egyptian Mediterranean and Delta.

Egypt is expected to stop importing liquefied gas by June 2018, after the production of its giant Zohr gas field began by the end of 2017. Zohr contains about 850 billion cubic meters (30 trillion cubic feet) of gas. In addition to Zohr, Egypt accomplished three other gas production projects, which are Torres and Libra, Atoll, and Norse.

These four projects added 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day, raising Egypt’s daily production to 5.5 billion cubic feet a day. The new discoveries are expected to turn Egypt into a net exporter of natural gas, as the country is expected to halt gas imports by mid 2018.

Mohamed Abdel Azim, deputy chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for production and fields’ development, said earlier that Egypt’s natural gas production will reach some 6 billion cubic feet a day by the end of fiscal year 2017/18.
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2/21/2018 6:47:18 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia is hosting Arab Fashion Week ]]>
This comes as part of the partnership between the British Fashion Council and AFC, which was announced during London Fashion Week.

The AFC launched its regional office in Riyadh with the appointment of H.H. Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as Honorary President. She commented on the historic announcement, saying, “This is a new era that we are witnessing, an era where ‘only dreamers are welcome to join,’ to use the words of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The Arab Fashion Council was established in 2014 in London, with the license of the International Extraterritorial Authority to develop and regulate the fashion industry in the 22 Arab countries. Arab Fashion Week will be held in Riyadh at the Apex Center, which was designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid.

Caroline Rush, Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, Ms Layla Issa Abu Zeid and @jacobabrian in the announcement of the strategic partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and the @britishfashioncouncil in London today, and the launch of the first ever fashion week in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. جاكوب ابريان والسيدة ليلى عيسى أبو زيد وسمو الأميرة نورة بنت فيصل آل سعود والسيدة كارولين رش بعيد إعلان اتفاقية التعاون بين مجلس الأزياء العربي ومجلس الأزياء البريطاني في لندن اليوم وانطلاق اول أسبوع عربي للموضة في الرياض. #jacobabrian #RAFW #AFC #arabfashionweek #arabfashioncouncil #britishfashioncouncil

A post shared by ARAB FASHION COUNCIL ® (@arabfashioncouncil) on



Layla Issa Abuzaid, AFC country director for Saudi Arabia, explained that this historic event “will be more than a world-class event; it is a catalyst through which we believe the fashion sector will lead other economic sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, travel and trade.”

The main player that will be showcasing at the event has been announced to be Roberto Cavalli.

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority stated, “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years now, and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and art talents. As the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia, the General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”

“The launch of the Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh is an unprecedented step for the Arab Fashion Council. This historic move will propel the fashion sector in the Arab world to new heights,” commented Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council, adding, “Today, we are a step forward towards achieving our goals of establishing a solid infrastructure for our regional fashion industry and providing prosperous opportunities for the future generation of Arab designers.”

During the last season of Arab Fashion Week, Tony Ward showcased the spring/summer 2018 Ready-Couture collection at City Walk Dubai.



We only hope to see the Egyptian fashion industry take a step forward such as this, due to its everyday increase in talent and the ever growing need for luxury.

]]>
2/21/2018 6:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[ Mashrou El Saada colors Nubians’ life]]>
With the hope of protecting its heritage and keeping its Nubian colorful atmosphere, a 50-member project known as “Mashrou El Saada” (Project of Happiness) goes there every year, and 2018 is its fourth phase on the island.

Mashrou El Saada, an NGO that uses color therapy to brighten up the lives of the less fortunate, goes every year to Heisa in Nubia. This year marked their fourth stage on the island, having taken place January 25-29, 2018. During the four stages, they painted 39 houses on the island.

They also introduced human development activities in their program to preserve Nubian heritage. One of the objectives of Mashrou El Saada in this project is to support the native women of Heisa. This was done through holding a three-day brass workshop, where they were able to learn how to make handmade jewelry, aiding them with their productivity and helping diversify their sources of income.


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Houses painted by Mashrou El Saada – Official Facebook Page

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Houses painted by Mashrou El Saada – Official Facebook Page

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Brass workshops held for women's Heisa-official Facebook Page
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2/21/2018 5:54:55 PM
<![CDATA[Original score of first Egyptian Opera gifted to Cairo Opera]]>
Saber said that the sheets are extremely valuable, both artistically and historically,as they are the scores to the first Egyptian opera evercomposed and presented at Egypt’s Opera House in 1947.

He added that Rashid was inspired by local and popular stories and appliedaninternational style in his composition. After producing “Antonio’s Death”, Rashid’s reputation becamewell-known.

The plot of the opera is inspired by the play“Cleopatra’s Death”, which waswritten by the great poet Ahmed Shawqi. “Antonio’s Death” is composed of three chaptersrevolving around the life of Roman leader Antonio.

This is part of the ministry of culture’s initiative “Your Heritage is a Responsibility,” launched by the book house in BakAl-Khalk onMondayJanuary22.

This initiative aims to gather and document Egyptian heritage in all fields by collaborating with society. The campaign is under the supervision of Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and the Head of General Organization of Books andNationalDocuments Ahmed al-Shouki.

The campaign addresses all Egyptians who have any kind of rare, valuable documents or media content related to Egyptian heritage. People can submit these documents to the Organization of Books and National Documents to preserve them for academic and scientific purposes and for the benefit of society.
]]>
2/21/2018 5:25:49 PM
<![CDATA[Chairman of the FSA Mohammed Omran awarded at bt100]]>
Omran's deputy, Khaled el-Nashar, received the award on his behalf.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.]]>
2/21/2018 5:24:48 PM
<![CDATA[Chairman of EGX Mohamed Fareed awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.]]>
2/21/2018 5:21:23 PM
<![CDATA[Head of Consumer Protection Agency Atef Yacoub awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 5:18:37 PM
<![CDATA[IDA Chairman Ahmed Abdel Razik awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 5:15:58 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Public Enterprise Khaled Badawy awarded at bt00]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 5:11:53 PM
<![CDATA[Security, infrastructure top priority for Egypt ]]>
This number will require more than 60 million job opportunities, Mahlab said in a meeting with the students of the Faculty of Medicine at Alexandria University.

The presidential aide noted that security and infrastructure are a high priority for Egypt.

Meanwhile, Mahlab revealed that unemployment rate in Egypt has dropped to 11.3 percent, adding that the foreign investments in the country have registered $7.9 billion.

He also indicated that the Suez Canal revenues have recorded $49.6 billion.

Separately, Mahlab uncovered that the number of projects implemented so far has totaled 3,195 at a cost of LE 667 billion.]]>
2/21/2018 5:09:26 PM
<![CDATA[Railway revenues increase to LE 164.1M in January]]>
The number of passengers decreased last month to 20.7 million, compared to 21.1 million in January 2017 and 20.4 million in December 2017, according to the statement.

The amount of goods transferred by the railway recorded 541,200 in January 2018, compared to 437,800 in January 2017 and 424,400 in December 2017.

Meanwhile, train accidents increased last month to 187 accidents, compared to 105 accidents in January 2017.

In 2017, the Egyptian National Railways Authority signed an agreement to purchase 100 train engines worth $575 million from General Electric (GE).

The Egyptian Railways Authority’s budget in fiscal year 2017/18 is LE 3 billion.

Minister of Transportation Hesham Arafat said in a June statement that it should have been LE 9 billion in order to continue developmental projects.

The Egyptian National Railways Authority’s revenues increased 16 percent in June 2017, achieving LE 149.6 million, compared to the LE 128.8 million recorded in June 2016.
]]>
2/21/2018 5:06:20 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Planning Halal el-Saeed awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 5:04:46 PM
<![CDATA[EBF organizes 3X3 Egypt’s International Championship]]>
The first stage of the championship will be held on March 2 and 3 at Smouha Sports Club in Alexandria, while the second stage will be held on 16 and 17 of the same month at Al Shams Club in Cairo. The third stage will be held on March 23 and 24 at Al Zohor club in Cairo as well.

A three-pointer and Slam Dunk contests will be held in the third stage only for those who wish to participate in a nominal subscription fee. The team plays in one of the first or second stages, and the top four teams will qualify to the third stage, according to the Egyptian Basketball Federation’s official website.

The 3X3 national team will take part in the Mediterranean Games in Spain from June 22 to July 1 this year, in addition to the participation of the youth teams for boys and girls also in the African Games for Youth in Algeria from July 19 to 28, 2018.
]]>
2/21/2018 4:57:19 PM
<![CDATA[Trump moves to outlaw 'bump stocks' after Florida shooting]]>
Tightening gun laws would mark a change in course for Trump, who has championed gun rights during his campaign and presidency. The mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school - where 17 people were killed - has reignited a drive to curb access to firearms.

Trump directed the U.S. Justice Department to quickly complete a proposed rule that would treat "bump stocks" as machine guns, which could effectively outlaw them in the United States.

"I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized very soon," Trump said at a White House event. "We cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference, we must actually make a difference."

The move came in response to an October massacre in Las Vegas, where a gunman used a bump-stock-equipped rifle to kill 58 people. It put Trump at odds with the powerful National Rifle Association, which has opposed bump-stock restrictions, and would allow him to bypass Congress, where a bump-stock ban has failed to advance.

His announcement came shortly after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump would not rule out other options as well, such as raising the minimum age for rifle buyers or banning the AR-15-style "assault rifles" used in a number of high-profile mass shootings, including last week's shooting in Florida.

The suspect in that shooting, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was armed with an AR-15 style rifle that he had purchased legally, authorities said.

Under federal law, people must be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer. But they only have to be 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun.

The NRA said it could not comment on Trump's proposed bump-stock ban until it saw the specifics of the regulation.

"Banning semi-automatic firearms and accessories has been shown time and time again to not prevent criminal activity and simply punishes the law abiding for the criminal acts of others," said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA's lobbying arm.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein warned that the order could be tied up in court for years unless Congress also passes a bump-stock ban.

STUDENTS ENERGIZED

The Florida shooting has galvanized students across the country to rally in favor of stronger gun laws. Previous mass shootings in the United States have also stirred outrage and calls for action, with few results in Congress.

Trump is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with students, parents and teachers from Parkland and other survivors of school shootings in Colorado and Connecticut as the White House considers options to make schools safer.

The White House has already thrown its weight behind legislation that would tighten the national criminal background check system for gun buyers by ensuring that states and federal agencies share their records.

That bill passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in December, but it has stalled in the Senate because it is paired with another measure that would make it easier for gun owners who have a concealed-carry license to bring their weapons into other states. Democrats say that is a non-starter.

A Democratic Senate aide said that simply improving the background reporting system would be "very underwhelming" and would not have stopped the Florida shooter from buying a weapon.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who sponsored the measure, said he was nevertheless encouraged that the White House was considering new firearms restrictions.

"Sign after sign this week that we've hit a fulcrum point in this debate where politicians are, for the first time, scared on the political consequences of inaction on guns," Murphy wrote on Twitter.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence advocacy group has called on Congress to make it easier for police to temporarily take away weapons from people deemed to be dangerous. Five states have enacted so-called red flag laws, but the effort has not gained traction in Congress.

Gun rights groups argued that ownership restrictions would be ineffective, saying future incidents could be averted or the harm from them minimized by letting teachers carry guns and fortifying classroom doors.

"You can't just legislate away evil," said Sean Caranna, executive director of gun rights group Florida Carry.]]>
2/21/2018 4:50:33 PM
<![CDATA[Presidential aide: Egypt implemented 3,195 projects cost LE 667bln]]>
Mahlab also revealed during a meeting with the students of the Faculty of Medicine at Alexandria University, that Egypt’s population is estimated to reach 184 million by 2052. This number will require more than 60 million job opportunities.

The presidential aide noted that security and infrastructure are a high priority for Egypt.

Meanwhile, Mahlab revealed that unemployment rate in Egypt has dropped to 11.3 percent, adding that the foreign investments in the country have registered $7.9 billion.

He also indicated that the Suez Canal revenues have recorded $49.6 billion.]]>
2/21/2018 4:46:46 PM
<![CDATA[Tips to curb water use and protect future generations ]]>
Both governments and communities have an obligation to protect the available water resources. Statistics from the World Bank show that industry and agriculture consume more water than the domestic sector. However, it remains every person’s responsibility to protect the water sources and secure the future of the coming human generations.

According to “Friends of the Earth” association, the average amount of water each human uses every day to wash, cook and clean is about 150 liters. In 2017, the World Health Organization “WHO” and the United Nations Organization for Children “UNICEF” published the results of the first global assessment of safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, which revealed that some three in ten people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home while six in ten people lack safely managed sanitation. The report also reveals that with the current consumption rate, by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages as the water systems that keep the ecosystems thriving and feed the growing human population will become very stressed as a result of climate change and pollution.

Following very simple daily habits can contribute to saving water even though water doesn’t appear in short supply in Egypt. These habits include:



1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave to save up to six liters of water a minute.

2. Fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save water, energy and money.

3. Reduce the volume of water you flush every time you use the toilet by using a dual-flush device to flush less than the 13 liters for old flushes.

4. Take shorter showers to lower your use of water; every minute you spend in a shower uses up to 17 liters of water. Try using an efficient shower head that combines water and air to save water and money as well.

5. Cut out unnecessary washes by using full machine loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.

6. Fix any leaky taps or pipes and never leave them dripping to stop wasting around 15 liters of water a day.

7. Water your garden with a watering can or a drip irrigation system rather than a hosepipe and water your plants in the early morning and late afternoon to reduce evaporation and save water. And do not water on rainy days.

8. Steam your food to cut water usage. If you prefer to boil, use the remaining water as a stock for soups or to water plants.

9. Use a pool cover to prevent water evaporation.

10. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car, and a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

11. Defrost food in the fridge or at room temperature, rather than placing it under hot running water.

12. Choose a proper sized pot for cooking, larger pots require more water.

13. Use less dish-washing liquid because the more you use the more water you will need to rinse.

]]>
2/21/2018 4:45:27 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of ِIndustry Tarek Kabil awarded at bt100]]>
Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority Ahmed Abdel Razik received the award on Kabil's behalf.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 4:32:49 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of ِAntiquities Khaled el-Anany awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 4:23:42 PM
<![CDATA[SIFF offers a sneak peek at its second edition in Sharm El Sheikh]]>
Prominent Egyptian director Mahmoud Kamel was the only Egyptian present on the festival’s international panel, according to artistic critique and directing manager of the festival Osama Abdel Fatah.



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Seif Abdel Ramhman delivering his speech at SIFF Press conference, February 18, 2018 – Egypt Today/Mira Maged


Kamel will be participating in the festival with the film “Dreams I Never Had”, which was a joint directorial by him and Palestinian director Iyad Hajaj. Abdel Fatah pointed out that Kamel is well-known for directing several noticeable films such as “Adam’s Village”, “Mekano” and “Adrenaline”, among others. He has participated in many local and international festivals and has received several awards.

“Dreams I Never Had” will screen in the festival as one of the American independent films among 28 films participating in the international race.

The festival will be screening “I Tonya” for the first time in Egypt and the Arab region in the opening ceremony on March 3. The film is directed by Crai Gillespie, written by Steven Rogers, and is nominated for three Oscars. The film stars Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney.

In collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, Maxwell Stoneman, the U.S. Embassy’s representative, announced that the festival will be hosting the American director and producer Izy Chan for seven days starting March in Sharm El-Sheikh.

During her presence in Sharm El-Sheikh, Chan will give a master class for rising directors and producers featuring some effective skills and technicalities in the field.

Chan is also an Australian researcher focusing her work in societal and cultural directions. These directions were portrayed in her film “The Big Flip” where she merged artistic and societal interests. “The Big Flip” will be among the films participating in the festival.

The program “American films’ screening” will also include the screening of the two films “Custody” directed by James Lapine, and “Chef” directed and written by John Favreau.
Gamal Zayda, the festival’s head, described this program as an artistic and cultural bridge that links between varied cultural backgrounds in different regions.

“I am happy to be honored for something I’ve gladly done throughout my whole life, for myself and for people,” Layla Taher, prominent Egyptian actress, said in the conference. Taher will be honored for her whole artistic journey in the festival. Her film “A Wife is Urgently Needed Now” will screen during the festival.

Prominent Egyptian actor Seif Abdel Rahman attended the conference to shed light on some of the remarkable works of Youssef Chahin, the late renowned director who was known as "the pioneer of social realism". The festival will host a group of seminars and will celebrate the 10th death anniversary of the late director.



Hadil Ali, founder of “Bloom Fashion Institute” will be participating in the festival in collaboration with some Lebanese fashion designers featuring some trendy costumes. Aly expressed her pride in being part of such an international event. She believes that fashion has always been an important part of cinema.

Major General Ahmed Hamdy who is responsible for tourism promotion, clarified the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate the attendance of press and ordinary citizens in the festival.



]]>
2/21/2018 4:15:24 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Wednesday on a mixed note]]>
The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.17 percent, or 25.23 points, to end at 15,244.49 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased to 854.96 points, with a 0.47 percent or 4.01 point increase, while the broader index EGX100 stood at Monday’s level, marking 2047.06 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 leveled off 0.66 percent, or 17.65 points, closing at 2673.95 points.

Market Capitalization gained LE 406.75 million, recording LE 879.59 billion, compared to LE 879.18 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 305.1 million shares traded through 27,201 transactions with a turnover of LE 1.88 billion.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 753.32 million while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 59.41 million and LE 693.91 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 24.36 million, LE 37.92 million and LE 196,551, respectively.

Arab organizations sold by LE 791.25 million while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought by LE 35.05 million and LE 693.71 million, respectively.

El Ahram for Printing and Packing (EPPK), Egyptian Satellites Co SAE (EGSA) and Medical Packaging Co SAE (MEPA) were top gainers of the session by 8.96 percent, 8.91 percent and 7.07 percent, respectively.

National Company for Housing for Professional Syndicates (NHPS), Ghabbour Auto SAE (AUTO) and Rubex International for Plastic and Acrylic Manufacturing (RUBX) were top losers of the session by 9.02 percent, 7.55 percent and 6.55 percent, respectively.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note, amid Egyptian selling.

The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.40 percent, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose a 0.61 percent, and the broader index EGX100 leveled 0.60 percent. However, the equally weighted index EGX50 decreased by 0.18 percent.
]]>
2/21/2018 4:10:11 PM
<![CDATA[S. Korea supports Egypt in war against terrorism: ambassador]]>
South Korea wishes safety and stability for the Egyptian people, the diplomat addressed the first press conference since he assumed the post.

Yoon also lauded the development achieved in relations between Cairo and Seoul following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s historic visit to South Korea in March 2016.

The new ambassador also revealed that the South Korean defense minister intends to visit Egypt soon in response to his Egyptian counterpart’s visit to Seoul.

In this regard, Yoon said South Korea supports cooperation with Egypt as regards exporting arms to Cairo.]]>
2/21/2018 4:00:26 PM
<![CDATA[Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at London fashion catwalk]]>
The 91-year-old monarch, dressed in a pale blue suit, sat next to Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue magazine, as models displayed a series of bold and brightly colored designs at the end of London Fashion Week.

She later presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Quinn.

The Award has been initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

It will be given annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, the statement added.

London-born designer Quinn established his namesake label in 2016. The London Fashion Week website said of him: ”Specialising in womenswear and textiles his collections are bold and emotive creating a forward-thinking, unafraid vision.

“Richard creates garments with attention to innovative fabrications, focusing on his ability to combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility.”

On Monday, the Queen invited fashion designers and models to a reception at Buckingham Palace, her London home.
]]>
2/21/2018 3:37:09 PM
<![CDATA[Moncler bids farewell to catwalk with eight new collections]]>
The Italian clothing designer wowed the fashion crowd on Tuesday with a big reveal of the eight collections, hidden in silver-clad cave-like spaces inside a warehouse on the outskirts of Milan and draped on mannequins, hung from the ceiling, and projected on giant mirrors, rather than worn down a catwalk.

“The concept of the catwalk show doesn’t exist any more for us, it’s a new way of working from now on,” chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini told reporters.

In November, Moncler said it would break with its tradition of presenting two collections a year on catwalks in Milan and Paris.

Last week, it said it would start rolling out clothes and accessories at a faster pace.

Ruffini said that the new strategy, with a collection released to the public each month, was an adaption to the digital age, though he ruled out Moncler turning to the ‘see now, buy now’ model - delivering clothes to shops straight after their presentation.

“We must release new energy each month. The world has changed, people travel, they don’t buy in March and September only like they once did,” Ruffini said.

With a younger and fickle clientele, whose tastes change at the speed of a social media post, fashion houses are being asked to deliver more than just two collections per year.

But the timing of placing products in stores is becoming an experimental battlefield, as the labels have to juggle the constant demand for novelty with the lengthy manufacturing cycles needed to make their high-end clothes and accessories.

Ruffini, credited for turning the traditional French skiwear group into a trendy fashion label, said Moncler would not focus only on young and digital savvy clients - now a third of the luxury market - but had to “chat with different generations”.

From June 15, the brand will launch a collection approximately once per month, with clothes and accessories from its different lines available in boutiques, multi-brand stores and temporary pop-ups.

The collections vary from monastic long looks by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, to preppy and more sporty items by Japan’s Hiroshi Fujiwara, to ruffled and layered looks from Simone Rocha.

Under the new strategy, dubbed “Genius”, the group is working with eight different creative directors, including Piccioli, former Gucci menswear designer Sandro Mandrino, and Moncler’s own artistic director Francesco Ragazzi.

Moncler will start off with the “Fragments” collection by Fujiwara.

“It’s a brave and daring project, stylistically challenging. Each designer tells a different story, perspective ... it’s total creative freedom,” Piccioli told Reuters.

Ruffini did not rule out taking on new creative directors, though he suggested that the group was not planning frequent changes.

Milan Fashion Week will run until Feb. 26, with Italy’s biggest names in fashion - such as Prada, Armani, Versace, Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana - showcasing their products for fall and winter 2018/19.

The six-day extravaganza will see almost 160 new collections and 64 catwalk shows.
]]>
2/21/2018 3:32:12 PM
<![CDATA[Observatory: IS militants look for safe heaven after defeat in Levant]]>
A statement issued by the observatory, quoting an Afghan news agency, said the number of IS elements is increasing in northern Afghanistan and reached about 1,250 mostly from Turkmenistan, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Algeria and France.

Ambassador Smail Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, had warned that up to 6,000 Africans who fought for IS in Iraq and Syria could return home, calling on countries to prepare for the threat.

The observatory said the return of IS elements to the African continent poses threats to the security of Africa. ]]>
2/21/2018 3:23:40 PM
<![CDATA[Interior Ministry says Facebook hacker arrested]]>
The hacker used pictures, chats and information of the owners of those accounts to blackmail them.

An investigation showed that Hossam Z. M., 24, was behind the incidents.

He admitted that he had hacked the accounts to get money from their owners.

All legal measures have been taken and the prosecution has been informed to start a probe.]]>
2/21/2018 3:17:09 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate stable at major banks in Egypt]]>
The dollar rate reached LE17.60 for buying and 17.70 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar rate stood at LE 17.58 for buying and 17.68 for selling.

The dollar exchange rate stood at LE 17.63 for buying and 17.73 for selling at the National Bank of Greece and the Arab African International Bank.

At the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the dollar exchange rate stood at LE 17.59 for buying and 17.69 for selling.

The dollar rate inched one piaster up to stand at LE 17.63 for buying and 17.73 for selling at Baque Du Caire.

The dollar exchange rate reached LE 17.65 for buying and LE 17.75 for selling Al Baraka Bank.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the dollar exchange rate went up to record LE 17.67 for buying and LE 17.77 for selling. ]]>
2/21/2018 3:13:10 PM
<![CDATA[Al Hokair Subsidiary wins usufruct right of ‘Magic Land’ ]]>
The company added that Al Hokair subsidiary will pump investments worth $30 million in the project for 30 years.

The statement clarified that the value of the right of use is ($678,000) per year, with an annual increase of LE 300,000 and five percent of the gross profit before amortization.

Egyptian Media Production City Co SAE (known as Media Production City) is a public company, listed on Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since September 1999.

Media Production City operates within the media sector and focuses on movies and entertainment. It has four subsidiaries operating across Egypt working on movies and entertainment, application software, hotels, resorts and cruise lines and broadcasting. Media Production City is based in 6th of October city, Egypt and was established in January 1997.


]]>
2/21/2018 3:09:10 PM
<![CDATA[UK PM May wants EU citizens to stay after Brexit]]>
"They've made a huge contribution to our country, that's why we want them and there families to stay. I'm absolutely clear that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay," May said in parliament.

"It's going to be a digital system, it'll be streamlined, it'll be user friendly, and it will ensure that this is as simple and as easy a process for people as we can provide."]]>
2/21/2018 3:03:30 PM
<![CDATA[Overview on key events of Ahmed Douma’s case ]]>
In December 2011, security forces dispersed a three-weeksit-in at the Cabinet building which caused clashes at the area surrounding the cabinet and Shura council, and led to the burning of the scientific Institute.

Douma, who played a key role in the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak, along with 268 other defendants were convicted of the following charges: attacking the Cabinet's building, attacking security personnel, and the Scientific Institute; protesting; possession of weapons and Molotov cocktails; and assaulting members of the armed forces and police. Consequently, he was handed a life sentence and a LE 17million fine in February 2015.

Upon hearing the verdict, Doumaclapped his hands, saying that he is happy with the verdict. Hence, the judge sentenced him to three more years in prison.

He also received a three-year-sentence in two separate cases; the first for staging protests in January 2015 without a permit, violating Egypt’s protest law, and the second for insulting and criticizing the judiciary in 2014.

During his trial in December 2014, Douma accused the judge presiding over his case of publishing extreme political views on his Facebook account, violating the law that bans judges from publicly expressing political views.He was thus handed three years in prison and a fine of LE 10,000.

Douma was one of 231 defendants who were sentenced to life; however, Douma is the only one who appealed the sentence.

He also appealed against the three-year-sentence he received for insulting the judiciary during one of his sessions in the "Cabinet clashes" case.

On January 3, 2018, Douma denied all charges; on February 18, the court showed a video proving that he burned public premises, including the headquarters of the Cabinet, Parliament, Al-Shura Council, and Ministry of Interior.
]]>
2/21/2018 2:54:25 PM
<![CDATA[Kremlin says Russian defence sector "fine", accuses U.S. of unfair competition]]>
"I can just say that everything is fine, everything is fine," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a phone call with reporters on Wednesday.

Peskov said Russia was "trying to hedge risks related to instances of unfair competition on the part of the United States in the market of military-technical cooperation."]]>
2/21/2018 2:53:32 PM
<![CDATA[Harry Potter’s legend Alan Rickman to be “Always” commemorated ]]>


Rickman was born in England in 1946, having shown a strong interest in the arts since a young age. After the death of his father at age eigth, he received a scholarship to Latymer Upper School.

He later studied graphic design at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, having originally wanted to be an artist rather than an actor. Indeed, Rickman actually found success pursuing this line of work; upon graduating from the Royal College of Art, he opened up a graphic design business called Graphiti.

The allure of theatre pushed Rickman's future in a different course however. He decided to apply to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art when he was 26, and by 1978, he had managed to enter the prestigious ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he performed in various adaptations of Shakespeare's work such as "The Tempest".

He didn't enjoy the experience however, considering the work to be churned out with little regard for the actors. Rickman, naturally gifted with a smooth, distinctive voice, later put it to good use as a voice actor for BBC radio during much of the 1980s.

Fame would start coming his way in 1985, when he performed as Vicomte de Valmont in the play "Les Liaisons Dangereuse", which writer Christopher Hampton had created specifically for him. When he performed the role once again for the Broadway rendition of the play, American audiences were wowed; Rickman earned his first Tony Award nomination for the role. The play even became a film called "Dangerous Liasons", but alas, Rickman was denied the role made for him. Instead, his cinematic debut came in "Die Hard".


Released in 1988, Rickman starred counter the film's hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) as the villainous Hans Gruber, a German terrorist who captures the Nakatomi Plaza during Christmas, with McClane's wife being one of the hostages. Having made it into Hollywood, Rickman would continue starring in various film roles, the best of which included tragic romance "Truly, Madly, Deeply" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", where he portrayed the Sheriff of Nottingham.



During the 90s, Rickman earned a Golden Globe award for "Sense and Sensiblity" and a Primetime Emmy Award for the TV movie "Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny". He even directed his first movie, "The Winter Guest".



With the dawning of the 21st century, Rickman stepped into one of his most famous roles as Severus Snape, Harry Potter's cruel yet heroic teacher. He would remain across the franchise in all eight movies, beginning with 2001's "Sorcerer's Stone" and seeing it through all the way until the end in "The Deathly Hallows, Part 2" in 2011.


Rickman never stopped acting until the end, starring in quite a wide variety of roles; from portraying American President Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniels’ "The Butler" (2013) to voicing the talking Caterpillar in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (2010).

Alas, Rickman passed away of cancer on January 14, 2016, at the age of 69. He is remembered fondly both by the generations he has reached in his movies and the many fellow actors he has worked with, who knew him for the irreplaceably precious talent he was.




]]>
2/21/2018 2:49:01 PM
<![CDATA[Ospina likely to start for Arsenal in League Cup final, says Cech]]>
Ospina, 29, has played in all but one of Arsenal's League Cup matches this campaign and Cech, who has featured in all 27 of the club's Premier League games, expects his Colombian counterpart will continue in goal against City.

"At the start it was clear that it was going to be like that," Cech told British media when asked if Ospina would play in the final.

"I will be there with the team supporting but I don't expect to play. It is always hard to watch any game from the bench or even from the stand if you are not selected.

"As a player, you always want to be involved.

"But obviously you are in a professional club where there are 25 top players and the manager always makes his choices for the game and you need to accept that."

Ospina has also been Arsenal's first-choice keeper in the Europa League and is likely to start in Thursday's second-leg of their last-32 tie against Ostersunds.

"Going to Wembley is special, the atmosphere and the occasion is special," Ospina told Arsenal's matchday programme.

"I'd like to play every week but I respect the manager's decision.

"You have to prepare as though you're going to play every game. It can be tough to play maybe a couple of games a month, especially when they are as big as this one.

"You just need to focus and be ready. I have a very good relationship with Petr, and that helps."]]>
2/21/2018 2:24:19 PM
<![CDATA[Ungainly but hugely effective Mueller back to his best]]>
There was nothing spectacular about either of Mueller's two goals in Bayern's 5-0 Champions League win over the Turkish champions, and the first was downright scrappy, but the 28-year-old has never been noted for his elegance.

"The first goal was typical Mueller," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who has been credited with Mueller's revival since returning for a fourth stint at the club in October.

"It's interesting how players prepare for these sort of games. Thomas takes it to another level, he knows that a special performance is needed in the Champions League.

"Had he not got injured, he would have a lot more goals. He is performing well and he motivates the others. He's important for our system and not just because of the goals. He's also important for the vertical game."

Mueller, joint top-scorer at the 2010 World Cup, does not conform to the footballer's stereotype.

He stumbles rather than glides past opponents, his ungroomed floppy hair has not changed in years, he has unusually skinny legs and he eschews tattoos. His wife is an amateur dressage rider rather than a model or actress.

A one-club player, Mueller's name rarely pops up for any of the plethora of awards on the football calendar, but he has an uncanny notion of space and is always in the right place.

In terms of titles, Mueller is one of the sport's most successful players with one World Cup, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, six Bundesliga and four German Cup titles to his name.

The last two seasons, however, have not been his best.

He failed to get on the scoresheet during Euro 2016 and scored a modest nine goals in all competitions last season - the first time in his career he has failed to reach double figures in a full campaign.

Then, in August, Ancelotti did the unthinkable and dropped him for a match at Werder Bremen.

Predictably, that sparked a huge debate and Mueller himself had a dig.

"I don't know exactly which qualities the coach wants to see," he said. "But mine seem not to be 100 percent in demand."

There was even talk of a transfer.

Ancelotti was fired in September, however, and replaced by Heynckes who has once again brought out the best in the enigmatic forward, as he did back in Bayern's treble winning season in 2012-13.

"He can score goals out of nothing - like the 1-0," said Heynckes. "With his speed and reactions, he's often in the right place and that makes him unique. That's the real Mueller."]]>
2/21/2018 1:59:44 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi supports investment efforts: Minister]]>
In statements during a ceremony at which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated an investor services center in the Ministry premises, she added that the move indicates that President Sisi is supporting efforts for enhancing investment in Egypt.

She added that the investment climate in Egypt before 2014 was suffering from so many problems as there was no clear leadership to outline a defined vision and an investment strategy.

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr added that after 2014, when President Sisi assumed power, things changed and Egypt had a clear vision and a national project.

She added that after 2014, Egypt started its economic reform program of which creating a propitious investment atmosphere was a major pillar.

Problems facing investors led to a decrease of investments and the national economy in general was moving backward, she added.

The government has undertaken a swift action for economic reform in an effort to improve the investment climate in Egypt, she said, adding that a strategy was outlined to attain this goal.

This strategy, she added, was based on modernizing investment laws, creating institutions that are capable to implement these laws and improving the infrastructure.

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that the new investment law offered several incentives to investors.

The new law is treating on equal footing men and women and Egyptian and foreign investors, she pointed out.

International indicators show that investors have an easy access to the Egyptian market, she said, noting that what is more important is that investors can go out of the market as easy as they entered it.

Legislative amendments and financial inclusion contributed to supporting the investment sector, she said, adding that the ministry has also managed to settle several investment problems and disputes.

This led to attracting much more investments, she boasted.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:55:30 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Communications Yasser el-Kady awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 1:32:02 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 1:29:57 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Health Ahmed Emad el-Din awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 1:28:25 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:25:18 PM
<![CDATA[Orange Egypt losses decrease to LE 1.6B in 2017]]>
The company’s revenues increased 7.51 percent to achieve LE 12.67 billion in 2017, compared to LE 11.79 billion in the prior year.

Meanwhile, the company’s standalone results recorded losses of LE 1.49 billion in 2017, compared to LE 2.46 billion, marking a 47.97 percent decrease.

Orange suffered LE 1.7 billion in losses in nine months from January to September in 2017.

The company attributed the losses to the rise of loans as well as the increase of the interest rates with 600 points in 2017, which reflected on the cost of the loans.

The statement added that the rise of inflation and currency flotation increased the costs of the company, which reflected on the losses of the year.

Orange Egypt for Telecommunications (known as: Orange) is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since May 1998.

Orange operates within the Telecommunication Services sector focusing on Wireless Telecommunication Services. It has six subsidiaries operating across Egypt. Orange is based in Cairo, Egypt, and was established in March 1998.


]]>
2/21/2018 1:24:13 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:23:09 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Youth Khaled Abdel Aziz awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:20:48 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar hits one-week high as focus shifts to Fed]]>
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, was up 0.2 percent. The index has bounced almost 1 percent so far this week, after slumping 1.5 percent the previous week to its lowest level in three years [/FRX].

MSCI’s world index of stocks was down 0.1 percent, set for its third straight decline this week, as a down day in Europe offset earlier gains in Asia.

Investor attention is on the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting in late January, due later in the day. The last readings of U.S. wages and inflation came in higher than expected, with some blaming the numbers for prompting a violent selloff in stocks earlier this month.

“Markets are particularly sensitive to inflation, and we think the odds that the minutes reinforce the narrative of firming inflation are high,” said Elsa Lignos, RBC’s global head of FX strategy.

“We think there is a high probability that the Fed moves the dots to four hikes in 2018 (from three) near-term and that the minutes could be another step in that direction.”

The U.S. currency has been weighed down by a variety of factors this year, including concerns that Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy and the perceived erosion of its yield advantage as other countries start to scale back their easy-money strategies. Confidence in the dollar has also been shaken by mounting worries over the U.S. budget deficit.

U.S. Treasury yields helped to strengthen the dollar, rising as the bond market braced for this week’s $258 billion deluge of new government debt. The two-year Treasury yield touched 2.282 percent, the highest since September 2008. [US/]

Increased government borrowing has put upward pressure on Treasury yields. The Treasury Department has issued more debt in anticipation of a higher deficit from last year’s major tax overhaul and a budget deal that will increase federal spending over the next two years.

The stronger dollar weighed on commodities, with Brent crude futures losing 1 percent to $64.61 per barrel and U.S. crude oil futures also slipping 1 percent to $61.16.

U.S. crude hit a near two-week high the previous day on news of inventory declines at a key storage hub and from expectations that top OPEC producers could extend cooperation beyond 2018. [O/R].

Spot gold touched a one-week low of $1,329.42 an ounce, having declined 1.4 percent so far this week.

DOWN DAY FOR STOCKS

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent after slipping earlier in the session following the U.S. market losses, which snapped a six-session winning streak.

Chinese financial markets will resume trading on Thursday after being shut for the past week for the Lunar New Year.

Japan’s Nikkei trimmed earlier gains but still ended the day 0.2 percent higher.

Australian stocks were nearly flat and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.55 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent.

European shares retreated in early trading, under pressure from a continued rise in bond yields, with pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.6 percent and Germany’s DAX falling 0.2 percent.

Bond yields did not rise across the board however - lower- than-expected readings of purchasing manager surveys in France, Germany and the euro zone all came in lower than expected, stabilizing euro zone bond markets [GVD/EUR].]]>
2/21/2018 1:20:35 PM
<![CDATA[Minister of Finance Amr al-Garhy awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/21/2018 1:17:55 PM
<![CDATA[Admin. Court confirms Mousa’s eligibility to run in election]]>
Earlier in February, Lawyer Tarek al Awady came forward to the Supreme Administrative Court to impugn the validity of the candidacy of Al-Ghad (Tomorrow) party Chairperson Moussa Moustafa Mousa since he has not obtained a certified university or higher education degree, which is a key requirement for candidates running in the presidential election.

Moussa had previously announced that he obtained a foreign degree which has a value greater than any other degree that can be obtained locally.

In his interview with well-known anchor Wael el-Ebrashy for Al Ashera Masa’an (10 pm) TV program which airs daily on Dream TV, Mousa said that he holds an MA in architecture from a French university and it has been already certified by the Foreign Ministry.

Awady told Egypt Today that the certificate he obtained was for some courses he had taken in architecture from France in 1981 and got certified by the Foreign Ministry in 2010. “If that certificate amounts to be a proper equivalent of a higher education degree, he definitely would have used it when he obtained it, not 29 years later.”

He also added that the Supreme Administrative Court will expectedly issue its final decision in this regard within the following 10 days.

“Moreover, Al-Ghad’s Moussa is not actually eligible to enjoy his civil rights, given the fact that he has been previously convicted of dishonorable offences, including robbery and the issuance of dud checks," Awady pointed out.

The potential candidates who announced that they will run in the election were all bowed out, except for former Military Chief of Staff Samy Anan who was kept out of the race by the Armed forces which released a statement regarding his disqualification.
Shortly after, Lawyer Khaled Ali announced his withdrawal decision.

Also, former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik was amongst the prominent potential candidates, announcing his intention to run for president in the upcoming 2018 election before he abruptly changed his mind and announced his withdrawal from the race.

On January 26, two days after President Sisi submitted his candidacy papers to the National Election Authority; the President of Al-Wafd Party announced his intention to run in the 2018 election before his party came out in unanimous support to President Sisi.
According to the election’s timetable set by the NEA on January 8, voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26.
Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while Egyptians living abroad will vote between March 16 and 18.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:17:34 PM
<![CDATA[Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouli awarded at bt100]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:14:27 PM
<![CDATA[CBE Governor Tarek Amer awarded at bt100]]>
Deputy Governor of CBE Gamal Negm received the award on Amer's behalf.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/21/2018 1:08:57 PM
<![CDATA[Taiwan looks south for Muslim tourist dollars]]>
Mainland tourist numbers have slid dramatically as China relations deteriorate, with speculation authorities there are turning off the taps to pressure Taiwan’s Beijing-sceptic government.

Taiwan is now looking to boost relations with 16 south and southeast Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand – what it calls its “southbound policy” – and is seeking more visitors from the region.

Hero labrador sniffs out survivor in Taiwan quake wreckage

That has meant a growing number of tourists from Muslim-majority countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Taiwan welcomed 30 percent more visitors from southeast Asia in 2017.

Taoism is the prevalent religion in Taiwan, with Muslims making up less than two percent of the population, but tourists who spoke to AFP said they were surprised how welcome they felt.

“I really like the natural scenery in Taiwan and the people are very nice,” said Ashma Bunlapho, 40, a Muslim tourist from Thailand on a five-day trip with her husband.

She found halal restaurants using Google Maps, including a shop selling beef noodle – a Taiwanese favourite – and felt free to pray where she chose, taking her mat with her to famous nature spots including Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan.

Malaysian tourist Dean Idris said halal eats were easily accessible as he visited Taipei with his two young children, taking in the zoo, a night market, and a historic district close to the city’s best-known temple.

“I learned that Taiwan, Taipei especially, is actually Muslim-friendly,” he told AFP outside a mosque in the capital, where he had gone to pray.

Thailand, South Korea and Japan are among Asian nations that have been tapping into the Muslim travel market, which has been fuelled by growth in cheap flights and a booming middle class in countries such as Indonesia.

Fried Chicken Master, a small shop not far from Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – one of its most famous landmarks – has adapted to the trend, selling a halal version of the snack, which is also a Taiwanese favourite.

“We hope to be able to serve tourists, exchange students, or Muslims living in Taiwan. As Taiwanese we are proud of our food,” said Louis Tsai, a spokesperson for Super Qin Group, which owns the shop.

A trip to one of Taiwan’s hot springs resorts tops most tourists’ to-do lists and Gaia Hotel in mountainous Beitou, best-known for its natural pools, provides guest rooms with prayer direction signs and prayer schedules.

Minibars there are alcohol-free and cakes do not include pork-based gelatin. To obtain its halal certification, the hotel kitchen created a separate cooking and dining area.

“Since the number of Chinese tourists has decreased, and southeast Asia is quite a sizable market with many Muslims, this is an area we have to actively pursue,” Jack Chang, Gaia’s operations manager, told AFP.

On a recent visit to Istanbul, Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je met with Turkish lawmakers who want to fund the building of a third mosque in Taipei, according to the city government.

Taiwan is also trialling visa waivers for Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines. It eased visa rules last June for six southbound countries, including Indonesia, India, and Cambodia.

But some doubt whether the growth in Muslim tourism is enough to offset the lost income from the mainland.

Chinese visitor numbers dropped by a fifth last year, dropping since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in May 2016.

Beijing still sees self-ruling democratic Taiwan as part of its territory and relations have become increasingly tense as Tsai refuses to acknowledge it is part of “one China”.

New quake shakes Taiwan’s Hualien

Salahuding Ma, secretary general of the Chinese Muslim Association, the largest halal certification body in Taiwan, says it is hard for the new wave of tourists to compete with their Chinese counterparts.

“The Chinese have wealth and spend lavishly,” he told AFP.
“If you are talking about southeast Asia, which countries can even compare?” he asked.

Ma says Taiwan would have greater success if it overcame the language barrier by encouraging students from “target countries” to work in the island’s tourism sector.

For Thai visitor Bunlapho, her lack of Chinese and limited English proved an obstacle when trying to find transportation to Taroko National Park on Taiwan’s east coast, famous for its deep gorges and sweeping cliff faces.

“I couldn’t figure out how to get there,” she lamented.
“Next time. I’ll come back.”
]]>
2/21/2018 12:53:58 PM
<![CDATA[ACA chairman lauds economic reforms adopted by Sisi]]>
Indeed, sacrifices have been made in the process, Erfan acknowledged as he addressed a ceremony marking the inauguration of an investor service center, the first in Egypt.

The country had to deal with the outcome of decades of bureaucracy and archaic laws that were used by some - whether with good or bad intentions - to cast doubt on any serious investor wishing to establish successful projects, Erfan said.

But president Sisi insisted on a "comprehensive confrontation ... with the aim to break the stalemate ... and support every step that would give hope to Egyptians," he noted.

Erfan talked about a strong infrastructure and competitive currency, assuring that the funding deficit is subsiding and the investment climate is safe and encouraging.]]>
2/21/2018 12:41:54 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi says government not part of gas deal with Israel ]]>
During the inauguration of two investors’ centers on Wednesday, Sisi described progress made in terms of gas finds in Egypt by “scoring a goal.”

Commenting on Egypt’s import of gas from Israel per a deal with the private Egyptian company Dolphinus, Sisi said that the government is not part of the deal. He further lauded the huge attention to the issue by the Egyptians since the news surfaced.

Around 64 BCM of natural gas from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs will be exported to private Egyptian company Dolphinus over a decade for $15 billion, according to a Monday statement by Delek Drilling, one of the two companies leading gas projects in reservoirs.

The agreement stipulates that the supply will continue until 2030 or until the 64 billion cubic meters have been fulfilled, whichever is sooner.

Sisi clarified that Egypt consumes around $12 -13 million of petroleum derivatives per year.

The two newly opened investors’ centers are located in 6 of October city in Giza governorate and Gamasa city in northern Delta. Through these centers, investors will be able to finalize all related regulations without dealing directly with the Ministry of Investment.

Sisi urged to make the best use of gas in petrochemical industries, which in return will be an added-value, instead of solely using it as a fuel, which brings the lowest revenue.

Sisi noted that a new law recently passed by the parliament guarantees Egypt’s benefit from the gas, either by manufacturing or exporting it to other countries.

The Egyptian Parliament passed a new law to regulate the activities of the gas market; the law will help attract the private sector to invest in storing and selling natural gas directly to consumers.



Egypt is expected to stop importing liquefied gas by June 2018, after the production of its giant Zohr gas field began by the end of 2017; Zohr contains about 850 billion cubic meters (30 trillion cubic feet) of gas.

In addition to Zohr, Egypt accomplished three other gas production projects which are Torres and Libra, Atoll, and Norse.

These four projects added 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day to raise Egypt’s daily production to 5.5 billion cubic feet a day.

Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for production and fields’ development Mohamed Abdel Azim said earlier that Egypt’s natural gas production will reach some six billion cubic feet a day by the end of fiscal year 2017/18.

The new discoveries are expected to turn Egypt into a net exporter of natural gas as the country is expected to halt gas imports by mid 2018.

]]>
2/21/2018 12:39:14 PM
<![CDATA[Stallone denies false death report, 'still punching']]>
The actor has confirmed that rumors of his death on social media have been falsified, through an Instagram post where he told fans to "Please ignore this stupidity… Alive and well and happy and healthy… Still punching!"

[

Please ignore this stupidity… Alive and well and happy and healthy… Still punching!

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on


]
Stallone's younger brother, Frank Stallone, also went on social media to disconfirm the news. In his twitter Twitter post, he wrote that he is "very protective" of his older brother, finding no humor in the fake post.

[
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The rumors, first posted on Monday, even went as far as to include images of an aging Stallone during one of his film sets to support false its claim that the actor had passed away from a secret battle with prostate cancer. While Stallone and his agents were asleep, his devoted fans worldwide were mourning what they assumed to have been his death.

The "'still punching'" actor has a busy future ahead of him given that he's due to direct "'Creed 2'", a "Rocky" spinoff starring Michael B. Jordan. This isn't even the first time he's been reported dead; previous rumors of his untimely demise circulated during September 2016.

Celebrity death rumors are nothing new, and the spread of social media has only ensured they've become more of a problem. Previous notable examples include actor Charlie Sheen dying of either a snowboarding accident or heart attack, the former having also been used for rumors on comedy actor Eddie Murphy's death as well.

Beloved martial arts actor Jackie Chan is a recurring victim of these rumors, with over 10 Facebook pages on his death, with causes ranging from dying on set during a stunt gone wrong to dying peacefully in his sleep.

Names such as Paris Hilton, Tom Hanks, Eminem, Morgan Freeman and Bon Jovi are just a few more examples of recurring celebrity death hoaxes. Reasons behind making these claims vary, with some sites using them as a means of drawing in audiences to increase their ad revenue or even to fill out surveys.

Mostly, word gets around by people unaware of the truth. Regardless of the veracity of these claims, the fast-paced nature of social media ensures at least a few people will fall for this every-time.

]]>
2/21/2018 12:27:27 PM
<![CDATA[Tahtib: an evolving Egyptian art partaking international recognition]]>

Tahtib is of pharaonic origins, as there are frescos showing it as a training exercise done by the armies in the pharaonic age. Geretly mentioned that in the Middle Kingdom – which is clear in the frescos in old Cairo and Upper Egypt – any viewer will realize that they had the same energy and the same movements. Although he is not sure whether ancient Egyptians had a dance or not, Geretly assured there are numerous frescos all over Egypt featuring Tahtib.

28308918_10155934737020734_987406027_n
“Mallawi Dancing School” troop performing at the French Cultural. Photo by Mira Maged.

“I call it ‘Fakeloric’,” Geretly the artistic founder of El Warsha company told Egypt Today in an interview expressing his disappointment due to labeling the art of Tahtib as “folkloric”, making it like a showbiz over the last fifty years. He believes that Tahtib is a powerful art that doesn’t need to be attractive.


“The French Cultural Institute facilitated the collaboration between France and the dancing troupe to stage the French Theater,” Victor Salama, manager of communication at the French Cultural Institute, told Egypt Today.



Salama emphasized the institute’s vision, which is based on merging between the French and Egyptian cultures. The institute also aims for this fusion to be introduced internationally, especially on French stages. He also stated that places like the French Cultural institute could be a significant channel to commence such arts by rising generations.


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“Mallawi Dancing School” troop performing at the French Cultural. Photo by Mira Maged.


“The fact that it is old doesn’t mean that it is not contemporary,” Geretly told Egypt Today. He clarified that Tahtib is an art that is advancing constantly. The troupe performs in “Mawlid” celebrations, the Arabic word means “birth” and it’s the annual celebration of a deceased saint according to Oxford Dictionary. They also perform in many weddings, bringing up new movements.

Gretely has also pointed out a new choreography reshaped as a result of the latest collaboration with contemporary dancer and choreographer Karima Mansour, the troupe learned a new movement and gave it the name “Karima’s Movement”.

Egypt Today has previously spoken to Mansour, who is also founder and artistic director of Cairo Contemporary Dance Center, in an

interview

where she mentioned that Egypt is filled with potential and talent however it takes so much efforts to encourage rising artists “through allowing them to understand their bodies, new movements, and a way of life that would pave way to their actual dreams.” She said.

Geretly also pointed out that the most significant initiative that the troupe took to avoid being categorized as folkloric is collaborating with contemporary dancer and choreographer Dalia El Abd. Together they tried to find a common ground.


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“Mallawi Dancing School” troop performing at the French Cultural. Photo by Mira Maged.

Although the origins are inspired by ancient Egyptians, it became a tradition commenced by Upper Egyptians, as for them there is a great honor in holding the stick, considering it a part of prestige of dignitaries.

People in Upper Egypt consider their Tahtib skills as something to be proud of, refusing to tell their own secret techniques to others. However, El Warsha managed to find an Egyptian originally from Sohag governorate, whose father was a legend in the artistic world of Tahtib, to train the troupe professionally.

Through many decades, Tahtib has been turned into a kind of dance with a stick. There are several forms of Thatib; some may look aggressive if it is practiced by men as a means of self-defense, while some Tahtib dances are less aggressive, like those practiced at celebrations and weddings.

Gretely previously directed a theatric play, “Spinning Lives”, in which he featured the art of Tahtib. Egyptian actor Sayed Ragab played the role of Abu-Zeid El Hilali, who was forced to fight against his father with the sticks in a battle, but God’s hands stop the fight.

He is the founder and artistic director of “El Warsha” (The Workshop) company. At the beginning, the company was specialized only in reviving the art of storytelling, an inherited and pervasive tradition in Egypt; however, the company then started to reintroduce other traditional forms of art, such as songs, tales and sketches, from all over Egyptian culture.





]]>
2/21/2018 12:20:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Portugal discuss industrial cooperation]]>
Assar said he is keen on boosting cooperation with Portugal, particularly in the field of roads and the manufacture of trailers and fishing boats.

He posted Dias on technical expertise at military production factories.

Dias said the meeting is a good opportunity to review economic relations and discuss means by which to enhance cooperation between military production companies in Egypt and Portuguese firms.]]>
2/21/2018 11:53:30 AM
<![CDATA[Turkey not in direct talks with Syria, but its messages being conveyed: Erdogan spox]]>
Ibrahim Kalin also told a news conference that Ankara remains optimistic, but cautious, regarding ties with the United States after last week's visit to Ankara by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Pro-Syrian government forces which tried to enter the Afrin region on Tuesday retreated after artillery fire by Turkish forces fighting a Kurdish militia there, said Kalin.

He told a news conference there will be serious consequences if there are further such attempts to enter Afrin, where Turkey last month launched an operation against the Kurdish YPG militia which Ankara says is a terrorist group.]]>
2/21/2018 11:48:40 AM
<![CDATA[Syria's Ghouta residents "wait to die" as bombs fall]]>
Five died and over 200 were injured early on Wednesday in the area, hammered by one of the heaviest bombardments in seven years of war that has killed at least 250 people in 48 hours, a war monitor said.

The pace of the bombardment appeared to slacken overnight, but its intensity resumed later on Wednesday morning said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It followed a massive escalation in strikes that began late on Sunday. The enclave is home to 400,000 people.

Pro-government forces fired rockets and dropped barrel bombs from helicopters on the towns and villages of the rural district just outside Damascus, where rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad have their last big redoubt near the capital, it added.

"We are waiting our turn to die. This is the only thing I can say," said Bilal Abu Salah, 22, whose wife is five months pregnant with their first child in the biggest eastern Ghouta town Douma.

They fear the terror of the bombardment will bring her into labour early, he said.

"Nearly all people living here live in shelters now. There are five or six families in one home. There is no food, no markets," he said.

The United Nations has decried the assault on eastern Ghouta, where hospitals and other civilian infrastructure have been hit, as unacceptable, warning that the bombings may constitute war crimes.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia, which has backed Assad with air power since 2015, say they do not target civilians. They also deny using the inaccurate explosive barrel bombs dropped from helicopters whose use has been condemned by the U.N.

Conditions in eastern Ghouta, besieged since 2013, had increasingly alarmed aid agencies even before the latest assault, as shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities caused suffering and illness.

Rebels have also been firing mortars on the districts of Damascus near eastern Ghouta, wounding two people on Wednesday, state media reported. Rebel mortars killed at least six people on Tuesday.

"Today, residential areas, Damascus hotels, as well as Russia’s Center for Syrian Reconciliation, received massive bombardment by illegal armed groups from Eastern Ghouta," Russia's Defence Ministry said late on Tuesday.

Eastern Ghouta is one of the "de-escalation zones" agreed by Russia, Iran and Turkey as part of their diplomatic efforts. But a former al Qaeda affiliate is not included in the truces and it has a small presence there.]]>
2/21/2018 11:16:10 AM
<![CDATA[Army: 4 takfiris killed, 350 terrorist targets destroyed in Sinai]]>
"As part of the "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018" carried out by elements of the Armed Forces, in cooperation with the combat units of the Interior Ministry, anti-terror units continue launching raids targeting terrorist hideouts and arms and ammunition warehouses in northern and central Sinai," the statement said.

- Air forces destroyed eight targets used by terrorists as hideouts.

- Four dangerous takfiris were killed in an exchange of gunfire with anti-terror forces.

- Artillery shelling of 179 targets in the areas of operations.

- Some 112 criminal elements and wanted criminals were arrested.

- Thirteen vehicles and 27 unlicensed motorbikes were seized and destroyed.

- As many as 350 huts, hideouts and warehouses containing explosives and chemical materials and large quantities of auto spare parts and fuel used by terrorists were destroyed.

- Several underground trenches containing large quantities of fuel drums were destroyed.

- Forty-one explosive devices were dismantled.

- Thirteen bango and hashish farms were destroyed and more than 10.5 tons of narcotics were seized.

- The navy forces continue tightening their grip along the coastal area, the statement said, adding that several illegal immigration attempts were foiled and more than 500,000 tramadol pills were seized.

Combat groups of the Armed Forces and Interior Ministry continue operating 598 security patrols and setting up checkpoints across the nation.

The statement reiterated armed forces and police's persistence to eradicate the roots of terrorism and achieve security and stability for the great Egyptian people. ]]>
2/21/2018 11:10:24 AM
<![CDATA[Sheeran and rising star Dua Lipa set to shine at Brits]]>
The ceremony at the cavernous O2 Arena is expected to have a political edge, with many stars due to wear small white roses to highlight sexual harassment in the industry, and to show solidarity with its victims.

Sheeran's album "Divide", a global chart-topper, is on the shortlist for the "British Album of the Year", along with Dua Lipa, grime artist Stormzy, singer Rag'n'Bone Man and hip-hop artist J Hus.

In the "British Male Solo Artist" category, Sheeran is also up against Stormzy and Rag'n'Bone Man as well as former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and hip-hop singer Loyle Carner.

He is also running against Dua Lipa for the best video award.

Singer-guitarist Sheeran, 27, has already been honoured in 2018, winning the Grammy Awards for "Best Pop Vocal Album" ahead of Lady Gaga and Coldplay, and "Best Pop Solo Performance" for single "Shape of You".

His latest album "Divide" has smashed many records, including on streaming App Spotify, where it received 57 million listens on the day of its release.

Dua Lipa, 22, is the latest artist to break through on YouTube, and her single "New Rules" has surpassed one billion views on the video-sharing platform.

She is nominated in five categories, including "British Female Solo artist", along with Paloma Faith, who won the award in 2015, Kate Tempest, Jessie Ware and Laura Marling.

She is nominated in five categories, including "British Female Solo artist", along with Paloma Faith, who won the award in 2015, Kate Tempest, Jessie Ware and Laura Marling.

Born in London to Kosovo-Albanian parents, Dua Lipa tried modelling as a teenager before launching her musical career with a series of covers published on YouTube.
Her eponymous debut album, released in mid-2017, received rave reviews, with influential magazine NME praising her voice and a sound mature beyond her years.

Other categories include "British Group", where the nominees are Gorillaz, London Grammar, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and The xx and "International Group", which will be fought out between the Foo Fighters, Haim, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire.

Budding soul sensation Sampha, who won the coveted Mercury Prize in 2017, is nominated alongside Dua Lipa, J Hus, Loyle Carner and Dave in the "Breakthrough" category.

Taylor Swift, Lorde, Bjork, Pink and Alicia Keys have all received nominations for the "International Female Solo Artist" award, with Childish Gambino, Beck, DJ Khaled, Drake and Kendrick Lamar all in the running for the male equivalent.

The Brit Awards have recognised the cream of British pop music since they were first held in 1977, but often attract controversy.

Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker invaded a performance by Michael Jackson in 1996 and then-deputy prime minister John Prescott was doused by a bucket of ice water in 1998.

This year's nominations have attracted criticism from the Daily Telegraph, which lamented the triumph of the "popular over the interesting, the successful over the plucky, and the beige over the bold."
]]>
2/21/2018 11:08:12 AM
<![CDATA[France's Jean-Marie Le Pen defends Vichy leader in memoirs]]>
Petain "was legal and legitimate", the co-founder of the National Front (FN) party says in "Fils de la Nation" (Son of the Nation), the first volume of his memoirs set to be published on February 28.

For four years after Marshal Petain -- a World War I hero then aged 80 -- announced France's capitulation to Nazi Germany on June 17, 1940, he led so-called Vichy France in the centre and the south of the country, with its headquarters in the spa town of the same name.

Meanwhile the Nazis occupied the north of France including Paris, and the Vichy regime collaborated with their relentless campaign against Jews.

Petain passed legislation that saw Jews -- around 150,000 of whom had fled to the south believing it to be safer -- subjected to severe discrimination similar to that in the Nazi-occupied north.

Under Petain, the Vichy regime put to death up to 15,000 people and helped deport nearly 80,000.

According to extracts published Tuesday in the French press, the 89-year-old Le Pen writes: "I'm all for discussing the policy of collaboration, its faults and its excesses, on condition that we examine the faults and excesses of everyone."

When General Charles De Gaulle launched the French Resistance in his historic radio address from London on June 18, 1940, "I quickly realised that for Gaullists... the enemy was more in Vichy than in Berlin," Le Pen writes.

Le Pen, who in 1972 co-founded the far-right National Front now led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, adds that De Gaulle "remains for me a terrible source of suffering for France."

He also takes personal stabs at De Gaulle, saying that when he saw him for the first time in 1945 "he seemed ugly to me, and said a few banalities at the flag-draped podium. He didn't look like a hero; a hero should be handsome."

Le Pen, who is estranged from his daughter, has been convicted repeatedly for anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments.

He was booted out of the FN in 2015 for his views on the Nazi gas chambers -- he has called the Holocaust a "detail of history" -- and for defending the Vichy regime.

However a French court ruled the following year that he should be allowed to remain as the party's honorary president.
]]>
2/21/2018 10:59:54 AM
<![CDATA[250 killed in Western Ghouta: Syrian Observatory]]>
This is the biggest number of dead to fall in 48 hours since the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta, Al Arabiya news channel quoted the observatory as saying on Wednesday.]]>
2/21/2018 10:54:39 AM
<![CDATA[Stakes rise in Turkish Afrin attack as pro-Assad militia arrive]]>
It opens the door to a further escalation in Syria's messy northern battlefront where Turkey, Syrian rebels, the army, Iran-linked militias backing the Damascus government, Kurdish fighters, Russia and the United States are all present.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Turkey's month-long offensive against Afrin, backed by Syrian rebel groups, continued and included shelling of the main town there overnight.

Ankara aims to drive the Kurdish YPG militia from Afrin, seeing it as linked to an insurgency inside Turkey and as a threat to its border.

On Tuesday, militias that back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Afrin at the Kurds' invitation to help thwart the Turkish assault, and Turkey and its allies tried to force them back with artillery fire.

A commander in the pro-Assad alliance said late on Tuesday that the militias had returned fire on the Syrian rebels fighting alongside Turkey.

The new phase of confrontation, pitting the Turkish army and its allies directly against pro-Assad forces, further scrambles the complex web of alliances and rivalries already at play in northern Syria.]]>
2/21/2018 10:51:42 AM
<![CDATA[Berlin filmfest offers dark vision of E. European 'drift']]>
The filmmakers show a region at a crossroads, divided between old loyalties to authoritarian Russia and forces trying to avert a drift away from the European Union and the West.

"They're isolated, don't want to share anything with other countries, they reject liberal values -- this is the vision which is gaining strength in former communist countries," said Czech director Jan Gebert, who presented "When the War Comes", a chilling documentary about a Slovak paramilitary group.

For three years, from 2015 to 2018, the 37-year-old filmed the rise of "Slovak Recruits" (Slovenski Branci), one of the country's leading far-right organisations.

The militia was founded in 2012 by Peter Svrcek, a then 20-year-old archaeology student, who drew up to 200 young middle-class men to join him in the woods and undergo weapons training on the sidelines of their "civilian" lives.

The guns they use have been disabled but feel real in the clenched fists of the weekend warriors.
Their ideology glorifies "Slavic blood", ultranationalism, hatred of refugees and foreigners, rejection of Europe and its values and a desire for a strong state on the model of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Their goal? To halt the "invasion" of migrants, fight against "evil" and cure a "sick Slovak society", Gebert said.

"It looks like Europe has to take moral lessons again," said Arpad Bogdan, a 37-year-old Hungarian director of Roma origin, who premiered his second feature film "Genesis".

The poignant movie focuses on a series of vicious racist attacks against Roma people in 2008-09 in Hungary in which six people including a child were killed.

"Genesis" examines how a tragedy targeting a minority contributes to a rot that is penetrating the entire society.

The film is inspired by events in Hungary but "it is not a Hungarian film", Bogdan told AFP, because the violence and "evil" shown in "Genesis" have infected many parts of Europe.

This includes countries in the west of the continent, he said, such as Germany, where attacks against asylum seekers spiked at the height of the refugee influx in 2015-16.

"A lot of disturbing things are happening in Europe," the Hungarian director sighed, lamenting the populist, anti-migrant course charted by Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary since 2010.

Gebert said much of eastern Europe was gripped by an "atmosphere of fear", with deep anxiety about "terrorism, migration, Brexit, crisis in the EU, war in Ukraine" all feeding the rise of openly xenophobic political movements.

"They feel that history is on their side, and feel encouraged by the victory of Donald Trump and the victories of populists" in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, he said.

"They feel that they are not extremist anymore when all these politicians say the same things as they do."

He said groups such as "Slovak Recruits" were only "the most visible thing of what is going on in eastern Europe, like the tip of the iceberg" of a movement to ensure that "former communist countries (keep) drifting away from the EU".

Bogdan said he had placed his faith in cinema as a force to shore up a more inclusive version of society.

"I would say I'm an optimist as an artist but not as a Hungarian person," he said.

"I believe that films can transform society because I think that films are supposed to teach hope, a fresh start. This is something that 'Genesis' is meant to do."]]>
2/21/2018 10:50:22 AM
<![CDATA[Live streaming: Sisi inaugurates two Investors' centers ]]>
The event is attended by Prime Minister Sharif Ismail, Minister of investment Sahar Nasr and government officials

In the below link a live streaming of the inauguration



Sub-investors’ centers offer services and facilities to investors rather than dealing directly with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.

Investor Centers provide services as the procedures to establish a firm, its contract, documentation, licensing and the commercial register.]]>
2/21/2018 10:49:21 AM
<![CDATA[Political humour thriving in Orban's 'illiberal' Hungary]]>
The man, shouting slogans at passers-by that are sometimes used by the government, may sound ridiculous, but that's because he's meant to be. He's a character from a YouTube video created by young comedian Tibor Bodocs.

"The central Asian, post-Soviet, illiberal atmosphere of Hungary under Orban is ripe for parody," says Bodocs, the hardest-hitting of a new wave of young comedians tackling politics.

His remark refers to a landmark 2014 speech by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power since 2010 and on course for re-election on April 8.

In it, Orban said he was moulding Hungary into an "illiberal state", citing Russia and Turkey as models.

Since then he has tightened his grip on media and other institutions and launched a series of campaigns featuring billboards on almost every street. They warn about Brussels interference and liberal US billionaire George Soros whom Orban accuses of alleged efforts to force migrants on Hungary.

"I make it all look ridiculous, and try to make those who believe in the propaganda think twice," Bodocs told AFP after a show in Dunakeszi near Budapest, part of a recent sell-out national tour.

During an intense hour-long routine the lanky 35-year-old fired off scathing impersonations and skits targeting Orban and oligarchs in his circle, with the audience of some 500 people laughing throughout.

Last year Bodocs began adding short video clips to his repertoire.

"More people can watch material on a smartphone at a red light than come to a show," he said.

A popular clip featured a parody of Lorinc Meszaros, a former gas-fitter and close ally of Orban and now one of Hungary's richest men, reciting a love poem in honour of his friend.

The character fulminating against foreigners in his car "is the subconscience of Orban's system, surfing the waves of propaganda, driven mad by fear of anything non-Hungarian," said Bodocs.

"Viktor's themes like foreign threats and Muslim invasions are primitive, but strong, opposition politicians simply can't compete," he said, when asked why he focuses on Orban.

Bodocs occasionally performs at the Dumaszinhaz comedy club in Budapest, where in recent years regular political comedy nights have seen comedians improvise on the latest news.

A recent cabaret included sketches on the 10 best ways to waste EU funds, the anti-migrant wire fence Orban erected on Hungary's border, and the prime minister's closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"These days you hear more truth from the comedians than from the politicians," Zsigmond, a 32-year-old engineer told AFP during a break.

The Dumaszinhaz team has also produced viral clips including satirising one of Orban's own regular Facebook videos in which he visited an adoring pensioner in a village.

"It's fun to play this guy, a god in his own comic way," Orban mimic Andras Peter , 39, told AFP. "There is something strange in him, distorted by being in charge for so long".
Gergely Litkai, 41, who runs the club, says that during the migration crisis they regularly mocked government policies instilling mortal fear of migrants.

"We tried to convince people to think a little deeper," he said.

In recent months widespread alarm over the issue has led to the police being called after Sri Lankan student volunteers at a home for the disabled were mistaken for migrants.

In another incident, a countryside hotelier who offered to host some refugees had his car tyres slashed by fretful townsfolk.

Orban later said the locals' anger was understandable and "very right".
Its leader Gergely Kovacs, 38, told AFP that "the political atmosphere is so hate-filled it needs humour to keep people sane, one supporter told us we were the reason he hadn't left Hungary".

In 2016 when the government sought approval at a referendum of its rejection of the EU's migrant quota system, over six percent of the electorate heeded the MKKP's call to spoil their vote: "a stupid answer to a stupid question," said Kovacs.

The result -- 98 percent of those who voted backed the government, a "sweeping victory" according to Orban -- was declared invalid due to low turnout.]]>
2/21/2018 10:40:14 AM
<![CDATA[Food products' prices expected to be stable in local market]]>
In statements to MENA on Wednesday on the fringe of Gulfood 2018, he hailed a recent decision by the Central Bank of Egypt on downing the interest rate as contributing to stabilizing prices and boosting investments in the industrial sectors.

Gulfood is the world's largest annual food trade show, its 23rd edition taking place in Dubai on Feb 18-22, 2018.

He said the food sector's investments hit LE 500 billion in 2017.

The sector's growth rate is expected to range between 8 to 10 percent in 2018, he said.

Gazairi said there are more than one million workers serving in the sector.

He hailed the recent laws issued by the Egyptian government as positively affecting the industrial sector in general and the food industry in particular.

He deemed the laws of investment, industrial license and food safety as the most important legislation for luring investments in the coming period and improving the quality of local products to be able withstand international competition.]]>
2/21/2018 10:07:37 AM
<![CDATA[Volkswagen, German union IG Metall reach wage agreement]]>
IG Metall did not provide details of the agreement but has called a news conference at 10 a.m. local time (0900 GMT).

The union had threatened earlier this month to cripple vehicle production at Volkswagen, incensed by an offer from management to raise pay for staff at western German plants by no more than 2.2 percent over 12 months, about a third of the 6 percent it was seeking.]]>
2/21/2018 10:00:38 AM
<![CDATA[Qualcomm deals blow to Broadcom's bid with sweetened NXP deal]]>
The new deal puts pressure on Broadcom to decide if it will stick with a stipulation in its bid that Qualcomm does not raise its offer for NXP. It could strengthen Qualcomm’s defenses because it allows its shareholders to better assess the standalone value of Qualcomm as an alternative to a deal with Broadcom.

Qualcomm shares fell 1.3 percent to $63.99, significantly below Broadcom’s latest $82 per share cash-and-stock offer unveiled on Feb. 5, as investors saw the new NXP deal as increasing the chances of Qualcomm repelling Broadcom.

Broadcom said on Tuesday it was evaluating its options in response to Qualcomm’s move and noted that the revised price for NXP was well beyond what Qualcomm has repeatedly characterized as “full and fair.” It called the new deal a transfer of value from Qualcomm shareholders to NXP shareholders.

In an interview with Reuters, Qualcomm’s presiding board director Tom Horton argued that the revised deal with NXP represented value for Qualcomm shareholders irrespective of the outcome of the takeover battle with Broadcom.

“It makes Qualcomm stronger and more profitable and diversified if there is no deal with Broadcom, and if we do decide to pursue a sale the same is true, more value would accrue to the Qualcomm shareholders,” Horton said.

Qualcomm raised its offer for NXP from $110 to $127.50 per share in cash. In exchange, it received binding agreements from nine NXP stockholders that collectively own more than 28 percent of NXP’s outstanding shares to support the deal. These include hedge funds Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd and Soroban Capital Partners LP, which had spearheaded opposition to the NXP deal.

NXP’s shares rose 6 percent to $125.56. The stock had traded above the original offer price for nearly seven months, reflecting expectations among investors that Qualcomm’s offer would be raised.

NXP shareholders have to tender their shares in an offer that is currently set to expire on March 5, though Qualcomm has repeatedly pushed back this deadline as it awaits clearance from China’s MOFCOM, the only regulator globally needed to approved the deal that has yet to do so. The Chinese New Year holiday this month has delayed this review.

Under the new terms agreed with NXP’s board, the deal with Qualcomm is contingent on 70 percent of NXP’s shares being tendered, instead of the 80 percent threshold required in the earlier agreement signed in October 2016. Once this threshold is reached, Qualcomm can take over the entire company through a “second-step” transaction mechanism.

The new NXP deal came less than a week after Broadcom and Qualcomm executives met face-to-face for the first time to discuss the differences between the two sides. Qualcomm called the meeting constructive but reiterated it had several concerns over price and regulatory risk.

The acquisition of NXP will help Qualcomm to expand in the fast-growing market for chips used in automobiles and reduce its dependence on the competitive smartphone market.

The takeover battle between Qualcomm and Broadcom is at the heart of a race to consolidate the wireless technology equipment sector, as smartphone makers such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) use their market dominance to negotiate lower chip prices.

Singapore-based Broadcom is mainly a manufacturer whose connectivity chips are used in products ranging from mobile phones to servers. San Diego-based Qualcomm primarily outsources the manufacturing of its chips which are used for the delivery of broadband and data, a business that would significantly benefit from the rollout of 5G wireless technology.

To put pressure on Qualcomm, Broadcom has put forward six nominees up for election at Qualcomm’s March 6 shareholder meeting to replace the majority of the company’s eleven-member board of directors.

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis on Tuesday recommended Qualcomm shareholders vote for all six director nominees Broadcom has put forward.

Last week, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) had recommended for the election of four Broadcom nominees. While this recommendation would fall short of Broadcom’s nominees winning a majority on Qualcomm’s board, ISS said such a vote by Qualcomm shareholders would offer a reasonable path to a negotiated deal that would deliver value.

“ISS and Glass Lewis only influence a minority of our shareholders. They belie the fact that the Qualcomm board is doing everything it can in the furtherance of the interests of its shareholders. The ISS and Glass Lewis reports are also dated because they came out before certainty was secured on the NXP deal,” Horton said.]]>
2/21/2018 9:58:15 AM
<![CDATA[Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters: sources]]>
“In view of budgets and production schedules a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the plan. The sources asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The sources said buying complete aircraft from the United States, at about $100 million each, will save Japan about $30 million per airframe.

The purchase will add to an earlier order for 42 of the fighters, most of which are being constructed at a “final assembly and check out” plant in Japan operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T), the country’s leading defense contractor.

That plant is one of only two such factories outside the United States. The other, in Italy, is operated by Leonardo Spa (LDOF.MI).

As China fields ever more advanced aircraft, including stealth planes, and as North Korea pushes ahead with its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, adding F-35s will further increase Japan’s reliance on U.S. military technology to give it an edge over potential foes in East Asia.

Japanese military planners are also considering buying F-35Bs, the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) version of the aircraft. Those models can operate from small islands skirting the East China Sea or from ships such as the Izumo-class helicopter carriers.

“We have not yet made any plan and we are evaluating what fighter aircraft we need,” Itsunori Onodera said at a news briefing on Tuesday when asked whether Japan planned to buy more F-35s.

Onodera’s ministry will release two defense reviews by the end of the year that will outline Japan’s security goals and military procurement plans for the five years beginning in April 2019.

The first of the 42 F-35As ordered by Japan’s Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) are being deployed to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. Japanese government officials and Lockheed Martin executives are set to attend a ceremony there on Saturday to mark the entry of the first Japanese F-35 into service.

The F-35 accounts for about a quarter of Lockheed Martin’s total revenue. The company is hiring 1,800 workers for its Fort Worth, Texas, factory to build a fleet that is expected to grow to more than 3,000 jets worldwide. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to nearly triple annual production to more than 160 jets by 2023.

The first Japanese F-35s will replace aging F-4 Phantom fighters that date back to 1960s. The next batch will allow Japan to retire some of the aging 200 F-15s flown by the ASDF that are the main interceptor workhorse of the nation’s air defenses.

Japan also wants to build its own stealth fighter, dubbed the F-3, although the high cost of military aircraft development means it will probably need to find foreign partners to share the expense.]]>
2/21/2018 9:55:30 AM
<![CDATA[GM proposes $2.8 billion, 10-year investment in South Korea]]>
The plan comes as the Detroit carmaker and the South Korean government discuss restructuring options at loss-making GM Korea, one of GM’s largest offshore operations.

Last week, the U.S. automaker announced it would shut down a factory in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, and said it was mulling the fate of its three remaining plants in South Korea.

The proposal is on top of a more than $2.2 billion debt-for-equity swap GM is offering to get financial support and tax benefits from Seoul. Reuters reported the details of that part of the plan on Tuesday.

The official with direct knowledge of the matter said GM had asked South Korea to inject funds into GM Korea through state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), which holds a 17 percent stake in the unit. On that basis, KDB would provide around $476 million in investment.

However, the official said a close look into GM’s proposal was needed to determine whether the investment plan was sufficient to rescue the unit, which directly employs some 16,000 workers.

South Korea’s trade minister also told parliament the government has asked for an audit into GM’s “opaque” management in the country.

“By opaque we mean the high rate of profits to raw material costs, interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial support made to GM’s headquarters,” said Paik Un-gyu.

Paik said the South Korean government needed reassurance from GM on its long-term commitment in the country before it would commit funds.

GM Korea did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MOUNTING LOSSES

GM’s decision to close it Gunsan plant was the latest in a series of steps it has made to put profitability and innovation ahead of sales and volume.

Since 2015, GM has exited unprofitable markets including Europe, South Africa and Russia.

GM laid out a plan to invest around 3 trillion won in South Korea and said KDB, the second biggest shareholder, should provide about one sixth of the total, the head of the company’s Korean union told Reuters, citing a plan the company had briefed union members on.

A South Korean lawmaker earlier confirmed GM had put forward a proposal including the investment plan and the debt-to-equity swap.

In return, GM requested South Korea take part in financing the investment and raising capital, according to a statement by Jung You-sub, the lawmaker from Bupyeong, where GM runs its biggest factory in South Korea.

On Tuesday, Barry Engle, head of GM’s international operations, met with a government-appointed task force in Bupyeong and told reporters the company wanted to stay in South Korea.

Engle has asked for a meeting on Thursday with the trade minister, Paik told lawmakers.

KDB has said the automaker has not shared sufficient information about its finances or the cause of its mounting losses, according to officials from the bank and government officials.

South Korea was for years a low-cost export hub for GM, producing close to a fifth of its global output at its peak.

But the automaker’s decision to exit other unprofitable markets have exacerbated problems for GM Korea, which used to build many of the Chevrolet models GM once offered in Europe.

GM Korea posted a total of 1.9 trillion won in net losses between 2014 and 2016.]]>
2/21/2018 9:50:22 AM
<![CDATA[Apple in talks to buy cobalt directly from miners: Bloomberg]]>
The iPhone maker is seeking contracts to buy several thousand metric tons of cobalt for five years or longer, Bloomberg reported, citing an anonymous source.

Cobalt prices have skyrocketed of late due to an expected growth in demand for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Apple may end up deciding not to go ahead with a deal, the report said, citing another source.

Apple was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.]]>
2/21/2018 9:46:43 AM
<![CDATA[South Korea regulator flags deal for cryptocurrency industry]]>
The regulator said on Tuesday that it hopes to see South Korea - which has become a hub for cryptocurrency trade - normalize the virtual coin business in a self-regulatory environment.

“The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation,” said Choe Heung-sik, chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters.

The latest news suggests authorities might adopt a lighter regulatory touch, a step change from the justice minister’s warnings in January that the government was considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, throwing the market into turmoil.

FSS has been leading the government’s regulation of cryptocurrency trading as part of a task force.

Cryptocurrency operators see Choe’s comments as positive step for the industry’s plans for self-regulation.

“Though the government and the industry have not yet reached a full agreement, the fact that the regulator himself made clear the government’s stance on co-operation is a positive sign for the markets,” said Kim Haw-joon of the Korea Blockchain Association.

South Korea banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading as of January 30 to stop cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering and other crimes.

Three local banks including Shinhan Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, NH Bank, are currently offering cryptocurrency accounts to around five local virtual coin exchanges.

Choe said that Kookmin Bank and KEB Hana Bank may have also put in place an appropriate system, though they haven’t as yet started handling transactions.

“I hope they (the banks) no longer fear authorities once they have the right system,” Choe added.

An official from FSS told Reuters tough regulatory oversight of illegal trade in cryptocurrencies will remain in place.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP, the world's most heavily traded cryptocurrency, is now changing hands at a three-week high of $11,160 on the Luxembourg-based Biststamp exchange after falling as low as $5,920.72 in early February.

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has already started production of cryptocurrency mining technologies, local media reported in January.]]>
2/21/2018 9:44:31 AM
<![CDATA[Asian stocks gain, dollar extends recovery]]>
But spreadbetters expected European stocks to follow Wall Street’s lead and open lower, with Britain’s FTSE slipping 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC losing 0.6 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent after slipping earlier in the session following the U.S. market losses, which snapped a six-session winning streak.[.N]

“Some investors in (Asia) are returning from the Lunar New Year break and trying to catch up after seeing the U.S. share markets make gains during their absence,” said Kota Hirayama, senior market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

“If Chinese shares rise when trading resumes tomorrow, that could lift the region further.”

Trading in Chinese financial markets will resume on Thursday after being shut for the past week for the Lunar New Year.

Japan’s Nikkei trimmed earlier gains but held on to end the day 0.2 percent higher.

Australian stocks were nearly flat and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.55 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent.

U.S. Treasury yields rose as the bond market braced for this week’s $258 billion deluge of new government debt. The two-year bill yield touched 2.282 percent, the highest since September 2008. [US/]

Increased government borrowing has applied steady upward pressure on Treasury yields. The Treasury Department has issued more debt in anticipation of a higher deficit from last year’s major tax overhaul and a budget deal that will increase federal spending over the next two years.

The dollar benefited from the higher yields, with its index against a basket of six major currencies edging up to a one-week high of 89.904.

The index has bounced 0.9 percent so far this week after slumping 1.5 percent the previous week to a three-year low.

The U.S. currency has been weighed down by a variety of factors this year, including concerns that Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy and the perceived erosion of its yield advantage as other countries start to scale back their easy money strategies.

Confidence in the dollar has also been shaken by mounting worries over the U.S. budget deficit.

But the greenback managed to find bids once the dust began to settle after last week’s tumble.

“We are seeing the dollar being bought back after last week’s slide. The steady U.S. economy and the possibility of the Fed accelerating its rate increases will likely keep fuelling the dollar’s rebound, particularly against the euro and yen,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Later on Wednesday, investors will turn their attention to the minutes of Fed’s last policy meeting in late January. Analysts said a hawkish tone to the minutes could prompt markets to price in the risk of a faster U.S. interest rate hikes and help lift the dollar further.

The dollar extended an overnight surge and gained 0.45 percent to 107.800 yen. The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.2323 following losses of 0.55 percent the previous day.

The Australian dollar lost 0.4 percent to $0.7852 and the New Zealand dollar dipped 0.2 percent to at $0.7333.

The stronger dollar weighed on commodities, with Brent crude futures losing 0.8 percent to $64.73 per barrel and U.S. crude oil futures slipping 1 percent to $61.15.

U.S. crude hit a near two-week high the previous day on news of inventory declines at a key storage hub and from expectations that top OPEC producers could extend cooperation beyond 2018.

Spot gold touched a one-week trough of $1,327.90 an ounce, having declined 1.4 percent so far this week.]]>
2/21/2018 9:40:47 AM
<![CDATA[Tottenham can fulfil Champions League dream, says Moura]]>
The north London outfit are unbeaten in Europe this season, finishing top of their group, and earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Italian champions Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Turin last week.

Brazilian midfielder Moura, who joined Spurs from Paris St Germain last month, urged his team mates to maintain their momentum.

"I am 25 years old but I think I gained a lot of experience with PSG and I think I can help Tottenham. I think we have a lot of quality and a great structure...," Moura told British media.

"The Champions League is the most difficult cup but I think we have the capacity to win it if we always think in positives and always work hard.

"We did a big game against Juventus away. It was a good result in Italy and I am sure we can do a good game with our fans and continue. It's always important to win. Every player wants to win trophies... and I think we can dream with the Champions League."

Tottenham are competing in the Champions League for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by 12-time winners Real Madrid.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino's side play Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town in the league and host an FA Cup replay against Rochdale before the return leg of their Champions League tie against Juventus on March 7. ]]>
2/21/2018 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Real's Modric, Marcelo risk missing PSG visit through injury]]>
Marcelo was one of Real's best performers in the 3-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu last week and scored the final goal of the game to give them a two-goal cushion in the tie.

He was forced off, however, during his side's 5-3 win at Real Betis on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

Real released a statement on Tuesday confirming the player had injured his right hamstring and said Modric, who played against PSG but was an unused substitute against Betis, had the same injury.

As is customary at Real, the club did not reveal how long either player would be out of action although Spanish newspaper Marca said there was a possibility both players could return in time for the second leg at the Parc des Princes on March 6.

Real coach Zidane told a news conference ahead of his side's Liga game against Leganes on Wednesday that he was optimistic about Modric.

modric


"He has sustained a hamstring problem which is why he didn't train and he is focusing on recovering as quickly as possible," Zidane said.

"I think it's a small problem and as always I have every faith in everyone that works here, the doctors and physios, that they will ensure he returns quickly."

Modric and Marcelo have been ruled out of Wednesday's game away to Leganes along with German midfielder Toni Kroos, who is nursing a knee injury sustained after the first leg against PSG.

Real are fourth in the Liga standings on 45 points, 17 behind leaders Barcelona, but victory over Leganes would lift them above Valencia and into third place.

Leganes, who are 13th, are in their second season in Spain's top flight and knocked Real out of the King's Cup in the quarter-finals last month, before eventually losing to Sevilla in the semis.
]]>
2/21/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh now on Egypt’s terror list ]]>
The case file issued decreeing their addition to the terror list by the Public Prosecution was based on Article 74 of the Egyptian Constitution, which outlaws the establishment of any party based on religious ideologies, or with any religious affiliations. It was also based on Presidential Decree No. 8 of February 17, 2015, which grants the Public Prosecution the jurisdiction to decree any individuals and/or organizations as terroristic.

The case file detailed the arrest of Aboul Fotouh and the other members of the party on February 14, and further detailed the charges against them, which include incitement, calling for obstructing the law, calling for boycotting the presidential election, being a member of the terrorist-labelled Muslim Brotherhood, communicating with fleeing elements of the Brotherhood abroad, attempting to overthrow the regime, being a national threat, and spreading chaos.

According to the Public Prosecution’s case file, Aboul Foutouh and the others were found to be members of the Brotherhood, thus rendering their party, the Strong Egypt Party which Aboul Fotouh heads, as a political arm to the terrorist organization.

The Public Prosecution is due to resume investigations with Aboul Fotouh on Thursday.

Profile: Who is the Man of the Hour?

In light of Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh’s arrest in recent days over six charges, including incitement, Egypt Today takes a look at the man of the hour’s life and deeds.

Perhaps one of Aboul Fotouh’s most notable moves was when he decided to secede with the Muslim Brotherhood after joining them and working with them since 1987, for choosing to run for presidency in 2012. While he cited the reason for their divorce as “an incompatibility of ideologies”, the real motive behind their secession was probably the Muslim Brotherhood’s intention to have another member run for presidency and win.

Yet, while their divorce was widely displayed, many still believe that he is very much affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood till this day. A former Brotherhood leader, who split from the group in 2002, Tharwat al-Kherbawy said in statements on Wednesday night to DMC channel that Aboul Fotouh is going to be tried due to being a member of a terrorist group, not just because of his connections with them.

“He never split from them, despite pretending the opposite. He still has strong connections with them, and can’t really judge anything properly,” Kherbawy added.

While very much logical, seeing that the Egyptian state has been targeting any activists rooting for instability lately, many suspect that Aboul Fotouh was indeed part of a bigger plan devised by the Brotherhood to undermine the stability of the state.


So who is Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh?

By profession, or one of his professions, he’s a physician. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh graduated from Al-Kasr Al-Einy Medical School. But he also graduated from Cairo University with a degree in law. He then went on to pursue a Master’s in Hospital Management from Helwan University.

An activist from a young age, Aboul Fotouh took on the position of Student Union president when he was still studying medicine. He then took up the same position in Cairo University when he was studying law. According to the BBC, “The doctor's own generation helped revitalise political Islam and the Brotherhood as student activists in the 1970s.”

Of Aboul Fotouh’s most memorable moments of his youth, was his public debate against late President Anwar Al-Sadat. “He openly criticized the restrictions on campus protests and Muslim preachers, making the president angry about his lack of respect,” the BBC reported.

But that was simply the making of an activist. Unfortuantely, Aboul Fotouh would become a hardcore Islamist in his youth – and possibly in modern day.

“As a co-founder of the first cell of the Islamic Group (al-Gamaat al-Islamiyah) he believed that violence was permissible to spread the message of Islam and establish an Islamic state,” BBC wrote.

As the 2011 uprising came about, Aboul Fotouh was standing in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ranks; waiting and rooting for the right moment to appear. The BBC reports in 2012 that he was “exhorting” Western powers to rest at ease should and when an Islamist takeover happens.

“Contrary to fear-mongering reports, the West and the Muslim Brotherhood are not enemies,” Aboul Fotouh voiced in The Washington Post.

Yet one must value Aboul Fotouh’s ability to connect with the youth nicely – having taken to social media platforms for communicating with them. While campaigning for his presidential candidacy, Aboul Fotouh promised youth that 50 percent of the appointed officials would be under 45 years of age.

During an interview with the Middle East Institute in 2013, Aboul Fotouh stated his reason for separation from the Brotherhood was due to his desire to run as an independent candidate in the presidential elections. “I also opposed the Brotherhood’s mixing of religious and political life. The Brotherhood was established as an Islamic call and education organization that intended to change society from the grassroots level. Its biggest mistake is its involvement in politics.”

Furthermore, Aboul Fotouh also stated that religion and politics should never mix. “This does not mean that religion should play no role in politics, but I am against a religious state. A religious state means that those ruling the country are representatives of God. A religious state creates discrimination among citizens, when they should be treated according to the rights of citizenship. Gender, race, or religion should not determine your rights. You are an Egyptian and that alone determines your rights.”

Having read that statement was quite ironic, since in 2012 he had assured Western governments that an Islamist takeover would be a good thing in Egypt. But not only is it ironic because of the clear contradiction in ideology, it is also ironic because intel from the government revealed that he had been in contact with Brotherhood leaders in London.

Aboul Fotouh, according to the Interior Ministry’s statement on Thursday, conducted a series of secret meetings abroad, including the latest meeting in London on Feb. 8, when he communicated with member of the international MB organization Lotfi al-Sayed Ali Mohamed, and two MB members who fled to Turkey, namely Mohamed Gamal Heshmat and Hossam ad-Din Atef al-Shazly.

“The aim behind the meeting was to set the mechanisms of carrying out MB chaotic schemes and exploiting the accompanying political atmosphere,” the statement read.
Pleading transparency, Aboul Fotouh is not an easy character to detect. His dealings and ties seem illusionary, but Aboul Fotouh was indeed in London, because he broadcasted an interview from there. He returned from London on February 14 and was detained the day after.

So, who is Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh? Another contradictory character that resurfaces every once in a while, pleading transparency and reform? Or simply another activist calling for ‘democracy’?

Is ‘democracy’ an Islamist takeover that shouldn’t be feared?
]]>
2/21/2018 1:33:22 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's officials meet Libyan delegation]]>
The meetings deeply discussed the methods to unify and restructure the Libyan Military forces after a long split that was led to by the outbreak of the Libyan revolution in 2011.

The Libyan delegation highlighted the gains of unifying Libyan Army’s warring factions, as every Libyan now believes that a united Libyan Army represents a cornerstone of Libya’s national security.

The Libyan delegation members asserted through a statement that a unified Army will protect the State’s national interests in the future, including the protection of any elections held in the future.

The delegation noticed that the international society is full of praise for the whole process of unifying the Army, as the meetings are considered to be unbiased and in the favor of the national interest.

The delegation’s statement assured that the Army will not play any political or sectarian role in the Libyan Arena, as it will carry out its duty as a professional institution assigned to protect the State’s interests and borders.

The delegation’s statement said more meetings to be held in the Egyptian Capital of Cairo in March in order to continue unifying process.

Egypt has launched an initiative in 2017 to unify the warring factions of the Libyan Army in order to restore the absent State.
]]>
2/21/2018 12:07:18 AM
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Court puts Aboul Fotouh on terror list, CBE freezes bank accounts]]>CAIRO – 20 February 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Real Estate Registration Office started to implement a court ruling that added detained Islamist politician Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, and 15 others, to a list of wanted "terrorists" over his links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, state legal sources revealed on Tuesday.


According to the court ruling, the CBE and the Real Estate Registration Office will take the necessary actions to seize and freeze Aboul Fotouh’s bank accounts.


Aboul Fotouh was arrested last week over over six charges, including incitement. He has been ordered detained for 15 days following an investigation by the National Security prosecution.


The list of charges include, “inciting against the state and the constitution, call for boycotting the upcoming Presidential elections in March, being a member of a law-labeled terrorist group and communicating with fugitives, destabilizing Egypt’s stability and security aiming to topple the current regime, calling for chaos and spreading rumors and finally hindering the state’s organizations from practicing their role regarding stabling and securing the country.”


The South Cairo Criminal Court added Abdel-Monaem Abul Fetouh and 15 others to the list, which includes deposed President Mohamed Morsi, Brotherhood spiritual guide Mohammed Badie and other group leaders.


On February 12, an Egyptian lawyer submitted an official complaint to the public prosecutor, calling for the arrest of Aboul Fotouh, after appearing on an Al Jazeera television show from London. Lawyer Samir Sabry accused Aboul Fotouh of “spreading fake news” and demeaning Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.




Highlights from Aboul Fotouh's political life


Aboul Fotouh abandoned the MB due to crucial differences between the group’s thoughts and his own. The main reason behind his dispute with the MB after years of affiliation, was announcing his intentions to run for presidency 2012 and his vision to separate between Dawaa and politics, unlike the MB behaviors then.


According to source to Egypt Today, Aboul Fotouh would have used his political party Masr al-Kawya (Strong Egypt Party) in implementing the MB plans.”He has always dreamed of getting back with them again as a leader,” the sources added.


Masr al-Kawya is an Egyptian centrist political party founded in 2012 by Aboul Fotouh. It played a key role after the revolution and the era of Muslim brotherhood affiliated-Mohamed Morsi, However after labeling the group legally as terrorist, the party’s supporters and influence gradually faded.


On January 28, five political figures released a joint statement calling for Egyptians to boycott the process because the elections will not be fair.


The figures include Aboul Fotouh; former parliament member and chairman of the Reform and Development Party Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat; former science consultant for the presidency Essam Heggy; former chairman of the Central Auditing Authority Hisham Genena; and political science professor Hazem Hosni.


The five political personnel expressed in the statement their discontent with alleged security and administrative practices undertaken to inhibit competition in the upcoming election. However, they did not mention any details about the allegations.


Al-Jazeera has a long history of inciting violence against Egypt. Shutting down al-Jazeera is one of Egypt’s and the quartet countries’ (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE) main demands to restore the diplomatic relations with Qatar.

]]>
2/20/2018 11:03:16 PM
<![CDATA[Misr El Kheir Foundation honored at BT 100 ceremony ]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qadi and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National Bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr and e-payment solution provider Fawry. Other companies include Hesham Talaat Mustafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in the Egypt 2030 Vision. ]]>
2/20/2018 10:02:03 PM
<![CDATA[BT100 honors EFG Hermes for performance in asset management]]>
Nabil Moussa received the Crystal Award during the ceremony organized by BT magazine held at the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.

This year, the magazine honored 50 companies and 50 figures in a prestigious awards ceremony held on Monday, February 19.

BT100 Award Ceremony is just a part of our organization's contribution to honor pioneering companies for their important and effective role in promoting the Egyptian economy,” said Khaled Salah, Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 and Head of Editorial Council of Business Today Egypt.

“It is also an important awards ceremony that intends to motivate and enhance business leadership and performance in the country, marking economic impact on the country in the process,” he added.

The country’s most prominent projects and investments have been highlighted in the magazine over the past year, with thorough research into the degree of influence and economic impact the companies and figures have invested in each respective industry.

]]>
2/20/2018 9:59:26 PM
<![CDATA[BT100 honors OUD for innovation, creativity in real estate ]]>
Mohamed Mohamed Farid Khamis received the Crystal Award during the ceremony organized by BT magazine held at the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.

This year, the magazine honored 50 companies and 50 figures in a prestigious awards ceremony held on Monday, February 19.

BT100 Award Ceremony is just a part of our organization's contribution to honor pioneering companies for their important and effective role in promoting the Egyptian economy,” said Khaled Salah, Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 and Head of Editorial Council of Business Today Egypt.

“It is also an important awards ceremony that intends to motivate and enhance business leadership and performance in the country, marking economic impact on the country in the process,” he added.

The country’s most prominent projects and investments have been highlighted in the magazine over the past year, with thorough research into the degree of influence and economic impact the companies and figures have invested in each respective industry.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:54:51 PM
<![CDATA[EJB honored at bt100 ceremony ]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:54:28 PM
<![CDATA[Amr El Seginy receives bt100 Award]]>
The young Prodigy was awarded for his Remarkable role in the business environment in Egypt.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.]]>
2/20/2018 9:49:08 PM
<![CDATA[BT100 honors Orascom Construction for leading performance on EGX]]>
Ehab Mohab received the Crystal Award during the ceremony organized by BT magazine held at the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.

This year, the magazine honored 50 companies and 50 figures in a prestigious awards ceremony held on Monday, February 19.

BT100 Award Ceremony is just a part of our organization's contribution to honor pioneering companies for their important and effective role in promoting the Egyptian economy,” said Khaled Salah, Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 and Head of Editorial Council of Business Today Egypt.

“It is also an important awards ceremony that intends to motivate and enhance business leadership and performance in the country, marking economic impact on the country in the process,” he added.

The country’s most prominent projects and investments have been highlighted in the magazine over the past year, with thorough research into the degree of influence and economic impact the companies and figures have invested in each respective industry.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:47:15 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmed El Beheiry receives bt100 Award]]>
Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt El Beheiry was honored for his company’s Leading performance on the EGX in the ICT sector.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:42:25 PM
<![CDATA[VP of Pharco Cooperation honored at bt100 ceremony ]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:41:21 PM
<![CDATA[BT100 honors Hyde Park Developments for market share growth]]>
Chief Executive Officer Amin Serag received the Crystal Award during the ceremony organized by BT magazine held at the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.

This year, the magazine honored 50 companies and 50 figures in a prestigious awards ceremony held on Monday, February 19.

BT100 Award Ceremony is just a part of our organization's contribution to honor pioneering companies for their important and effective role in promoting the Egyptian economy,” said Khaled Salah, Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 and Head of Editorial Council of Business Today Egypt.

“It is also an important awards ceremony that intends to motivate and enhance business leadership and performance in the country, marking economic impact on the country in the process,” he added.

The country’s most prominent projects and investments have been highlighted in the magazine over the past year, with thorough research into the degree of influence and economic impact the companies and figures have invested in each respective industry.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:38:09 PM
<![CDATA[Unites Company of Pharmacists honored at bt100 cermony]]>
The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:35:32 PM
<![CDATA[BT100 honors Emaar Misr for CSR initiative in the real estate]]>
Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El Dahan received the Crystal Award during the ceremony organized by BT magazine held at the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.

This year, the magazine honored 50 companies and 50 figures in a prestigious awards ceremony held on Monday, February 19.

BT100 Award Ceremony is just a part of our organization's contribution to honor pioneering companies for their important and effective role in promoting the Egyptian economy,” said Khaled Salah, Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 and Head of Editorial Council of Business Today Egypt.

“It is also an important awards ceremony that intends to motivate and enhance business leadership and performance in the country, marking economic impact on the country in the process,” he added.

The country’s most prominent projects and investments have been highlighted in the magazine over the past year, with thorough research into the degree of influence and economic impact the companies and figures have invested in each respective industry.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:30:55 PM
<![CDATA[Ayman Ismail receives bt100 Award]]>
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of DMG Mountain View Ayman Ismail was honored for his successful partnership with the Government in the Real estate sector.

The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.

It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr, and Fawry, the e-payment solution provider. Other sectors include Hesham Talaat Mostafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.

The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.

The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
2/20/2018 9:30:49 PM