<![CDATA[rss-All News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[All News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Palestine's Habayeb wins 2017 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature]]>
She also won USD 1,000 as well as translating and publishing her novel and distributing it all over the world.

The ceremony was attended by a number of intellectuals as well as Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz’s daughter Umm Kulthum.

Habayeb is a Palestinian novelist who has won multiple awards. Upon graduating from Kuwait University in 1987, she pursued careers in journalism, teaching, and translation before she eventually started to write professionally as a published author. ]]>
12/12/2017 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hodgson smoothes over Benteke penalty miss]]>
Belgian striker Benteke went rogue and took the stoppage- time penalty against Bournemouth with the game locked at 2-2, even though Luka Milivojevic was the designated taker.

Benteke's weak spot-kick was saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Palace had to settle for a point which dropped them back to the foot of the table.

"If I had still been playing for CPFC I would have broken Benteke's nose after in the dressing-room," John Burridge, who kept goal for Palace from 1978-80, said on Twitter.

After the game Hodgson admitted Benteke's miss could "cost his side in May" but with a home clash looming against Watford on Tuesday the 70-year-old was more philosophical.

"Christian was very confident, he had played well and he believed he was going to score that penalty," Hodgson said on Monday.

"He persuaded Luka to let him take it. He wanted it and felt good, but unfortunately it didn't work out.

"No guarantee Luka would've scored it either, of course."

It was disappointing because when you have a penalty in the last minute you see a victory looming," he added.

Palace captain Scott Dann also offered support to Benteke, despite the fact that Milivojevic had scored from the penalty spot earlier in the game.

"It takes a lot of courage to go up and take a penalty in the last couple of minutes," he said.

"Unfortunately he's missed - but we had so many other chances to win this game."

Hodgson's side have drawn four and won one of their last five Premier League games and with the three sides immediately above them all facing tough fixtures this week, Palace have another chance to climb out of the bottom three.

"One or two of our recent draws have felt like victories and Saturday's like a defeat," Hodgson said.

"Sometimes we get more than we deserve, sometimes less. We're five unbeaten and I'm happy with the five performances."]]>
12/12/2017 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[3 killed, 1 wounded in different accidents in Beni Suef, Minya]]>
In Beni Suef, a 38-year-old Chinese engineer was killed after a wall of an under-construction cement factory fell over him. The body was carried to Beni Suef General Hospital.

In Minya, two students were killed and another was injured in a motorcycle collision in the village of Adwa in Minya governorate.

Ambulances and police rushed to the scene and the bodies and the injured were taken to the hospital. ]]>
12/12/2017 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Emery trusts his team’s ability to defeat Real Madrid ]]>
“If you want to win the Champions League, then you have to face Real Madrid. We have the required level to play against Real Madrid," Emery commented on Champions League round of 16 draw on Monday.

PSG will travel to Madrid to play the first leg on February 14 at Madrid’s castle, Santiago Bernabéu before hosting Real Madrid in the second leg at Parc des princes in Paris on March 6.

Emery believes that this game will be widely followed by football fans, he said “This match will be the centre of the footballing world."

Emery depends on a destructive attacking line of Neymar Jr Da Silva, Kylian Mbappe, Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani to break the Spanish defense; while Real Madrid have the experience, passion and FIFA player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo to defeat their French opponent.

Emery highlighted what his team needs to win the clash, he said “We have a lot of talent but to beat Madrid, we will have to play with personality." ]]>
12/12/2017 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Europe rejects Trump's Jerusalem move]]>
Opposition from across the European spectrum came as Netanyahu made the first official trip to the EU by a sitting Israeli premier in 22 years.

Sweden’s top diplomat, Margot Wallstrom, said after the meeting "I have a hard time seeing that any other country would do that and I don’t think any other EU country will do it."

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, reiterated the bloc’s commitment to a two-state solution, telling Netanyahu it would continue to recognize the international consensus on Jerusalem. The EU would increase its peace efforts and hold talks with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, next month, she said. ]]>
12/12/2017 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Car bomb kills journalist in Somalia capital, says witness]]>
Mohamed Ibrahim, a news presenter for Kalsan TV, died at a hospital after being injured by a bomb concealed in his car in Mogadishu's Wadajir district, said Ahmed Mohamed, who works for the same broadcaster.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.]]>
12/12/2017 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1]]>
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington refused to lift part of her Oct. 30 order stopping the ban from taking effect until the case is resolved, because it likely violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law.

The administration had argued that the Jan. 1 deadline was problematic because tens of thousands of personnel would have to be trained on the medical standards needed to process transgender applicants, and the military was not ready for that. Kollar-Kotelly rejected the concerns, saying that preparations for accepting transgender troops were underway during the administration of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.

"The directive from the Secretary of Defense requiring the military to prepare to begin allowing accession of transgender individuals was issued on June 30, 2016 - nearly one and a half years ago," the judge said.

Several transgender service members filed a lawsuit after Trump announced in July he would ban transgender people from the military, citing concern over military focus and medical costs.

In an August memorandum, Trump gave the military until March 2018 to revert to a policy prohibiting openly transgender individuals from joining the military and authorizing their discharge. The memo also halted the use of government funds for sex-reassignment surgery for active-duty personnel.

Defense Secretary James Mattis had previously delayed a deadline that had been set during the Obama administration to begin enlisting transgender recruits to Jan. 1, which Trump's ban then put off indefinitely.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it was preparing to allow transgender people to enter the U.S. military on Jan. 1, following court orders.

The service members who sued Trump, Mattis and military leaders in August had been serving openly as transgender people in the U.S. Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. They said Trump's ban discriminated against them based on their sex and transgender status.

In her October ruling, Kollar-Kotelly said the Trump administration's reasons for the ban "do not appear to be supported by any facts" and cited a military-commissioned study that debunked concerns about military cohesion or healthcare costs.

A second federal judge in Maryland also halted the ban in Nov. 21 ruling.]]>
12/12/2017 2:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[A panorama of Russian President Vladimir Putin's brief visit to Egypt]]>
President Sisi receives Russia's Vladimir Putin

President

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi

has received his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Cairo International Airport on Monday.In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between their countries.

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President Sisi receives his counterpart Putin at the Cairo International Airport- Press Photo


Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity, Mohamed Shaker, previously told Egypt Today. A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon. In February 2015, the Russian President visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals Cairo and Moscow.

Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant

Putin and Sisi witnessed the signing of the

Dabaa nuclear power plant

contracts between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Russian nuclear firm Rosatom. The contracts cover designing and constructing the plant, supplying nuclear fuel, consulting services for operation and maintenance, and fuel recycling.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, 11 December 2017- Press Photo


The plant includes four third-generation reactors with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities. The first reactor will be accomplished in 2026, while the rest will be finished in 2028.

A preliminary agreement was signed by Egypt and Russia in November 2015 to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, along with a $25 billion loan to cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent. Local funding for the first two reactors will be 20 and 25 percent respectively, and will gradually increase to 35 percent for the other two reactors.


Putin: Protocol to be signed soon to address resuming flights

Russian President

Vladimir Putin

said Monday he discussed with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi speeding joint steps to resume direct passenger flights that were halted between both states since 2015.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2017 - REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool


In a joint press conference held in Cairo, Putin added that Russia is ready to resume direct passenger flights to Egypt. He further praised Egypt’s “major steps” taken to upgrade security measures at airports. He also announced that a protocol is expected to be signed soon between both governments to address the flight resuming issue.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Cairo International Airport on Monday. In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between their countries.

Putin informs Sisi on meeting details with Syrian president

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi that he would inform him of the details of his meeting with Syrian President

Bashar Al-Assad

earlier on Monday, and he also stressed “the many upcoming good projects, including the Dabaa nuclear power plant.”

Russia Today reported that Putin told the Egyptian president that he would also update him on Russia’s agreements with the leaderships of Turkey and Iran regarding the next steps of the political settlement in Syria.

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President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, December 11, 2017 – Press Photo


The Russian president held a sudden meeting with his Syrian counterpart in a military base in Syria prior to his visit to Egypt. "I order the Defense Ministry and the chief of the General Staff to begin the pullout of the Russian military group to permanent locations," Putin told an audience of military personnel Monday, according to TASS.

This visit marks Putin's first trip to Syria and comes as Assad's forces have regained control over most of Syria under Russian air cover. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Sergey Surovikin, commander of the Russian troops in Syria, accompanied Putin during his trip to Syria's coastal province of Latakia. The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad.

We discussed regional matters affecting both countries: Sisi

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi emphasized the eagerness of Egypt and Russia to cooperate in regional matters affecting the national security of both countries in a way that restores security and stability in the Middle East and secures a better future for its people.

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President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, December 11, 2017 – Press Photo


President Sisi said on Monday in a joint press conference during Russian President Validimir Putin’s visit to Cairo that they discussed the recent decision by the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and its repercussions on the region. Both leaders agreed on the necessity of adhering to the United Nations (UN) resolutions on Jerusalem’s status.

The president praised the Russian role in attempts to resolve the Palestinian cause throughout the past decades, whether unilaterally or within the international quartet on the Middle East, which is comprised of the U.N., the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Putin leaves Cairo after a successful summit with Sisi

Russian President Vladimir Putin left

Cairo

Monday after a several hours' visit.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi discussed with Putin ways of boosting bilateral relations in various domains, particularly the political, trade, economic and energy ones as well as a number of regional issues of common interest.

34800
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in china - Press photo


Both presidents agreed on strengthening the exchange of information between both countries on anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing instable spots to other countries. Sisi also highlighted that it is crucial for countries to inhibit the passage of terrorists through their territories, as well as reporting any relevant information to other countries and entitled international organizations.]]>
12/12/2017 2:00:39 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt welcomes Miss Russia Victoria Lopyreva]]>
Victoria Lopyreva visited the Giza Pyramids, where she captured many photos beside Khufu Pyramid, as she was surprised by the architectural wonder. She visited Khufu Boat Museum to learn more about the mysterious history of the pharaohs and ancient Egyptian civilization.

Miss Russia’s visit was well received, with many tourists taking selfies with her during her visit to the Giza Pyramids amid great security precautions.

Lopyreva arrived at Cairo International Airport on a flight from Istanbul for a short visit to promote tourism in Egypt.

Her beauty and formal role as Good Will Ambassador significantly helps the promotion of Egypt. The 34-year-old model will represent Russia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

She won Miss Russia in 2003, which she considers to be a turning point in her life. Since then, she has worked as a TV presenter and actor.

1-_Miss_Russia_at_Khufu_pyramid_-_Twitter
Miss Russia during plan landing in Egypt – Twitter Account.

2-_Miss_Russia_during_plan_landing_to_Egypt
Miss Russia upon her arrival to Giza Pyramids- Twitter Account

2-_Miss_Russia_up_on_her_arrival_at_Giza_pyramids_-_Five_Photos
Victoria Loyperova is Miss Russia 2003 – Twitter Account

4_Victroai_Loyperova_is_ambassador_of_FIFA_WC_2018
Victoria Loyperova is the Ambassador of FIFA WC 2018- Twitter Account
]]>
12/12/2017 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa condemns Manhattan terror blast]]>
"Terrorism and Islamphobia are two sides of the same coin, and should be eliminated together," the observatory said.

"No one is immune to terrorist threats," it said, calling for seriously facing Islamophobia that constitutes a main reason for extremism and terrorism in the West.

Earlier in the day, a Bangladeshi man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at in the Times Square subway station near the Port Authority Bus Terminal.]]>
12/12/2017 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[More than 8 million Yemenis "a step away from famine"]]>
A Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen's civil war blockaded ports last month after a missile was fired towards Riyadh.

Jamie McGoldrick, the humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said the blockade has since been eased, but the situation remained dire.

"The continuing blockade of ports is limiting supplies of fuel, food and medicines; dramatically increasing the number of vulnerable people who need help," McGoldrick said in a statement.

"The lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, food, shelter and nutrition support," he added.

That marked an increase from past U.N. estimates of around 8 million people on the brink of famine.

The coalition accuses Iran of sending weapons to its Houthi allies, including missile parts, through Yemen's main Hodeidah port, were most food supplies enter.

Saudi state television said on Monday a U.N delegation of experts has arrived in Riyadh to meet the coalition and the Yemeni government the coalition supports "to prevent the transfer of weapons and rockets to Houthis".

Iran has denied supplying the Houthis with weapons, saying the U.S. and Saudi allegations are "baseless and unfounded".

The United Nations says food shortages caused by the warring parties blocking supplies has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudis intervened in neighbouring Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis advanced on the southern port city of Aden and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government into exile.

The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and triggered a cholera epidemic that has infected about 1 million people.

The U.S. government on Friday called on the Saudi-led military coalition to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid to all of Yemen's ports and through Sana'a airport.

A senior State Department official told reporters in Geneva on Monday that the United States had provided nearly $638 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen in the U.S. fiscal year 2017 that ended on Sept 30.

"We have called on both sides to stop the fighting and seek a political solution to the problem," the official said.

He said the United States had made its position clear to its allies to end the blockade and called on the Houthis to allow access for humanitarian supplies as "there are shocking shortage of food, fuel and medicines that are causing great suffering".]]>
12/12/2017 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[France awards climate grants to US-based scientists on summit eve]]>
Macron unveiled the "Make our Planet Great Again" grants after President Donald Trump in June said he was pulling the United States out of an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was brokered in Paris in 2015.

Macron repeatedly tried to persuade the U.S. leader to reverse his decision. In a statement, the Elysee Palace said 13 of the initial 18 grants will be awarded to scientists based in the United States.

"You will now settle in, develop projects, enrich French, European research, because we've decided to give even bigger resources and to fully recognise what you are doing," Macron said in a speech at Station F, a start-up incubator in Paris.

Macron was addressing the winners of the grants, some of whom attended his speech. Ivy league universities, including Princeton, Stanford and Harvard, were among those from which the winning researchers were selected, the presidency said.

At Tuesday's summit, Macron will urge wealthy nations to increase climate financing and urge investors to turn their backs on polluters in a bid to accelerate efforts to combat global warming.

French state-controlled utility EDF on Monday said it would invest 25 billion euros to develop 30 gigawatt of solar capacity in France between 2020 an 2035. Daily Newspaper Les Echos quoted the chief executive of Engie, Isabelle Kocher, as saying her company would invest one billion euros to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Separately, nine European energy companies including EDF, Italy's Enel, Spain's Iberdrola and Britain's SSE said they would include green bonds in their financing policies.

Developing nations say that the rich are not on track with a broader commitment in the Paris accord for wealthy economies to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 - from public and private sources alike - to help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener energy sources and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Oxfam estimated that there was only between $4 - $8 billion available for adaptation and that recent estimates showed the cost of helping emerging nations deal with rising sea levels, droughts, flooding and other effects of global warming could add up to $140 to 300 billion per year by 2030.

"Right now, the world's poorest people are getting only a tiny fraction of the help they desperately need to survive," Oxfam said in a statement.

"This year’s barrage of climate disasters showed that poor communities are often completely unprepared to deal with extreme weather." ($1 = 0.8487 euros) ]]>
12/12/2017 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Opinion: Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death and Iran’s growing power]]>
Saleh was constantly playing with fire. He allied with Houthis – the old enemies he had fought for almost a decade, from 2004 to 2011. He then allied with Saudi Arabia after the 2011 protests, and then again defied Saudi Arabia. His tragic death was only expected.

The Houthis’ killing of Saleh and their launch of Iranian ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia both indicate their growing power, which reflects Iranian power and regional domination, especially with the conclusion of the nuclear agreement. In addition, Houthis are seeking to punish the people of Sanaa and to detain and persecute members of the General People’s Congress – Saleh’s political party.

Looking at the consequences of Saleh’s death, we see that his alliance with Houthis was based on mutual benefits. Saleh benefitted from the military power Iran and Hezbollah gave Houthis. Houthis benefitted from Saleh’s army and the Yemeni intelligence apparatus affiliated to it.

After Saleh’s death, there is no doubt that Houthis have become the only major power in Yemen, as they proved their military power. Saleh’s forces may have succeeded in taking over some buildings as military bases, but Houthis got back and regained control of them. All this demonstrates that the conflict in Yemen will endure and that the armed conflict will go on unresolved. Negotiations could be held with the Sunni alliance, but under stricter conditions in favor of Houthis, as they control a vast area of Yemen.

The Houthis’ power in Yemen is growing, thanks to the support that Iran provides, and especially with the conclusion of the nuclear deal with it. The deal raised many concerns about the financial resources to be under Iran’s beck and call once sanctions are lifted.

Most experts agree that the deal did not push Iran to change its core political or ideological tendencies, and that it continued supporting its regional agents. This understanding is important when trying to assess the results of the nuclear deal with Iran, and when figuring out the steps that should be taken to minimize the potential negative outcomes of it.

The Houthis’ firing of ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia was a new development. Iran keeps providing financial and military support and training to Houthis, including sending many shipments of arms.

Yemen matters to Iran only because of the Mandeb Strait and Saudi borders, as Saudi Arabia is Iran’s regional enemy. Therefore, Iran has no serious or strategic interests in Yemen, as it does in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Rather, Yemen constitutes a space to further expand Iran’s political power in the region to compete with the Saudi enemy.

Iran is seeking to drag Saudi Arabia into the messy Yemeni situation in order for Iran to take full control of the Syrian and Iraqi situations. Yemen shares borders with Saudi borders, and Iranian intervention and support of Houthis constitutes a threat to Saudi national security. Yemen could thus be used as a pretext to pressure Saudi Arabia about other regional issues, so Iranian gains are primarily political.

Iranian interests in Yemen are also based on its foreign policy, which promotes its ideology and the “revolutionary example” it is constantly trying to set. It is a pillar of its foreign policy, which depends on its ideology and relationship with Shia groups in the Arab region, which it uses to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

Perhaps regional and international agents must try to curb Iran and impose restrictions on its reaping the benefits of the nuclear agreement and the lifting of economic sanctions. This would impede its ability to meet its commitments toward the militias it supports.

In addition, regional cooperation must be achieved in order to confront the danger of the expanding non-state powers, like Hezbollah and Houthis, through developing a strategy and tactics that deal with these militias’ military doctrine, which integrates patterns of regular armies and their military approaches, as well as gang wars.

From the above, we conclude that Saudi Arabia has none other than two options. It could continue the war in Yemen while the humanitarian situation keeps deteriorating, but this will probably not work out. Sunni alliance forces have not been able to resolve the conflict militarily for years, and they have no ground forces.

The other option is negotiation with Houthis, either through reaching middle grounds as each party provides concessions, or resorting to the Security Council to issue a resolution forcing all parties to cease fighting and start negotiations. In this case, Arabs must emphasize that Iran’s intervention by supporting Houthis is a form of incitement and civil war-mongering in another country, which falls under the prohibition of the use of force against another state, according to the United Nations Charter. This makes the Yemeni crisis a threat to regional peace and security, not forgetting its disastrous humanitarian consequences, as this war progresses from bad to worse.

If Saudi Arabia pursues war, it and the Sunni alliance must support Ali Saleh’s son, commander of the Republican Guard loyal to Saleh, and foster coordination and cooperation between him and the forces of Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s vice president. They must support members of the General People’s Congress loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and those also loyal to Mansur Hadi and his supporters. This means Saudi Arabia must work to reconcile these groups for them to work against Houthis.

The Yemeni crisis needs to be resolved promptly. The deadlock that the crisis reached and its prolongation leads to the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation around seven billion Yemenis are suffering from.

Yemenis are suffering from famine. About a million people are suffering from the cholera outbreaks. There are approximately three million Yemeni refugees.

A “deferred” crisis might even start if no political reconciliation is reached that satisfies all parties. This would include tribal and familial retaliation among Yemenis, as Houthis killed many of them, especially those who supported Ali Abdullah Saleh.
]]>
12/12/2017 1:37:35 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. government calls for teens' climate change lawsuit to be halted]]>
At a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, Eric Grant, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice, said an extraordinary order would be justified to block the lawsuit, which names President Donald Trump and members of his cabinets as defendants.

"According to the plaintiffs' complaint virtually every U.S. citizen has the right to sue virtually any government agency," said Grant. Allowing the litigation would distract the executive branch from performing its duties, he added.

Filed in 2015 in federal court in Oregon, the lawsuit by 21 teenagers claims government officials and oil industry chief executives knew about the causes and effects of climate change but nevertheless carried on with policies that perpetuated it, violating the plaintiffs' constitutional right to live in a habitable climate.

The lawsuit originally named President Barack Obama and members of his administration, but the defendants were substituted with Trump and his appointees in February 2017, including all cabinet secretaries and several agency heads.

A federal judge in Oregon ruled in 2016 that the case could move forward, setting a trial date for February 2018. The U.S. government requested and was granted a stay to allow it to ask the 9th Circuit for an extraordinary order, called a writ of mandamus, to block the trial from proceeding.

Grant called the claims "meritless" and said the case would cause a "constitutional confrontation between the government branches" because of the number of top executive branch officials listed as defendants. Grant said the case would also pit courts against the government.

The 9th Circuit judges on Monday questioned whether an extraordinary order was warranted, asking Grant to explain why the government could not challenge the case through the normal appeals process.

"If we set the precedent on this kind of case, there's no logical boundary to it," said Judge Marsha Berzon, adding that the appeals court would be flooded with hundreds of similar requests if they granted the government's motion.

Grant argued the unique set of defendants merited immediate action.

Julia Olson, the lawyer representing the teenagers, called on the judges to deny the request and "allow these young people to present their evidence in court."]]>
12/12/2017 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Canada province pushes on with mega dam project despite opposition]]>
New Democratic premier John Horgan said he was continuing with the Site C project with "a heavy heart" but that cancelling it would cause electricity rates to rise and cost C$4 billion ($3 billion) due to money already spent and remediation costs, reducing funds to invest in schools and hospitals.

"This is not a project that we favor, or a project that we would have started," Horgan told reporters.

The project, which would provide enough electricity for about 450,000 homes a year, would flood more than 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres or about 19 square miles) of land in northeast British Columbia, spurring opposition from local farmers and indigenous groups.

Moving forward with Site C is a "major setback to reconciliation," Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde said in a statement, adding that the "next step will be legal challenges".

Andrew Weaver, the leader of the BC Greens, which is helping prop up the minority NDP government, said it was "fiscally reckless" to continue with the project.

Horgan said that the C$10.7 billion, a new cost estimate revealed on Monday and up on a previous C$9 billion, could be paid back over many years from electricity payments. By comparison, the C$4 billion cancellation cost would have to be written off immediately, hurting provincial finances.

Monday's decision follows a review by the British Columbia Utilities Commission that found the massive project was already over budget and a year behind schedule.

The NDP government, which came to power in July, had requested the review to help it decide whether the project should go ahead.

British Columbia's former Liberal government approved Site C in 2014, saying it would help meet a surge in electricity needs over the next 20 years.

Companies from around the world are involved in the construction. Peace River Hydro Partners, jointly owned by Acciona SA and Samsung C&T Corp, was awarded a civil works contract, and is bidding for another contract. Aecon Group is part of a venture bidding on a contract.

Atco Ltd was awarded a contract for worker accommodations, while privately held German company Voith Hydro won a contract for turbines and generators.]]>
12/12/2017 1:24:37 AM
<![CDATA[Subway bomber wounds self, three victims in New York]]>
The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip tires and did not fully ignite, officials said. It was not clear whether the attack in midtown Manhattan was intended to be a suicide bombing.

The blast, which occurred around 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) in a busy underground passageway between the subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station, sent commuters fleeing for the exits and police officers rushing to the scene, as officials scrambled to reroute trains and shut down streets.

Three people, including a police officer, suffered minor injuries.

The attack came just six weeks after police say an Uzbek man, Sayfullo Saipov, plowed a truck through a crowd of pedestrians along a bike path in lower Manhattan, killing eight in an act for which Islamic State later claimed responsibility. In September 2016, a man injured 31 people when he set off a homemade bomb in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

In recent years, numerous people claiming to be inspired by Islamic State have carried out attacks across Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

A law enforcement official familiar with the Ullah investigation said investigators have found evidence that he watched Islamic State propaganda on the Internet.

'AMATEUR-LEVEL'

The weapon used in Monday's attack was "amateur-level," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference near the explosion site. He told CNN the homemade bomb may not have fully ignited, possibly limiting the damage.

Officials said the attempted bombing underscored New York City's status as a target for such attacks, citing the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which killed more than 2,750 people in New York and nearly 3,000 people in all, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people.

"Let's be clear, as New Yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. "And let's also be clear, this was an attempted terrorist attack."

In a statement, President Donald Trump said the attack emphasized the need for U.S. immigration reforms.

"America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," he said.

The president also criticized the visa program that allowed Ullah to enter the United States in 2011 because he had family members already in the country, saying such family visas are "incompatible with national security."

Authorities did not immediately comment on Ullah's motives. When asked whether Ullah had claimed any connection to Islamic State, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said, "He did make statements but we're not going to talk about that right now."

Several U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told Reuters there was no immediate information indicating Ullah was previously known to any American spy or law enforcement agency for any connection to militants or terrorism, though a connection could still be found.

Ullah is from the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong and is a U.S. resident, said the country's police chief. He had no criminal record there and last visited Bangladesh on Sept. 8, the chief said.

Ullah had a black cab/limousine driver's license from 2012 to 2015, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said.

Monday's incident was captured on security video, police said. Video posted on NYPost.com showed smoke and a man lying in a long tunnel that connects sections of the sprawling Times Square subway station. A photograph showed a man lying facedown, with tattered clothes and burns on his torso.

'EVERYBODY WAS SCARED'

The explosion turned a normal start to the work week into a chaotic scene.

"There was a stampede up the stairs to get out," said one commuter, Diego Fernandez. "Everybody was scared and running and shouting."

The bus terminal was temporarily closed, and a large swath of midtown Manhattan was closed to traffic. Subway travel was disrupted but later returned to normal.

In December, New York experiences a surge of visitors who come to see elaborate store window displays, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Broadway shows.

More than 200,000 people use the Times Square station, the city's busiest, each weekday, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Ten train lines stop at the station.

The bus terminal is the busiest in the United States, according to the Port Authority. On a typical weekday, about 220,000 passengers arrive or depart on more than 7,000 buses.

The bus terminal is adjacent to and above the subway station's western section. A long, narrow underground tunnel connects that part of the station to its eastern section, and is used by thousands of commuters during rush hour.

The incident rippled through American financial markets, briefly weakening stock markets as they were starting trading for the week and giving a modest lift to safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasuries.

Technology and energy stocks gained in afternoon trading, helping Wall Street shake off uncertainties following the explosion.]]>
12/12/2017 1:18:22 AM
<![CDATA[146 Palestinians wounded in clashes over Jerusalem]]>
There were 77 injured in the Gaza Strip and 69 in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement carried by official WAFA news agency.

Hospitals treated 50 of those wounded, it added. ]]>
12/12/2017 1:12:50 AM
<![CDATA[UN warns tough N. Korea sanctions risk hurting millions]]>
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein told the Security Council Monday that a chronic lack of food, partly due to resources which are diverted to the military, has made humanitarian aid provided by the UN and others "literally a lifeline for some 13 million acutely vulnerable individuals."

He urged the council to assess the human rights impact of sanctions that have slowed aid deliveries and minimize the humanitarian consequences.

Zeid also criticized China for returning North Koreans who escape from their country, saying they "are routinely subjected to multiple forms of torture and ill-treatment." ]]>
12/12/2017 1:08:14 AM
<![CDATA[Valverde wary of Morata threat for Chelsea]]>
The Catalan side have been pitted against the team they lost to in the 2011-2012 semi-finals, with Chelsea going on to win the tournament for the first and only time.

Valverde, whose side have won five European Cups, acknowledged the difficulty of facing the English champions.

"It's a tough draw for us because of the magnitude of the opposition," he said. "Chelsea are champions of the Premier League but we're excited about the tie, even though it will be difficult.

"Chelsea are a strong and physical team, with a clear tactical system in place. They take advantage of the physical nature of the Premier League well.

"With the signing of Morata they've added pace in attack, while (Eden) Hazard is very good between the lines."]]>
12/12/2017 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Abul-Gheit asserts Arab League support for Palestinian cause]]>
The meeting deeply discussed ways to deal with with US president Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It also dealt with Arab diplomatic action planned to be taken to reduce negative impacts of the US decision.

Abbas reviewed during the meeting steps to be taken by the Palestinian side to respond to the unfair decision that isolates the US and undermined its role as a historic sponsor of the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel,
said spokesman for the pan-Arab body Mahmoud Afifi .

Abul Gheit termed as clear and firm the Arab consensus on rejecting and condemning the US decision.

He said that the Arab League will continue to move on the diplomatic and media tracks, as mandated by a recent meeting of the Arab foreign minsiter, to turn this position into concrete steps.

The Arab League will not hesitate to support any position or course the Palestinians decide to take to respond to the unjust US decision, he said. ]]>
12/12/2017 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump starts process of sending Americans back to moon]]>
"We are the leader and we're going to stay the leader, and we're going to increase it many fold," Trump said in signing "Space Policy Directive 1" that establishes a foundation for a mission to the moon and eventually, to Mars.

Back in June, China's space official said the country was making “preliminary” preparations to send a man to the moon, the latest goal in China’s ambitious lunar exploration program.

Trump's signing ceremony for the directive included former lunar astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt and current astronaut Peggy Whitson, whose 665 days in orbit is more time in space than any other American and any other woman worldwide.

Trump said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space."

"And space has so much to do with so many other applications, including a military application," he said without elaboration.]]>
12/12/2017 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Today's world news brief]]>
Middle East

We discussed regional matters affecting both countries: Sisi

President

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi

emphasized the eagerness of Egypt and Russia to cooperate in regional matters affecting the national security of both countries in a way that restores security and stability in the Middle East and secures a better future for its people

download (9)
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, December 11, 2017 – Press Photo



Russian-Egyptian flight protocol to be signed this week

Russian Minister of Transport

Maksim Sokolov

said on Monday that Russia is ready to sign a protocol with Egypt to resume direct passenger flights from Russia to Egypt this week.

34920
Russian Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov – File Photo



70 Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli forces

Palestinian

health authorities said more than 70 people were wounded on Monday in clashes with Israeli forces during protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

34956
Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops following a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank village of Beita, near Nablus May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman



Putin to Bashar: Russia to pullout military forces from Syria

Russian TASS News Agency revealed that President

Vladimir Putin

met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his visit to Russia’s Hameymim air base in Syria on Monday morning to pullout military forces from Syria.

34862
Russian Presidential Valdimir Putin- Press and Information Office/TASS



Earthquake hits western Iran, where hundreds died last month

An

earthquake

hit western Iran on Monday, the region where an earthquake last month killed at least 530 people, state media reported.

34929
A man reacts as he looks at a damaged building in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran. REUTERS/Tasnim News Agency



Europe

Turkey, Russia will meet to finalise S-400 defence deal next week

Turkish and Russian officials will meet to finalise Turkey's S-400 surface-to-air missile systems deal in the coming week, Turkish President

Tayyip Erdogan

said on Monday.

34954
FILE PHOTO: Russian S-400 air defence mobile missile launching systems drive during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor



Catalan protesters clash with police over 'plunder' of religious artefacts

Protesters clashed with police trying to reclaim disputed religious artefacts from a museum in

Catalonia

on Monday, in the latest display of tension between Catalan separatists and Spain's central government ahead of a December 21 election, Daily Mail reported.

34947
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a news conference at Madrid's Moncloa Palace August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Susana Vera



May hails new optimism in Brexit talks after deal

Prime Minister

Theresa May

will hail “a new sense of optimism” in Brexit talks on Monday, telling parliament Britain and the European Union should sign off on a deal at a summit this week “to move forwards together” to discuss future trade ties.

34870
FILE PHOTO - Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a news conference at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman


Libya, Italy to set up operations room to tackle migrant smuggling

Libya’s U.N.-backed government agreed with Italy on Saturday to establish a joint operations room for tackling

migrant smugglers

and traffickers as part of efforts to curb migrant flows towards Europe, according to a statement.

34876
Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships "Bettica" and "Bergamini" (unseen) off the coast of Libya in this handout picture released by the Italian Marina Militare on May 25, 2016. Marina Militare/Handout via RE



United States

New York suspect had no criminal record in Bangladesh

Akayed Ullah, the man suspected of trying to bomb

New York

City's Port Authority, had no criminal record in Bangladesh and last visited his home country in September, Bangladesh's police chief told Reuters on Monday.

34935
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference outside the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal following reports of an explosion, in New York City, U.S. December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid “There was a stampede up the stair



U.S. embassy in Cairo warns citizens of fake accounts

The

U.S embassy

in Cairo issued a disclaimer on Monday warning citizens from fake accounts on social media that are releasing false news, clarifying that the embassy has only one website where all security warnings are posted.

34924
The U.S. embassy in Cairo – File Photo



Africa

Rebels kill 15 peacekeepers in Congo

Suspected Ugandan rebels killed at least 15 Tanzanian

U.N.

peacekeepers and wounded 53 others in a raid on a base in Congo that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called the worst attack on the organisation in recent history.

34880
Peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) patrol in their armoured personnel in the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, December 20, 2016. RE



6,000 IS jihadists could return to Africa, AU warns

Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for

ISIS

(IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat.

34857
© AFP | The Islamic State group has lost vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria
]]>
12/12/2017 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[New education system in Egypt to be like Finnish one]]>
During the Canada Egypt Business Council, Shawky added that the Ministry of Education spends LE 1.3 billion ($72.9 million) annually to a number of bodies, including the Ministry of Interior in order to prevent cheating, especially during the “Thanaweya Amma” high school exams.

Education is one of the cornerstones of the Finnish welfare society. Finland offers an educational system that provides equal opportunities of education for all, irrespective of matters of residency, sex, economic situation, or linguistic and cultural background.

Shawky declared that Arabic, English and an optional third language will be taught in the primary stage and the technical education will be taught in the preparatory stage.

He stressed that the ministry is trying to offer a good quality of education in the governmental schools to help reduce citizens resorting to international and private schools, hoping that there will be a unified system of high, technical education with the coordination of all ministries.

Shawky mentioned that the changes and development of the education system will face challenges, pointing out that now parents are spending LE 20-30 billion for private classes.

He noted that bonuses for teachers will depend upon the results of students.

The leaking of exams has been a commonly widespread phenomenon in Egypt in recent years.

Social media and smartphones have made it easier for exams to be leaked. Therefore, the government has introduced a new high school examination paper, called the “Booklet” designed to put an end to online cheating and exam leaks.

A new examination paper system will prevent the leaking of exam papers.]]>
12/11/2017 10:35:36 PM
<![CDATA[Four Christmas concerts organized at Cairo, Alex. Opera House]]>

The concerts are supervised by the company’s Technical Director Iman Moustafa and will be performed in collaboration with Cairo Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Nayer Nagui.


The concerts will include a selection of celebrated Christmas songs and carols, in addition to the new songs, mostly arranged by Nagui.


For over a decade, Cairo Opera House has traditionally hosted its annual Christmas concerts as a joint effort combining the Cairo Opera Company soloists, an orchestra, and the Cairo Celebration Choir (CCC).


Since Nagui, the founder and conductor of the Cairo Celebration Choir, became the principal conductor and artistic director of the Cairo Opera Orchestra in 2011, the Christmas concerts became part of the Cairo Opera Orchestra's repertoire.


Cairo Opera Orchestra's repertoire has replaced the Cairo Symphony Orchestra which, prior to December 2012, had joined most of the previous Christmas evenings.]]>
12/11/2017 10:13:42 PM
<![CDATA[Business News wrap-up ]]>Breaking: Sisi, Putin kick-start Egypt's Dabaa nuclear plant

The agreement completes a preliminary agreement signed with Russia in November 2015.


EGX rallies, market cap gains LE 9.6 billion



Benchmark Index EGX30 went up 0.09 percent to stand at 14,426 points.


Construction of Dabaa's 1st unit to start December 12



Rosatom Company has received the land plot of the project in November 2015.


Sisi aims for more Russian investments in SCZone



The trade ties relation with Cairo was fruitful in 2017, as bilateral trade exceeded $4 billion.


CBE shows Egypt on right track after year of pound flotation



CBE data showed that the Egyptian economy is on the right track after a year of the pound’s flotation.


What changed in Egyptian economy since Putin's 2015 visit?


What's new in the Egyptian economy since Putin’s last visit?





Chinese investments in Egypt reach $6 billion



China's Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, Han Bing, said total Chinese investments in Egypt reached $6 billion.


Egypt, Libya to cooperate on taxes, customs issues



El Garhy and Hammad tackled the outlook of joint agreements and projects that can be reached in the field of automating the state budget.


Trade with Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa register $3.2 billion



The exports of Egypt to the three countries recorded $2.1 billion, while imports were $1.1 billion.


Linking road study between Egypt, Chad in process: FECC’s Head



FECC is working on a study on setting up a linking road between Egypt with Chad.]]>
12/11/2017 10:11:16 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry heads Egypt's Delegation to OIC Summit on Jerusalem]]>

A spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid, revealed that Shoukry's visit came in the aftermath of the U.S. decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Scheduled to be held on an urgent basis, the summit is set to deal with the repercussions of said decision.


This summit is not the first in reaction to the American decision to move its embassy in Israel. The Pan-Arab Parliament held an urgent session Monday at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo to discuss the repercussions of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


The parliament is mainly set to issue a resolution reflecting Arab views regarding the latest U.S. move, which they believe contradicts all international resolutions on the historic and legal status of Jerusalem. In a recent statement, Arab Parliament speaker deemed the U.S. decision a blatant challenge to all international resolutions relating to the Palestinian cause.


Likewise, Abu Zeid added that the foreign minister will review the Egyptian stance rejecting the U.S.’s decision and any consequences it entails. Shoukry will also discuss Egypt's endeavors to minimize the negative consequences of the U.S. decision, the latest of which is the Egyptian-Palestinian summit to be held on Monday in Cairo.


The American decision has led to broad reactions in the Arab world and internationally. In an emergency meeting held on Saturday to discuss Trump's decision, Arab foreign ministers called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to issue a resolution confirming that the U.S.’s decision contradicts international legitimate resolutions.


They unanimously rejected the said decision which violates international laws and UNSC’s resolutions and stressed their belief that the decision is illegal, as it undermines the peace process, deepens tensions and elicits anger.]]>
12/11/2017 10:07:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Palestinian presidents discuss Jerusalem in Cairo]]>
President Sisi stressed Egypt’s stance on the necessity of preserving the historical and legal status of Jerusalem within the framework of related international references and United Nations resolutions, in addition to Egypt’s support for the “legitimate rights” of Palestinian people to establish their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas displayed all Palestinian efforts deployed throughout the year to resume peace talks, stipulating that the U.S. decision was surprising, as the Palestinian Authority showed resilience to reach the two-state solution in accordance with the guidelines embodied in establishing a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Both leaders discussed possible measures that can be taken on the international scale to address the alarming repercussions of the U.S. decision, as well as preserving the Palestinian national reconciliation for its strategic importance in the current critical situation.

Abbas expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s continuous support for the Palestinian cause, asserting that mutual coordination and consultation would persist. The Palestinian president met earlier with Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit to discuss the steps Arab countries would take to confront the U.S. decision.]]>
12/11/2017 10:05:47 PM
<![CDATA[Champions League 2017-18 last 16 draw: who are they?]]>
Champions League draw results – 16th round:
Juventus vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Basel vs. Manchester City
Porto vs. Liverpool
Sevilla vs. Manchester United
Real Madrid vs. Paris St Germain
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Roma
Chelsea vs. Barcelona
Bayern Munich vs. Besiktas
Classification adopted in Champions League draw:
- The traditional classification was adopted in the round of 16 in the Champions League.
- The teams ranked first do not come together, and the teams of the same country avoid each other.

- Leaders in the group stage will play the second leg at home.

Notes about the draw of the Champions League:
The first leg of the UEFA Champions League will be held on February 13, 14, 20 and 21, while the matches of the second leg will take place on March 6, 7, 13 and 14.]]>
12/11/2017 10:04:08 PM
<![CDATA[Valdano praises Ronaldo’s ego ]]>
“Cristiano has the most valuable ego in the history of football — a man that has extraordinary confidence in himself, which has given him an incredible capacity to overcome adversity,” Valdano told the Spanish radio on Monday.

Ronaldo was crowned his fifth Ballon D’ Or on Thursday, and he stated after the ceremony that he is the best player in history, erupting a wave of criticism against the player.

Valdano commented on the criticism against Ronaldo, saying, “some people misunderstand ego and think it is an excess of confidence, but with Cristiano it means that he works each week, which has incredible value, as it means he is able to compete with a genius and even has the same number of Ballon d'Ors.”

Ronaldo led Real Madrid to win three Champions League titles, two Spanish League titles, two Spanish Cup titles and two FIFA Club World Cup titles.

Real Madrid was drawn with Paris St. Germain at the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16. Real Madrid fans hope Ronaldo’s ego will help his team win the game. ]]>
12/11/2017 10:02:49 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering legendary Naguib Mahfouz on his birthday]]>

Author of 34 novels, over 350 short stories, five plays and dozens of movie scripts, Mahfouz was by all means the most disciplined writer ever. He wrote for one hour every day throughout his 70-year career, while he also smoked three cigarettes per day and walked by the Nile every morning.


He met weekly with new a generation of writers, artists and readers through an informal seminar, which was a habit he developed in the 1950s.


At the age of 82, Mahfouz was stabbed in the neck in 1994 by an Islamic extremist, in an assassination attempt after a huge wave of hatred that followed the “fatwah” (religious edict) made by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran against Arab-English author Salman Rushdie over the famous book “The Satanic Verses”.


Khomeini decreed that Salman Rushdie should be killed for writing that novel. Naguib Mahfouz, in spite of considering the novel disrespectful to Islam, took a position against inciting violence towards Rushdie.


This incident, however, drew attention to Mahfouz’s controversial novel “Awlad Haretna” (The Chidren of Gebelawi). It was deemed one of the most famous novels in the history of Arabic literature. The novel spoke about God and the prophets, and it creatively explained the philosophy of religion.


The controversy came from his design of the character of Gebelawi – a wealthy landowner and rough father who is neglects his descendants, leaving them in poverty and misery. With Gebelawi appointing his dark son Adham to run the business instead of his eldest son Idris, Mahfouz relates the story of Adam and Satan, then a quarrel between Satan and God, and later the story of Cain and Abel, where he kills his brother and the grandfather does not interfere; no punishment comes to the killer or is even discussed.


The stories of the world’s main prophets – Moses, Jesus and Mohamed – continue. He changes their names brilliantly, but clearly hints at which religious personality he is discussing in each new chapter. He avoids the miracles and humanizes the struggles in an effort to make the story about justice and fighting for the rights of the poor – who are all sons of Gebelawi and have equal rights in the wealth.


Naguib Mahfouz was blunt in expressing his ideas. He included politics, history and philosophy in his novels. He covered a lot of subjects, such as socialism, homosexuality and God. His novels were informative and showed the development of Egypt in the twentieth century.


Mahfouz’s first novel was “Khufu’s Wisdom”. He then wrote 35 novels afterwards and fifteen collections of short stories, alongside the “Echoes of an Autobiography” in 1994, according to an article by AUC press.


The iconic literary author was not only satisfied by writing short stories and novels, but also took the initiative to work on 25 film screenplays that featured specific writing techniques such as flashback. Egyptian cinema has witnessed over thirty Egyptian films that were based on Mahfouz’s novels and literary works.


He also wrote weekly columns in state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram and Al-Ahram Weekly in 1971, including “Naguib Mahfouz at Sidi Gaber: Reflections of a Nobel Laureate 1994–2001”.


Mahfouz was honored by the government, receiving the Egyptian State Prize for his writing twice. Promoting great collections of Arabic narratives locally and internationally, Mahfouz received countless honors, including an American University in Cairo honorary doctorate in 1995, and he was chosen as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Institute of Arts.


Following his death, Mahfouz’s works further resonated in the Egyptian literary scene. The AUC Press has become his main English language publisher and agent of all translation rights. The agreement was signed with Mahfouz prior to his death. There are around 600 editions in 40 languages for his works displayed at AUC Press.]]>
12/11/2017 10:01:34 PM
<![CDATA[Serena hints at return, says 'be excited']]>
Williams, who won her 23rd grand slam singles title at last year's Australian Open before taking time out to have her first child, has entered next month's tournament in Melbourne.

"Be excited. Be very excited..." the 36-year-old said in the post which attracted 135,000 likes in the space of an hour.

Williams gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September and was married to Alexis Ohanian last month.

Few female players have won grand slams after taking a break to start a family, although Kim Clijsters won the 2009 U.S. Open in her third tournament back after having a daughter.

Australians Evonne Goolagong and Margaret Court also managed it. Court's 24 grand slam singles titles remains a record although only 11 of them were in the professional era.]]>
12/11/2017 10:00:23 PM
<![CDATA[Premier League is Conte's priority after CL draw ]]>
“Our priority must be the league, to try to stay up and to try to fight for a Champions League place, this must be our priority at the moment,” Conte told press on Monday.

Chelsea was drawn with Barcelona at the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16. The first game is scheduled on February 20 in London, while the second leg will be played on March 14 in Barcelona.

Conte spoke about Barcelona’s game, saying, “the draw is in February. I look at the present. When it is the moment to play Barcelona, we will start to think about that game.”

Chelsea placed third in the league, with 32 points. The team is 14 points behind the leaders, Manchester City.

Conte spoke about his team’s situation in the league, saying, “this league is very dangerous. We are to go game by game, to play with 120 percent of our strength every game. Otherwise, we will have a bad surprise at the end of the season."

Conte led Chelsea to win the Premier League last season in his first season in charge of the club. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:59:08 PM
<![CDATA[Hungary not planning to move embassy to Jerusalem]]>
"This (option) has not come up," Orban told reporters in response to a question in parliament according to an audio recording of his remarks published on the website of private broadcaster HirTV.

"Hungary sees no reason to change its Middle East policy," Orban said. "We will continue with the balanced politics we have been pursuing." He did not elaborate.

On Friday Hungary blocked a statement planned by all EU 28 governments in response to Trump's announcement and the Foreign Ministry said Hungary was in favor of a negotiated solution in the Middle East. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:32:45 PM
<![CDATA[Ukrainian judge frees Saakashvili from detention]]>
President of his native Georgia for nine years until 2013, Saakashvili moved to Ukraine after a popular uprising there and served under Poroshenko as a regional governor from 2015-2016, before falling out with the Ukrainian leader.

The 49-year-old accuses the Ukrainian authorities of widespread corruption. Prosecutors wanted him placed under house arrest while investigators look into accusations he assisted a criminal organisation, charges he says were trumped up to undermine his campaign to unseat Poroshenko.

"The prosecutors' petition ... is dismissed," Judge Larysa Tsokol told the court.

A crowd of several hundred supporters, who had remained outside the courthouse throughout the eight-hour hearing, cheered the judge's decision.

"The judge is good. She did everything correctly and in accordance with the law," Saakashvili said. "It means not everything is lost in Ukraine."

The case against him remains open.

Speaking after the ruling, which was attended by several prominent opposition lawmakers, including former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Saakashvili said he planned to continue his political work.

Together with other opposition politicians he will "prepare for a peaceful but very important and necessary change in leadership in Ukraine", he said.

Saakashvili, who launched a hunger strike to protest against his detention, sang the Ukrainian national anthem at the beginning of the hearing.

The courtroom was so packed with journalists and Saakashvili's supporters that his lawyer asked the judge to move the session to a larger room.

The investigation provoked violent clashes between protesters and riot police last week, while on Sunday several thousand people attended a peaceful rally in central Kiev to support Saakashvili and call for Poroshenko's impeachment.

"While the protest does not represent a significant risk to government stability at the moment, it will likely attract the attention of Ukraine's international supporters and donors," London-based research firm Teneo Intelligence said in a note.

Saakashvili is also facing the threat of possible extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on criminal charges.

Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko told Reuters the extradition request was being considered but no final decision had yet been made. He denied the case was politically motivated.

"Every person who lives in Ukraine must respect the basic laws," he said.

"Unfortunately so far we only see things that are unworthy behaviour of such a person." ]]>
12/11/2017 9:30:37 PM
<![CDATA[70 Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli forces]]>
The Palestinian Health Ministry and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said their teams provided medical treatment for the wounded.

The injuries occurred in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm and Bethlehem and in the Gaza Strip. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:27:39 PM
<![CDATA[Morawiecki sworn in as Polish PM amid dispute with EU]]>
Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is at odds with the EU over immigration, logging in an ancient forest and government attempts to control the courts and the media. Critics say the eurosceptic party's policies have subverted democracy and the rule of law.

At the same time, acrimony between Tusk and the PiS dates back years. Poland, acting on orders from the PiS boss and long-time Tusk adversary Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was the sole member of the 28 EU members to vote in March against Tusk's re-election.

Morawiecki, 49, replaced Beata Szydlo, who became a deputy prime minister. PiS sacked the popular Szydlo last week in a bid to improve Poland's image abroad and prepare the conservatives for a series of elections.

Morawiecki will remain finance minister and economy minister. All other ministers have kept their jobs for now, although some ministerial changes are expected in weeks to come.

Morawiecki said his government will continue the work of Szydlo. He is expected to outline his policies on Tuesday.

Tusk, a former Polish prime minister before PiS came to power in 2015, said he counts on good cooperation.

"Acting for Poland's strong position in the European Union and for the unity of all member states is the need of the moment," Tusk wrote.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who is a critic of the PiS said on Twitter: "The circus has stayed the same, only the clowns have changed their roles." Walesa led protests and strikes that shook communist rule in the 1980s.

Szydlo's government was one of the most popular in Poland since the 1989 collapse of communism. It registered around 40 percent approval due to low unemployment, increases in public spending and a focus on traditional Catholic values in public life.]]>
12/11/2017 9:21:22 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey, Russia will meet to finalise S-400 defence deal next week]]>
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said that Ankara and Moscow were on the same page regarding the U.S. move on Jerusalem and added that two leaders would keep in contact on the issue.]]>
12/11/2017 9:17:43 PM
<![CDATA[Putin’s visit: Dabaa project sealed, Russian flights pending]]>
Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant

Putin and Sisi witnessed the signing of the Dabaa nuclear power plant contracts between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Russian nuclear firm Rosatom. The contracts cover designing and constructing the plant, supplying nuclear fuel, consulting services for operation and maintenance, and fuel recycling.

The plant includes four third-generation reactors with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities. The first reactor will be accomplished in 2026, while the rest will be finished in 2028.

A preliminary agreement was signed by Egypt and Russia in November 2015 to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, along with a $25 billion loan to cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent. Local funding for the first two reactors will be 20 and 25 percent respectively, and will gradually increase to 35 percent for the other two reactors.

Jerusalem

Both leaders discussed the recent decision by the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and its repercussions on the region. The president and his Russian counterpart agreed on the necessity of adhering to the United Nations (U.N.) resolutions on Jerusalem’s status.

Syria

The talks included the potential political settlements in Syria and Libya. Both leaders agreed on increasing the de-confliction spots, which would support the negotiations led by the U.S. delegate to Syria.

Putin told President Sisi that he would inform him of the details of his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad earlier on Monday, and he also stressed “the many upcoming good projects, including the Dabaa nuclear power plant.”

Russia Today reported that Putin told the Egyptian president that he would also update him on Russia’s agreements with the leaderships of Turkey and Iran regarding the next steps of the political settlement in Syria.

Counterterrorism

Both presidents agreed on strengthening the exchange of information between both countries on anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing instable spots to other countries. Sisi also highlighted that it is crucial for countries to inhibit the passage of terrorists through their territories, as well as reporting any relevant information to other countries and entitled international organizations.

Economic relations

Putin announced that a protocol will be signed by Russia and Egypt soon in order to resume direct flights from Russia to Egypt, as they have been halted after a plane carrying Russian tourists crashed over Sinai in 2015.

Later on, Russian Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov stated that Russia is ready to sign a protocol with Egypt to resume direct passenger flights from Russia to Egypt this week, according to Reuters. Sokolov added that EgyptAir and Russian Aeroflot flights may resume in February.

On the other hand, President Sisi said that Egypt is looking forward to increasing Russian investment in Egypt, especially in the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

"Russia is giving huge importance to its economic ties with Egypt," Putin said, noting that the project is expected to amount to $7 billion serving industrial and logistics sectors. The size of Egyptian-Russian trade reached $4 billion in 2017, Putin added. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:15:46 PM
<![CDATA[Salah’s BBC award is just a start: Mido ]]>
“Contagulations Salah for the award. It is another step to achieve CAF African player of the year,” Mido tweeted after BBC named Salah their African player of the year.

Salah had a fantastic year with AS Roma, scoring 10 goals, providing 2 assists to lead the club to finish second in the league and qualify to the UEFA Champions League.

Salah left Roma to join Liverpool. The player shined in the Premier League with Liverpool, scoring 18 goals, 13 of which were in the league, to become the top scorer after 16 fixtures.

Egyptian national team assistant manager told press, “Salah deserves more after his great contributions with the national team.”

Salah led Egypt’s national team to qualify to the 2018 World Cup after a 28-year absence. He scored five of seven Egypt’s seven goals in the qualifiers.

Salah became the third Egyptian to win such an award after Mohamed Barakat, who won the award in 2005, and Mohamed Aboutrika, who won it in 2008. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:13:51 PM
<![CDATA[1st unit of Dabaa plant to operate by 2026: Electricity Min.]]>
The Dabaa nuclear power plant for peaceful activities consists of four nuclear units with a total capacity of 4800 MW, added Shaker, pointing out that the electricity generated will be used to desalinate water in Dabaa and El Alamein.

Russia and Egypt signed nuclear cooperation agreements to build the nuclear plant. On Aug. 26, both countries signed contracts to build the first phase of the plant, which includes four out of eight reactors, stated Shaker.

The Dabaa plant uses third-generation nuclear reactors according to the latest science and technology, which have a safe design and are resistant to fault by the operator.

The 60-year-old plant has an unprecedented capacity to withstand large accidents. It can withstand the collision of a 400-ton aircraft with a speed of 150 meters per second. The nuclear reactors also have safe operation without any negative effects on the surrounding environment.

These reactors do not include radiation leakage through multiple filters and barriers, and they contain a modern, automatic control system.

The Dabaa project also provides a number of social, economic and cultural benefits, as it provides about 10,000 new jobs for youth in the governorate during the construction period of nearly eight years, as well as at least 4,000 other jobs after operation.

The project will also promote tourism in the area of Dabaa and Matrouh governorate.

Egypt's peaceful nuclear program will lead to the introduction of new industries and will increase the quality of the Egyptian industry in line with the required quality standards for nuclear industries, explained Shaker.

He further stated that the Dabaa project will lead to the development of the local industry in the fields of manufacturing electrical and mechanical equipment used in nuclear plants to ensure the efficiency of operation and maintenance, as well as maximizing competitiveness in the local and global market, which will improve the national income.]]>
12/11/2017 8:50:44 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly faces Atletico Madrid in a friendly match on 30 Dec]]>
The celebration will be held with the full support of advisor Turki Al-Sheikh, President of the General Authority for Sport in Saudi Arabia.

It has been decided that Atletico Madrid’s team will arrive on a private jet to Borg El-Arab Airport on December 29, play the match the next day and then return home.

The players of the Spanish team sent a message of love and solidarity in Arabic to the Egyptian people through different social media outlets to stand together in the face of terrorism.
]]>
12/11/2017 8:49:30 PM
<![CDATA[EFA Competition Committee fines Petrojet, Al-Maqassa LE 10k]]>
Al Ahly lost to Al-Maqassa 3-2 on Sunday in the match that was postponed from the second round of the Egyptian Premiere League, and the objection came from Ragab because of the referee’s decision of a penalty kick against Al-Maqassa.

The committee also decided to impose a fine of LE 10,000 as well on the Egyptian Premiere League team Petrojet because of the goalkeeper’s uniform at the team’s match against Al Ismaily, which was not the agreed one at the meeting held before the match.
]]>
12/11/2017 8:44:04 PM
<![CDATA[Salah crowned African Footballer of the Year]]>
“I am very happy to win. It is always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I'm very happy," Salah said to BBC after receiving the award.

Salah had a fantastic year with AS Roma, scoring 10 goals, providing 2 assists to lead the club to finish second in the league and qualify to the UEFA Champions League.

Salah left Roma to join Liverpool. The player shined in the Premier League, scoring 18 goals for the team, 13 of which were in the league, to be the top scorer after 16 fixtures.

Salah added, "I would like to thank my Liverpool teammates, and I also had a good season with Roma, so I have to thank my teammates there and the ones in my national team."

Salah led Egypt’s national team to the 2018 World Cup after a 28-year absence. He scored five out of seven goal the team scored in the qualifiers.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised Salah saying, "it's well-deserved. I am a really lucky person. I had the opportunity to work with a few outstanding players, and I am happy that it is now with Mo.”

Salah became the third Egyptian to win such an award after Mohamed Barakat, who won the award in 2005, and Mohamed Aboutrika, who won it in 2008. ]]>
12/11/2017 8:42:52 PM
<![CDATA[Catalan protesters clash with police over 'plunder' of religious artefacts]]>
Culture Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo angered Catalan nationalists in November by using special temporary powers to accept a petition by a judge from Aragon calling for the artefacts to be returned to their previous home, the Monastery of Sijena.

Hundreds of demonstrators on Monday massed at the museum of Lleida in western Catalonia where the artefacts were kept and pro-independence groups called supporters to stop the police from removing them.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government could not oppose court rulings because it would mean stepping outside the rule of law.]]>
12/11/2017 8:20:22 PM
<![CDATA[Apple confirms deal to buy music discovery app Shazam]]>
Apple did not give a price for the acquisition. Technology news website TechCrunch reported the deal on Friday with a price of as much as $400 million, far short of the most recent $1 billion valuation for privately held Shazam.

Apple said Shazam would be a “natural fit” with its Apple Music streaming service and it would help users discover new songs. Apple Music has 27 million users and competes against Spotify Ltd, which has 60 million users. Apple said Shazam’s team would be joining the Cupertino company.

In a statement, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Shazam “is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. ... We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”

Apple did not elaborate on its plans, but the company will not be able to make any major changes to Shazam until it secures regulatory approval.

Shazam is also available on Android-based devices, but Apple did not say whether it would keep the Android version available. Shazam ended support for a version of its software that runs on Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows PCs earlier this year.

]]>
12/11/2017 8:08:10 PM
<![CDATA[Iraq in jubilation after ouster of ISIS]]>

Iraq has been captured by warfare for decades now. As coup after coup took place in the late 1950s and 1960s, Iraq soon found itself embroiled in major conflicts with Iran and the U.S. Traditional inter-state warfare wasn’t enough to satisfy the needs of Saddam Hussein, who crushed any whiff of domestic dissent with brute force and vengeance.


The 2003 U.S.-led invasion promised to sow the seeds of change and prosperity in a country reeling from the effects of extensive sanctions initiated after the Gulf War. “How could the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. not result in a resounding success?” These were the initial expectations of former U.S. President George W. Bush in his presumptuous “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Although in hindsight Bush said he regretted this message, it set the scene for what would prove to be a major miscalculation of U.S. foreign policy.


With Saddam captured, Bush confidently broadcasted that the “dark era” for Iraq was over; however, it had only just begun.


These ancient Mesopotamian lands are far from easy to conquer, as many have tried and failed throughout history. Bush’s claim was followed by years of conflict, as insurgency and guerrilla warfare met counter-insurgency and the might of the U.S.-led coalition. Lines were drawn in sectarian sand, which spiralled uncontrollably and led to the rise of ISIS, who eventually captured a third of the country.

Photo_2
Shias and Sunnis are being rallied to prevent ISIS from -destroying the country - REUTERS

Iraq has, once again, become a “liberated” country. 1,284 days after ISIS marched into Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and 1,253 days since Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stood in the coveted al-Nuri Mosque and formally declared the foundation of his caliphate, ISIS no longer holds ground. The group was ousted from the country in a prolonged and multinational operation that has been deemed a victory, a success if you will.


But what parameters stipulate success? In this case, the absence of territory held by ISIS is the success. But it is a success that has come at great cost, and a success that suffers more challenges in this final stage.


The victory of the Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga, Hashd al-Shaabi and the international anti-ISIS coalition in crushing the spine of ISIS in Iraq is an undeniably commendable feat that many would have thought was unattainable just three years ago. However, the path of destruction left behind will take decades to repair. While ISIS holds no territory, it lurks in the shadows with members behind any door, in any market or any mosque waiting for the call to fight.

A promising future in Iraq requires a fundamental shift in the political and formal military structure, away from a fragmented state that allows individuals and militia the opportunity to fight for control. Individuals such as Hadi Al-Amiri wield vast influence, both political and military, while advancing the hostile interests of neighbouring Iran. These threats, which entrenched themselves in the context of ISIS’s expansion in Iraq, remain a major threat to the country and the population at large. Although a victory over ISIS has been won, many more victories will be needed.

Twitter:

@joseph_colonna

]]>
12/11/2017 8:07:59 PM
<![CDATA['Shape of Water' leads wide ranging Golden Globe nominations]]>
“The Shape of Water,” a surreal drama about a relationship between a river creature and a mute cleaner, collected seven nods across the board, including for best director; actors Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins; screenplay and score.

Del Toro said he was grateful for the recognition, adding in a statement: “Above all, ‘The Shape of Water’ is about love overcoming fear and embracing the Other.”

“The Post,” Steven Spielberg’s timely drama about press freedom, followed with six nominations, including for its director and stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

The Golden Globes are chosen by the 90-plus journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but nominees often mirror the top films and actors nominated in January for the Oscars, the movie industry’s highest awards.

“The Shape of Water” and “The Post” are also seen as front-runners for Oscars. They will compete for the top drama prize at the Jan. 7 Golden Globe ceremony in Beverly Hills against small-town tale “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which also got six nominations; British World War Two tale “Dunkirk”; and “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay romance starring actor nominees Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

Mother-daughter comedy “Lady Bird” got four nods, including for stars Saiorse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. However, first-time director Greta Gerwig was snubbed in an all-male list for her category.

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Nominees for the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture category, (L-R) Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, Allison Janney, Laurie Metcalf and Octavia Spencer are seen in a combination of file photos. REUTERS


Other comedy or musical film nominees included James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” racial horror movie “Get Out,” ice-skating saga “I, Tonya” and “The Greatest Showman.”

Movie studio Twentieth Century Fox and its Fox Searchlight unit for independent film dominated the nominations, sharing a total of 27 nods.

Celebrated actor Daniel Day-Lewis was recognized for “Phantom Thread,” which he has said will be his last film.

British actor Daniel Kaluuya got a nod for his breakout role in “Get Out,” a satire on modern race relations set within a psychological thriller.

Monday’s nominations included A-listers like Angelina Jolie, who got two for her producing work on Cambodian foreign-language entry “First They Killed My Father” and an animated film about Afghanistan, “The Breadwinner.”

For television, British royal series ”The Crown,“ ”Game of Thrones,“ ”The Handmaid’s Tale, “Stranger Things” and “This Is Us” will compete for the best drama series award.

“Black-ish,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Master of None,” “SMILF” and “Will & Grace” were nominated in the best TV comedy category.
]]>
12/11/2017 8:01:28 PM
<![CDATA[The draw results of the 32nd round of the Europa league]]>
Lyon vs. Villarreal matches will be the strongest in the round, while the leading candidate for the title, Atletico Madrid, will face Denmark's Copenhagen Club, and Leipzig will clash with Napoli.

The draw was also a pity for Arsenal, which will face Sweden's Ostersund, while AC Milan will face Bulgaria's Ludogorets. Borussia Dortmund is to face Atlanta.
Here are the matches of the 32nd round of the Europa League.

Europa_league_draw

The first leg of the 32nd round of the European Championships will be held on February 13 and 14, with the return leg to be held on February 20 and 21. The draw of the round of 16 will be then held, once again, in Nyon.]]>
12/11/2017 7:50:48 PM
<![CDATA[‘Her Life, Her Right Summit’ articulates gender issues]]>
The summit comprised of three panel discussions, tackling the latest statistics and facts around gender-based violence (GBV) in Egypt, the legislative progress to address the issue and field-based evidence on the effects of GBV on girls.

“We are seeking to present the issue of gender-based violence in a different way, and since none of us can work alone, the purpose of this conference is to bring about a collaboration of efforts to address the problem,” Noha Abdel Hamid, strategic partnerships & advocacy manager at Plan Egypt, said at the onset of the summit.

Setting the ground for a scientific and meaningful discussion, the summit started by presenting facts and figures that clarify the situation in Egypt, based on surveys by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Ministry of Health and Education’s Demographic Health Survey (DHS) program and the National Population Council.

Introducing the outcomes of Egypt’s first survey addressing the economic cost of GBV,
Wafaa Magued, general manager of gender statistics at CAPMAS, revealed that the cost reached LE 2.17 billion ($151.7 million) according to 2015 surveys.

“A total of 92 percent of married Egyptian females have been subject to FGM,” said Fatma el-Zanati, DHS technical director. “There is an improvement, but not as much as we hope,” Zanati stated, stressing on the importance of educating men, as much as women, about FGM.

Emphasizing the magnitude of the phenomenon of child marriage, Zanati clarified that “14.5 percent of Egyptian females between 15 and 19 years old are already married” and 11 percent of them are mothers. “There is also a strong connection between early marriage and child mortality,” Zanati added.

Parliamentarian Mona Mounir and lawyer Nevine Ebeid, member of the New Woman Foundation, later discussed the legislation progress in terms of GBV, followed by the last panel about GBV effects, held by Ahmed Abdel Daim, child protection officer at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Amira Hussein, education program director at CARE International; and Randa Fakhr el-Din, executive director of NGOs Union Against Harmful Practices on Women and Children.

The summit concluded by recommending a surveillance program at the community level to support NGOs, networks, community technical teams and community leaders in order to monitor and protect anti-FGM and human rights programs.

It further emphasized the necessity of regaining political support and including anti-FGM health messages and child protection laws in the curricula of preparatory and secondary schools, as well as medical and nursing institutes.

The summit was held in conjunction with the last day of the international “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, celebrated annually to challenge violence against women and girls.

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization established in 1937 to advance children’s rights and gender equality. The organization has operated in nine governorates in Egypt since 1981, and in accordance with a five-year strategic development plan (2016-2021) that aims to “deliver significant change for girls and boys, putting a special emphasis on gender equality,” in parallel with the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). ]]>
12/11/2017 7:49:35 PM
<![CDATA[Malaysia Airlines’ Double 12 (12.12) Deals on offer ]]>
In a statement today, the national carrier said the four-day promotion is valid for travel from December 19, 2017 to Aug 31, 2018.

It said the promotion would be available via the Malaysia Airlines’ website www.malaysiaairlines.com, participating travel agents and on the MHmobile app.

“Fly directly with Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Guangzhou from as low as RM849, from RM899 to Chongqing, from RM919 to Shanghai, and from RM999 to Fuzhou.

“Customers can also choose from an array of destinations, including Beijing with fares from as low as RM1,029, Nanjing from RM1,069, Xiamen from RM1,149, and Haikou from RM1,169,” it added.

Malaysia Airlines will also be offering discounted fares for travels from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong from as low as RM569 and Taipei from RM839.

“The 12.12 Deals include departures from Kota Kinabalu with fares from as low as RM709 to Taipei and RM909 to Shanghai,” it said.

The airline said the economy class fares include 30 kg check-in baggage allowance, complimentary meals and in-flight entertainment. ]]>
12/11/2017 7:43:20 PM
<![CDATA[Brussels airport tells passengers to stay away after snow]]>
Fifty flights were cancelled and 90 delayed, Belga news agency quoted a spokesman for the Belgian capital’s airport as saying.

“Heavy snowfall: do not come to the airport until further notice,” the airport said on Twitter, adding that passengers should check the status of their flights.

The airport added in a statement that passengers should not come for the rest of today.

“Because of the adverse weather, numerous flights had to be cancelled,” it said.

Airport staff were trying to de-ice planes and clear snow from the runways, the airport said.

Heavy snow caused travel difficulties across Brussels with buses and cars skidding off roads and key road tunnels being shut.

A meeting between visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had to be called off because of the weather, officials said. ]]>
12/11/2017 7:41:16 PM
<![CDATA[Ancient Roman Pantheon to start charging entry fee in 2018]]>
Now a church, the vast cylindrical former temple whose undamaged exterior wall supports a 43.3 metre-high (142 ft) dome with a circular skylight at its summit, drew 7.4 million visitors last year.

The new 2 euros ($2.36) per person charge is part of a drive to squeeze more profit from Italy’s cultural assets, and the ministry said tourist visits would also be suspended during religious services.

Part of the ticket revenue will be spent on maintaining the site, where Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa commissioned a temple in honor of Emperor Augustus in around 27 B.C.

The Pantheon’s current form and six-metre thick walls date from the early part of the reign of Emperor Hadrian, who came to power in A.D. 117. The building survived the Barbarian attacks on Rome and was transformed into a Christian church in 609.

Among those buried in there are the Renaissance artist Raphael and two Italian kings.

Caring for art and architecture dating back thousands of years has long posed a challenge for a country that is responsible for more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other and has long-standing problems of bureaucracy and low public funding.]]>
12/11/2017 7:39:25 PM
<![CDATA[Ateleh El Moaalef El Moseky ensemble to perform in Cairo]]>

“Eight compositions will be performed, including two new ones – all of them written by Egyptian senior contemporary composers such as Youssef Greiss, Amr El Baz, Kamal Ahmed and Aziz Shawaan,” Mattar explained.
Beside Mattar, many senior and rising talents will perform through this exceptional artistic night, such as Amr Elbaz, Kamal Ahmed, Loay Ismail, Hala Fouad Mohamed Zanaty, Rania Omar and Mariam Al Mamlouk.


The event is organized and directed by Samer El Faramawy, activity coordinator at the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art.
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12/11/2017 7:35:01 PM
<![CDATA[Chinese investments in Egypt reach $6 billion ]]>
These remarks were made Monday during the Egyptian Chinese Business Council, which is organized by the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce in cooperation with the Chinese Embassy in Cairo.

The counselor, during his speech, referred to Chinese projects in Egypt, especially in the field of infrastructure and energy, including the Chinese trade and industrial zone in northwest the Gulf of Suez.

He said that Egypt adopted the Chinese Yuan in the basket of currencies of Egypt's Central Bank, noting that developing trade relations between both countries has become highly important in order to form strategic partnership.

He lauded stability and economic prosperity in Egypt due to the measures of the economic reform program, which reflected on the increasing Egyptian exports to China.

He pointed out that China seeks to solve the problem of lack of information regarding the specifications and conditions of exported Chinese goods to Egypt, which face the Egyptian businessmen, pledging to solve all obstacles. ]]>
12/11/2017 7:30:24 PM
<![CDATA[“In the Garden” mime performance staged at WANAS Center]]>
“In the Garden” is a satirical mime show that reflects the feelings of loneliness from a comedic perspective, combining joy with tears. It was performed once before and received high praise from the audience.

Mustafa Huzayen, Egyptian actor, director and mime performer, has received many awards in different theater and mime festivals in Cairo, such as El Sawy Cultural Wheel Mime Festival.

He founded his own mime company, "Mime Features", and produced many mime performances staged all over Europe and Egypt.

Mime and pantomime, or silent acting, is based on the movement of the body and signs that the actor performs on stage. It includes numerous forms that vary. In India, mime is combined with music and dance.

The inspiration behind mime comes from reality, tackling universal issues in fictional plots. In the postmodern era, mime was presented through masks, black and white face painting, or clothing, inspiring a number of mime crews to promote their stage names, such as “Oreo”, “The Story of the Mask” and “Gray Team”.]]>
12/11/2017 7:27:21 PM
<![CDATA[New York suspect had no criminal record in Bangladesh]]>
Inspector General of Police A K M Shahidul Hoque said the information was based on the man's passport number.

The man was from the southeastern Bangladeshi district of Chittagong, Haque said. He last visited Bangladesh on Sept. 8.

Ullah, who had a homemade bomb strapped to his body, set off an explosion at a New York commuter hub during rush hour, injuring himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack.

He had burns and lacerations while three other people, including a police officer, had minor injuries.]]>
12/11/2017 7:24:44 PM
<![CDATA[Netflix-Egypt December programs revealed]]>
“Bright”

American fantasy crime film “Bright” is listed on the top of the Netflix Original Film category. It is directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. The film revolves around the cooperation between a police officer from Earth and Orc Cop, who investigate crimes in the world of human and mythical creatures. Starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, the film will be released on December 22.

“The Crown” Season II

In the Netflix Original Series category, the second season of the long awaited “The Crown” is back to screens on December 8.


Composed and written by Peter Morgan, “The Crown” is a biographical drama television series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The second season covers the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956 and the Profumo affair, a political scandal in 1963. It is stars Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby and Eileen Atkins.

“Vikings” Season IV

Created by Michael Hirst, “Vikings” is a historical drama television series tackling legendary Norse heroes and other stories taken from the history of the Vikings.

It stars Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clieve Standen and Jessalyn Gilsing. Netflix will continue screening the fourth season of “Vikings” through December.

“You Can’t Fight Christmas”

Celebrating Christmas, Netflix will show various holiday films, including “You Can’t Fight Christmas”, a romantic comedy revolving around the decorator of the Chesterton Hotel lobby Christmas display. She finds herself against the grandson of the hotel owner, who hates Christmas, so she uses all her Christmas charms to win him over.


Having a unique edge in the entertainment industry since 1997, first as a DVD rental company, Netflix continues to successfully grow among internet users as it establishes new trends in “binge-watching” culture. The world’s leading internet entertainment service has become popular in the past few years in the Middle East and has been open in the Egyptian market for over two years now. To expand its viewership, Netflix plans to tailor special shows for Egyptians in 2018.

With over 100 million members across 190 countries, Netflix marks its 20th anniversary as the team explains how the company grew into a massively popular entertainment service provider.

Netflix had been previously accessible only in the U.S. as a licensed service provider 10 years ago and prevailed in its first expansion plan seven years ago. The hit series “House of Cards” was among the “Netflix Originals” that launched three years ago as part of the content made specifically for Netflix. Simultaneously, the company decided to establish a global launch and enter new markets like Egypt.]]>
12/11/2017 7:22:07 PM
<![CDATA[Earthquake hits western Iran, where hundreds died last month]]>
The centre of the quake was near the town of Ezgele, but tremors were also felt in Kermanshah, the largest city in the area.

Iranian state media said the quake was a magnitude 6.0. The U.S. Geological Survey reported it was 5.4. Last month's quake was a magnitude 7.3.

President Hassan Rouhani highlighted his government's efforts in bringing aid and temporary housing to the victims of last month's quake. Hardline rivals said the government response was not quick enough or adequate.

No reports of deaths or injuries have come in, the governor of Kermanshah province said, according to state media. ]]>
12/11/2017 7:12:26 PM
<![CDATA[Iran withdraws 40 military advisors from Yemen ]]>
They withdrew along a number of UN advisors in order not to draw any attention to the incident, Al Arabiya reported.

This came after Iranian military adviser Hossein Khosravi was killed last week in Yemen.

Earlier, Iranian embassy in Sanaa relocated its staff to Muscat after the embassy was shelled by the forces of the Yemeni General People's Congress. ]]>
12/11/2017 7:04:18 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. embassy in Cairo warns citizens of fake accounts ]]>
The embassy issued its warning after a number of fake accounts on social media published false caution to U.S. citizens in Egypt on potential terrorist threats in particular areas.

The embassy advised U.S. citizens in Egypt to avoid all protests planned on Friday in Cairo and Alexandria in the aftermath of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the historical city as the Jewish state’s capital, on Wednesday.


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12/11/2017 7:02:14 PM
<![CDATA[Strained firefighters brace for second week battling California wildfire]]>
The Thomas Fire ignited a week ago and is burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

"Severe fire weather will continue to promote significant fire growth" into Santa Barbara County and threaten the communities of Montecito and Summerland, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)said in a Monday morning update.

Santa Ana winds and the rugged mountainous terrain have hindered firefighters as they battle the blaze, which has destroyed 981 houses, outbuildings and other structures and left 90,000 homes and businesses without power.

"A lot of these guys (firefighters) have fought a lot of fires in the past few months and are fatigued," said Fire Captain Steve Concialdi, spokesman for the Thomas Fire, on Sunday.

Concialdi said firefighters from 11 Western states are aiding firefighting efforts.

The fire as of Monday morning was 15 percent contained, up from 10 percent on Sunday night. It was at 15 percent contained Saturday. The Thomas Fire grew on Sunday by 56,000 acres in one day and making a run of 7 miles, Concialdi said.

Nearly 6,397 firefighting personnel are working on the blaze, Cal Fire said. The cost of fighting the fire as of Monday morning was more than $38 million, the agency added. It is already the fifth-largest wildfire on record in California.

"Extreme fire behavior will continue to hamper control efforts," Cal Fire said on Monday morning.

At the University of California, Santa Barbara, final exams set for this week have been postponed, Chancellor Henry Yang said in a letter to the campus community.

Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely controlled by the thousands of firefighters on the ground this week.

Both the Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were 95 and 93 percent contained, respectively, by Monday morning, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in the posh Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles was 85 percent contained.

North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was 80 percent contained by Monday morning.

]]>
12/11/2017 6:59:57 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Algeria sign cooperation protocol in pharmaceutical]]>
The protocol was signed by Head of the Egyptian Pharmacist Syndicate Mohie Obeid and Secretary-General of the Algerian institution for business and social investment Ahmed Chana.

Coordination is to be done through the pharmacist syndicates in both countries and the Arab Pharmacists Union.

The protocol included concluding a reciprocity agreement between the two countries, which allows the Egyptian pharmacists to work in Algeria and vise versa.

Also, the protocol includes creating opportunities for Egyptian pharmacists in Algeria through contracts signed by the syndicate]]>
12/11/2017 6:53:17 PM
<![CDATA[Russian-Egyptian flight protocol to be signed this week ]]>
Sokolov added that EgyptAir and Russian Aeroflot flights may resume in February.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he discussed with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi speeding up joint steps to resume direct passenger flights that were halted between both states since 2015 after the crash of a plane carrying Russian passengers in Sinai.

In a joint press conference held in Cairo, Putin added that Russia is ready to resume direct passenger flights to Egypt. He further praised Egypt’s “major steps” taken to upgrade security measures at airports.

He also announced that a protocol is expected to be signed soon between both governments to address the issue of resuming flights.

President Sisi received Putin at Cairo International Airport on Monday.

In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between their countries.
]]>
12/11/2017 6:49:43 PM
<![CDATA[Russia positions itself as Middle East broker ]]>
Trump’s decision, which includes the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, could possibly put the U.S. out of future peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel. Speculations ensued as to who would be a substitute for the U.S. as the main power player in the region.

Trump showed no sign of backtracking his decision, leaving the region enraged and thousands of Arabs protesting across the world.

The gap presumably left by the U.S. after a short-lived thaw with regional powers is now seeing Russia eager to fill the position of Middle East peace broker. On December 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his deep concerns over Washington’s decision on Jerusalem, showing great interest in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Putin visited Cairo on Monday as part of a regional tour that included Syria and Turkey. During the visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he discussed with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi speeding up joint steps needed to resume direct passenger flights that have halted between both states since 2015.

Egypt is looking forward to increasing Russian investment in Egypt, especially in the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), Sisi said Monday.

During a conference with Putin, Sisi signed the initial agreement to start working on the Dabaa nuclear power plant.

Putin told the Egyptian president that he would also update him on Russia’s agreements with the leaderships in Turkey and Iran regarding the next steps of the political settlement in Syria.

“Everyone now looks at Moscow as the key arbiter that needs to be consulted on every major issue in the Middle East,” Ilan Goldenberg, chief of staff to the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under former President Barak Obama, told VICE News.

Political expert Abdullah El Sinawy told Egypt Today that Russia exploits the mistakes of other countries to further its relations in the Middle East for its strategic interests, as Trump’s decision would harm its interests as well as the interests of European countries.

Russia has dramatically raised its profile in the region since launching a military operation in 2015 that supported Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in the face of rebel forces and its attempts to help find a political settlement for Syria’s long-running civil war.

These efforts are now led by Russia in partnership with Iran and Turkey, organizing local cease-fires and creating “de-escalation zones” to reduce the violence in Syria.

Russia also announced in November plans to host Syrian groups and government representatives for political talks on November 18, just 10 days before a new round of U.N.-sponsored talks are to start in Geneva. Putin has courted closer ties with Egypt and NATO-member Turkey, as well as other countries in the region, in the recent years.

Besides backing different sides in the Syria war, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Ankara in September. They said they wanted to see progress on the TurkStream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant being built in Turkey in collaboration with Russia.

Russia and Egypt have had warm relations. In September, Moscow and Cairo drafted an agreement to allow each country's military to use the other's air bases.

In addition, Moscow has stood by Tehran while Trump has refused to re-certify the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Across the Gulf states, King Salman of Saudi Arabia visited Moscow in October and signed multibillion-dollar energy deals with Russia.]]>
12/11/2017 6:45:21 PM
<![CDATA[Japan to establish anti-terror center next summer]]>
The center will include officials from 11 government entities, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police Agency. The officials will share information received by each entity in its work to analyze evidence of possible attacks in order to thwart them in advance.

The center will be set up according to a set of anti-terrorism guidelines approved by the government task force headed by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Suga also said in a press conference that the government will unite to push forward these measures.

The center will also work to prevent terrorists from planning any terrorist attacks by eliminating illegal private housing and urging internet cafe operators to verify the identities of people who frequent these cafes, as well as inspecting airports periodically.
]]>
12/11/2017 6:43:23 PM
<![CDATA[Shalatin dam to protect Egypt from flooding danger: Ministry]]>
The capacity of the 12-meter-heigh dam will store seven billion cubic meters of water. It will soon begin to collect rainwater, as studies regarding its viability have recently finished.

The studies were conducted jointly by the groundwater sector at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and the Water Resources Research Institute.

On Saturday, the sector’s head, Sameh Sakr, announced that the dam would be the largest in the Eastern Desert and that the project will be executed by the National Company for General Contraction affiliated with the National Service Authority, in accordance with protocols signed between the ministry and the company to execute projects in the Red Sea governorate.

Sakr added that the dam would help development in the surrounding area and that all dams built by the ministry do not affect the ecosystem or block the roads leading up the valleys.

Egypt’s 94-million person population depends on Nile water, but it now faces a water shortage, as was announced by Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati in 2015. Egypt’s average water resources per capita have dropped to 663 cubic meters per year and are expected to plummet to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2014. Meanwhile, the international benchmark is 1,000 cubic meters annually per capita.]]>
12/11/2017 6:39:03 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanon calls for cutting ties with US over Jerusalem ]]>
Samad asserted that power is needed to protect rights, adding that Israel is the enemy of all Arab nations. He called on all Arab and Islamic states to cut diplomatic ties with the U.S. and boycott all American products.

Dozens of Lebanese took to the streets on Sunday to protest American President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters near the U.S. embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during the demonstration, TV footage showed.

Protesters, some of them waving the Palestinian flag, set fires in the street and threw projectiles toward security forces, who barricaded the main road leading to the U.S. embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut.

During an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil stated that Arab nations must impose economic sanctions against the U.S. so as to prevent Washington from moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem.

"Pre-emptive measures must be taken against the decision […] beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions," said Bassil during the Saturday meeting of foreign ministers at the Arab League in Cairo, according to Reuters.

Basil's speech received blessing of all Arab delegations and journalists who attended the urgent summit in Cairo, as he affirmed that “I call you all for an Arab-Arab reconciliation for the salvation for the Arab nation and restoration of its dignity.”

“Let's call for an urgent Arab summit with the title of Jerusalem,” Basil said.

Arab foreign ministers unanimously rejected the U.S. decision during the emergency meeting, considering it invalid and in violation of international laws and U.N. Security Council resolutions.

They stressed their belief that the decision is illegal, as it undermines the peace process, deepens tensions and elicits anger.

They called on the U.S. to cancel its decision and work with the international community to oblige Israel to end its occupation of Palestine through a peaceful solution that guarantees the establishment of a state with Jerusalem as its capital.

They urged the Security Council to issue a resolution confirming that the U.S. decision contradicts internationally legitimate resolutions.

On this regard, Arab foreign ministers agreed to convene an emergency Arab summit in Jordan and also agreed to maintain the Council of the Arab League in permanent session in order to evaluate the situation and to agree on future steps.

They called for upholding the relevant Security Council resolutions that reject any shift in the current legal status of Jerusalem.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that U.S. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital cast a shadow over the peace process in Palestine, describing the decision as a regrettable shift in American policy.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari called on taking unconventional decisions and not just data, as this decision will lead to tensions in the region and religious conflict.

Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman El Safdy said that peace will not be achieved between Israel and Palestine without Jerusalem, declaring Jordan's rejection of the U.S. decision.

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that unilateral measures are null and void.

Saudi Arabia expressed its total rejection of the U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia has warned that any U.S. declaration on Jerusalem would have a negative impact on peace negotiations, undermine the efforts already exerted and provoke Palestinians.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki expressed his regret for the U.S. policy, as there is no peace without Palestine and no Palestine without Jerusalem.
]]>
12/11/2017 6:38:31 PM
<![CDATA[Russian tourism return and promoting bilateral relations]]>
With the historical visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Egypt on Monday, many workers in the tourism sector expect a major breakthrough in returning Russian aviation and tourists to Egypt as soon as possible.

The return of Russian tourism is a priority on Sisi's agenda with Putin, as it represents a strong boost to the Egyptian-Russian cooperation. Several experts expected a tourism protocol to be signed on Monday’s visit.

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Photo: 1: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2017 - REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

The tourism issue, which is considered an issue of security, not politics, would show how Egypt is capable of attracting more Russian investment in the coming period.

The two most important issues to be discussed in this visit are the return of Russian tourism and the Dabaa nuclear power plant, stated Sherif Gad, director of the Russian Cultural Center, to Akhbar Al-Youm.

The bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia need to extend the communication bridge, particularly after an era of cold relations, added Gad.

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Photo: 2 : President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, December 11, 2017 – Press Photo

Russian aviation and tourism were suspended after a Russian airplane was downed in Sinai on October 31, 2015, followed by measures and actions relevant to security requested by the Russian delegations for resuming flights between the two countries.

Egyptian airports are now equipped with the latest security mechanisms, including x-ray scanning devices and storage of footage from security cameras, as well as a fingerprint verification system for airport employees to control their entry and exit and to check the identity of individuals going beyond the customs section and the airstrips.

Russian inspection committees inspected Egyptian airports in the hopes of resuming direct flights as soon as possible, announcing that Egypt has become ready for the resumption of Russian flights.

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Photo: 3: Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, 11 December 2017- Photo screenshot from OnLive

The most significant developments that President Sisi will discuss with his Russian counterpart are the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the death of former Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh by Iran-backed Houthi militias.

Sisi and Putin will discuss issues of common interest and tackle means of boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various fields, most notably the commercial, military and transportation fields.

Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which is located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker previously told Egypt Today.

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Photo: 4: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in China - Press photo

A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon.

In February 2015, the Russian President visited Egypt and attended the signing of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.]]>
12/11/2017 6:35:52 PM
<![CDATA[Data shows Egypt on right track after year of Pound flotation]]>
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued an official statement on Sunday that included the dropping of urban consumer price inflation to 26% in November, down from 30.8% a year ago, and annual core inflation to 25.54% in November, down from 30.53% in October. On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 1.3% in November from 0.7% a month earlier.

More good news from the CBE is that Egypt’s balance of payments recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion during the first quarter (Q1) of 2017/18, an improvement from a surplus of $1.9 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

This came on the back of a significant improvement in Egypt’s current account deficit, which narrowed 65.7% to $1.6 billion in Q1 2017/18 from a deficit of $4.8 billion during the same period a year earlier.

Egypt’s trade deficit declined 5.0% to $8.9 billion for the quarter, down from $9.4 billion in Q1 2016/17. This largely came on the back of an 11.0% increase in merchandise exports to $5.8 billion from $5.3 billion in the same period last year. Egypt’s oil exports grew 16.8% to $1.8 billion in Q1 2017/18 from $1.5 billion a year earlier.

Non-oil exports rose 8.6% to $4.1 billion in the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year, up from $3.7 billion in the same period a year ago.

Merchandise imports were basically flat, rising just 0.7% to $ 14.8 billion.

Scoring another big win for tourism, tourism receipts for the quarter grew to $2.7 billion, up from $758 million in Q1 2016/17, in another sign of how far the sector has come in one year.

Remittances are soaring, improving nearly 40% to $6.0 billion from $4.3 billion last year, also thanks to a cheaper local currency.

Net FDI fell slightly to $1.6 billion in Q1 2017/18 from $1.9 billion in the same period last year despite an 84.2% rise in investment in the oil industry, CBE data showed.

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said that foreign investment in Egyptian securities hit $19 billion as of December 6 since the flotation of the Egyptian pound, Reuters reports. Foreign portfolio investment rose to $7.5 billion in the CBE’s reporting period, thanks mainly to increased foreign holdings in Egyptian treasuries, which stood at $7.4 billion at the end of the period.

Suez Canal revenues also continued to be among the weak links, growing a marginal $82 million to $1.4 billion in Q1 2017/18.

Also set to help the balance of payments, the Petroleum Ministry will begin test production from the Zohr natural gas field “in the coming few days,” according to a ministry statement picked up by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported on Sunday that the fall inflation rate offers the latest evidence that the economy is rebounding 12 months after the currency flotation.

“Egypt's inflation falls to lowest this year,” Reuters said on Sunday. ]]>
12/11/2017 6:32:52 PM
<![CDATA[Kuwait, US discuss military cooperation]]>
During the meeting, Khadher hailed the depth of relations binding the two countries, Kuwaiti Defense Ministry said.

The meeting tackled key topics of mutual concern, especially the military ones. ]]>
12/11/2017 6:14:28 PM
<![CDATA[China fails to stop U.N. meeting on N.Korea]]>
For the fourth time, China unsuccessfully tried to stop the public meeting by calling a procedural vote. A minimum of nine votes are needed to win such a vote and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes.

Ten members voted in favor of holding the meeting, China, Russia and Bolivia voted against and Egypt and Ethiopia abstained.

"Council members and relevant parties should engage themselves with finding ways to ease tensions on the Peninsula. They should avoid mutual provocation and words or actions that might further escalate the situation," China's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Wu Haitao told the council before the vote.

"(The) council's discussion of the human rights issue in the DPRK (North Korea) runs counter to the above objective and is counter productive," he said.

A landmark 2014 U.N. report on North Korean human rights concluded that North Korean security chiefs - and possibly leader Kim Jong Un himself - should face justice for overseeing a state-controlled system of Nazi-style atrocities.

Last year, the United States angered North Korea by blacklisting its leader Kim for human rights abuses.

"We continue to think there's a separation between peace and security and human rights and there's not," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council. "Prevention also includes human rights and being able to call out countries when they do abuses like this."

North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation. Pyongyang has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missiles and nuclear programs.

The Security Council is due to hold a ministerial meeting on North Korea's nuclear and missiles programs on Friday.

]]>
12/11/2017 5:58:24 PM
<![CDATA[Putin leaves Cairo after a successful summit with Sisi]]>
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi discussed with Putin ways of boosting bilateral relations in various domains, particularly the political, trade, economic and energy ones as well as a number of regional issues of common interest.

Both presidents agreed on strengthening the exchange of information between both countries on anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing instable spots to other countries. Sisi also highlighted that it is crucial for countries to inhibit the passage of terrorists through their territories, as well as reporting any relevant information to other countries and entitled international organizations.]]>
12/11/2017 5:39:42 PM
<![CDATA[We discussed regional matters affecting both countries: Sisi]]>
President Sisi said on Monday in a joint press conference during Russian President Validimir Putin’s visit to Cairo that they discussed the recent decision by the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and its repercussions on the region. Both leaders agreed on the necessity of adhering to the United Nations (UN) resolutions on Jerusalem’s status.

The president praised the Russian role in attempts to resolve the Palestinian cause throughout the past decades, whether unilaterally or within the international quartet on the Middle East, which is comprised of the U.N., the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Talks also included the potential political settlements in Syria and Libya. Both leaders agreed on increasing the de-confliction spots which would support the negotiations led by the U.S. delegate to Syria.

As for Libya, Egypt calls for the international community to unify in order to avoid of any security or political gaps. Egypt would also continue its efforts to unify the Libyan military institution, which was appraised by all Libyan parties. The latest applause was from Fayez El Sarag, chairman of the Presidential Council in Libya, during his meeting with President Sisi on Sunday.

Both presidents agreed on strengthening the exchange of information between both countries on anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing instable spots to other countries. Sisi also highlighted that it is crucial for countries to inhibit the passage of terrorists through their territories, as well as reporting any relevant information to other countries and entitled international organizations.
]]>
12/11/2017 5:34:36 PM
<![CDATA[Russian media celebrate front page headline of Youm7]]>
The headline read, “Mr. President, when will Russian tourism to Egypt resume?” preceded by a welcome statement.

The Russian Information Agency (RIA) Novosti reported that Youm7 allocated a whole page for the visit, focusing on the cooperation in the field of energy and the Dabaa nuclear power plant, which is the biggest bilateral project between Egypt and Russia.

In his second official visit to Egypt since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi assumed power in 2014, Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between both countries and witness the signing of Dabaa Station contracts between Rosatom and the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which is located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker told Egypt Today.

A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon.

In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signing of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow. ]]>
12/11/2017 4:54:31 PM
<![CDATA[What changed in Egyptian economy since Putin's 2015 visit]]>

Since Putin's last visit, the Egyptian economic strategy has shown optimistic signs of improvement. Russian president who is always in search of a strong ally in the Middle Eastern, Egypt’s recent economic reforms are hopefuly sending a positive message.

In the lines below, Egypt Today sheds light on the positive economic steps adopted by the country since 2015.

2015

President Sisi launched the Egyptian Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh which attracted more than 1,700 investors, government officials and consultancy experts.

Minister of Electricity signed four memorandums worth $10 billion with Siemens AG to establish a 4.4 gigawatt power plant in Beni Suef and a wind farm over a two year time period.

Egypt unveiled plans to build a new administrative capital on the outskirts of Cairo at the cost of $45 billion.

BP announced discovery of the “Atoll-1” deepwater exploration well – Egypt’s deepest gas well – in the North Damietta Offshore Concession in the East Nile Delta. The estimated potential of the concession exceeds 5 trillion cubic feet.

Egypt has officially become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), along with 57 other countries. By becoming a founding member, Egypt will receive concessional loans and investments in the infrastructure development field.

Egypt signs agreement with Siemens AG to build gas and wind power plants valued at €8 billion ($9 billion), which are estimated to boost Egypt’s power production. Siemens AG will deliver three ready to use gas steam power plants with a capacity of 4.8 gigawatts each.

President Sisi inaugurated the new Suez Canal – an extension of the old canal – in a large ceremony attended by European, African and Arab leaders. The $8 billion project was completed in just one year instead of three on Sisi’s orders. Government economists say the new waterway will increase traffic and boost revenues from the Suez Canal from $5.3 billion annually in 2015 to $13.2 billion by 2023.

Sisi launched a development project in the East Port Said region which aims to transform the Suez Canal from a navigational corridor to an integrated development and industrial zone.

Italy’s Eni announced its Zohr gas field, located about 120 miles off the coast of Egypt, could hold as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas, marking the largest discovery in the history of both Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

President Sisi and his Russian counterpart witnessed the signing of an agreement between Egypt's Nuclear Power Plants Authority and Russia's state nuclear company Rosatom to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt (Dabaa), with Moscow extending a loan to Cairo to cover the cost of construction.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a $1.5 billion loan for Egypt to be paid over three years. In addition, the World Bank board of directors also approved a $3 billion budgetary support loan for Egypt over a three-year period.

2016

Egypt and China signed 21 deals including a $1 billion financing agreement with Egypt's central bank (CBE) and a $700 million loan deal with the state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE). Both countries agreed to expand cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Egypt participated for the first time in the G20 Sherpa Meeting held in Beijing, to prepare for the G20 summit in Hangzhou.

General Motors resumed operations in Egypt after temporarily halting activities due to its inability to source dollars amid Egypt’s currency crisis.

Sisi outlined Egypt’s progressive sustainable development strategy, “Egypt’s Vision 2030,” which aims to place Egypt among the world’s top 30 countries in economic and social development.

Egypt signed 21 agreements with Saudi Arabia, including one worth $1.5 billion aimed at financing development of the Sinai Peninsula and an agreement to establish a Saudi-Egyptian investment fund with a capital of 60 billion riyals.

The United Arab Emirates pledged $4 billion to Egypt, with half to be allocated for development projects and half deposited in the country’s CBE to shore up its foreign-currency reserves.

Egypt participated for the first time in the fourth session of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) that focuses on six key areas of science and technology, internet and information, cultural and education, finance, business and tourism and health care.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Egypt became Africa’s largest economy after Nigeria, pushing South Africa into third place, as Egypt’s nominal US dollar GDP expanded by an average of 7.5% over last four years.

The CBE repaid $1 billion to Qatar, the last batch in a $3 billion debt owed to the Gulf country – at an interest rate of 4% – against treasury bonds offered by Egypt to Qatar under the rule of former President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt agreed a $12 billion loan with the IMF in a bid to restore confidence in its economy and tackle severe foreign exchange shortages.

The World Bank provided Egypt with the first $1 billion tranche of a $3 billion loan, as part of its support for the government's economic program.

Royal Dutch Shell announced a new gas discovery in its North Alam El Shawish exploration concession in Egypt’s Western Desert. The BTE-2 discovery’s initial quantities estimated at about 0.5 trillion cubic feet of gas with more possible reserves.

Egypt floated its local currency in a move that reduced its value by almost 50% registering about LE 14 against the dollar (November 2016). As a result, Egypt's main stock index jumped by more than 8%, while the CBE increased interest rates by 3% to reach 14.75%.

The Egyptian government increased prices of fuel, diesel, butane gas and natural gas by up to 47%.

The IMF’s executive board gave the final approval for a three-year $12 billion loan to Egypt.

Eni sold a 30% stake in its giant offshore gas field (Zohr) to Russia's Rosneft for $1.575 billion.

The Egyptian pound exchange rate dramatically dropped against US dollar, scoring about LE 18 at the end of 2016.

2017

Egypt and Belarus sign nine cooperation agreements in Cairo, targeting military, agricultur, cultur and other fields.

Egypt's Finance Minister fixed the customs exchange rate at LE 18.5 per dollar until the end of February, promising to review and adjust the rate each month. The ministry also sold $4 billion of international bonds in three tranches in January.

The CBE announced that Egypt's net foreign currency reserves continue to rise, reaching $26.363 billion at the end of January 2017. Egypt's total imports declined to about $13.93 billion during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2016/2017.

Egypt’s Finance Minister reduced the customs exchange rate to LE 16.5 per dollar in April.

BP announced another gas discovery in the North Damietta Offshore Concession in the East Nile Delta, Egypt. The Qattameya Shallow-1 exploration well has 37 meters of net gas pay in high quality Pliocene sandstones.

Egypt signed a cooperation protocol with World Bank officials to promote anti-corruption measures, develop a system of governance and means of management in Egypt.

Sisi inaugurated the first phase of BP's North Alexandria gas fields that is expected to raise Egypt's natural gas output to 5.1 billion cubic feet per day from about 4.45 billion in May 2017. The new project started production at about 700 million cubic feet per day.

Egypt launched Misr Venture Capital Company with the goal to help halted factories. The company's capital is estimated at LE 150 million.

The CBE received the second tranche worth $1.25 billion from the IMF’s $12 billion loan in July.

Egypt paid $1.5 billion in arrears to international oil companies in May and June. Egypt's arrears to international oil and gas companies are estimated at about $3.5 billion. The CBE said that Egypt has received investments worth $8 billion in the first six months of 2017 from 150 global investment funds.

Egypt launched the China Trade and Investment Exhibition at the Cairo International Fair Ground that was attended by a number of Egyptian and Chinese businessmen as well as officials from both countries. The participant Chinese companies and manufacturers displayed various products such as textile, garments, furniture, home electronics, building materials and cars.

Egypt's net foreign currency reserves reached $36.723 billion at the end of November 2017.]]>
12/11/2017 4:53:13 PM
<![CDATA[Putin informs Sisi on meeting details with Syrian president]]>
Russia Today reported that Putin told the Egyptian president that he would also update him on Russia’s agreements with the leaderships of Turkey and Iran regarding the next steps of the political settlement in Syria.

The Russian president held a sudden meeting with his Syrian counterpart in a military base in Syria prior to his visit to Egypt. "I order the Defense Ministry and the chief of the General Staff to begin the pullout of the Russian military group to permanent locations," Putin told an audience of military personnel Monday, according to TASS.

This visit marks Putin's first trip to Syria and comes as Assad's forces have regained control over most of Syria under Russian air cover. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Sergey Surovikin, commander of the Russian troops in Syria, accompanied Putin during his trip to Syria's coastal province of Latakia.

The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad.

In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing bilateral relations between their countries.

Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which is located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker told Egypt Today.

A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon.

In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow. ]]>
12/11/2017 4:23:04 PM
<![CDATA[Moteab desires to retire in Al-Ahly shirt]]>
Mohamed Abdel Salam, head of Misr Al-Maqassa, confirmed that the coaching staff of his team, led by Emad Soliman, are interested in signing Moteab to benefit from his experience, but the Pharaohs striker was not enthusiastic about the idea of leaving his club, Super Kora reported.

Although Emad Moteab is ignored by Al-Ahly coaching staff, led by Hossam al-Badry, and is absent from the basic lineup of the team, he stressed his desire to continue with Al-Ahly until the end of the current season which may be the last season for him as a player with the club; Moteab wishes to retire wearing Al-Ahly's jersey and to play a different role in the club after retiring.]]>
12/11/2017 4:20:57 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi took wise steps to enhance Egyptian-African ties: Former FM]]>
He underlined that Egypt works on developing its stance and the African role via its soft powers.

This came during his speech at the symposium organized by the Egyptian parliamentary training institute at the Parliament on Monday.

The symposium, entitled "The Egyptian foreign policy towards Africa", was attended by the head of the parliament's African affairs committee el Sayed Feleifel as well as number of MPs.

Orabi refuted that Egypt lost its stance in Africa, adding that the country offers its scientific expertise in various fields to the continent.

The African continent attracts now many countries to do business worth billions of dollars, he asserted, adding that Egypt should intensify efforts of investment in Africa.

Sisi enhanced the Egyptian-African ties via paying visits to a number of African countries and organizing "Africa 2017" forum in Sharm el Sheikh, besides hosting African youths during World Youth Forum.]]>
12/11/2017 4:07:34 PM
<![CDATA[et Guide: Christmas Gifting ]]>

via GIPHY



Dangling earrings are big, and nobody does them more intricately than Azza Fahmy. Reem Jano also has a trendy collection of architecturally-inspired pieces, and then, of course, there’s the edgy Jude Benhalim’s collection of rings, necklaces and bracelets.


via GIPHY



Nonetheless, we’ve seen some nicer, more practical trends this past year; from the rise of the sneakers to the glorious comeback of the backpack. A look back at the fashion trend essentials of 2017.


via GIPHY



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12/11/2017 4:06:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s delegation to clarify facts about GERD in Paris ]]>
The conference will discuss the Egyptian vision of the possibility of promoting cooperation between the riparian countries on the Nile basin.

It will also review the current Egyptian efforts to choose diplomatic channels of water diplomacy and dialogue initiatives with the concerned countries during the conference.

“Paris conference is an attempt to emphasize the Egyptian historical, technical, legal and political constants in the Nile water file and clarify the missing facts regarding the issue of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” said Minister of Irrigation Abdel Ati.

Abdel Ati pointed out that the recent tripartite meeting between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) ended in Cairo without consensus over its filling and operation. He stressed that Egypt cannot dispense with the Nile, ruling out the desalination of sea water to fill the gap.

"The only solution is to continue negotiations, as the Nile water represents a national security issue for Egypt,” Abdel Ati added.

Abdel Ati will represent Egypt in the preparatory meetings for the 8th World Water Forum that will be held in the French capital on December 13, 14.]]>
12/11/2017 4:03:31 PM
<![CDATA[Putin: Protocol to be signed soon to address resuming flights ]]>
In a joint press conference held in Cairo, Putin added that Russia is ready to resume direct passenger flights to Egypt. He further praised Egypt’s “major steps” taken to upgrade security measures at airports.

He also announced that a protocol is expected to be signed soon between both governments to address the flight resuming issue.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Cairo International Airport on Monday.

In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between their countries. ]]>
12/11/2017 4:01:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi aims for more Russian investment in SCZone]]>
During a conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is currently visiting Cairo, Sisi witnessed signing of initial agreements to start working on Dabaa nuclear plant.

"Russia is giving huge importance to its economic ties with Egypt," Putin said, noting that the project is expected to amount to $7 billion serving industrial and logistics sectors.

The trade ties relation with Cairo was fruitful in 2017 as bilateral trade exceeded $4 billion, Putin added.
]]>
12/11/2017 3:55:19 PM
<![CDATA[One person in custody, several injured, in New York explosion]]>
Police confirmed one person is in custody but were not yet identifying the device used. Local news channel WABC cited police sources as saying a possible pipe bomb detonated in a passageway below ground at Port Authority.

A police officer near the scene said: “There was an explosion under Port Authority somewhere in the subway. That’s all we’ve got for now.”

Media reported several people were injured, and WPIX television reported, citing sources, that a man with a “possible second device” has been detained in the subway tunnel.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Donald Trump have been briefed on the incident, according to local media and the White House.

“There was a stampede up the stairs to get out,” said Diego Fernandez, one of the commuters at Port Authority. “Everybody was scared and running and shouting.” ]]>
12/11/2017 3:46:01 PM
<![CDATA[Kazakh-Egyptian relationship witnesses huge development]]>
Delivering a speech in the ceremony marking the 26th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, attended by Egyptian officials, Isagaliev exclaimed that Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouli visited the Kazakh capital of Astana to discuss Kazakhstan helping establish Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.

He further explained that Cairo hosted the Egyptian-Kazakh Governmental Joint Committee in March. They agreed on Kazakhstan’s support for Egypt in negotiations for establishing a free trade market between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union.

He noted that Kazakhstan is the second country in terms of tourists visiting Sharm El Sheikh. Kazakh tourist flights to Egypt have reached 38 per month.

The relationship with Egypt has been strengthened recently, especially after Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi paid a two-day visit to Astana on February 26 and 27, 2016.

The two countries have accomplished many things, such as the establishment of political dialogue and the development of trade and economic relations, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

Relations between the two countries date back to 1991, when Egypt became one of the first countries to recognize Kazakhstan after its independence.]]>
12/11/2017 3:40:31 PM
<![CDATA[Timeline: Egypt’s nuclear history]]>
1961– In cooperation with Russia, the Inshas nuclear research facility in Sharqiya governorate, 60 kilometers east of Cairo, was Egypt’s first trial to use atomic energy. It has been used in agriculture and industrial research.

1964 – Egypt intended to have a nuclear reactor and offered an international tender to build it in Sidi Krir, near Alexandria. However, the project stopped due the war with Israel in 1967, as well as the Three Mile Island accident, in which a U.S. reactor suffered a partial nuclear meltdown.

1981 – The notion of possessing a nuclear power plant was revived and Dabaa city was announced – per a presidential decree – as nuclear plant location. Dabaa is located in Marsa Martouh governorate, 183.9 miles from Cairo on the North Coast.

1982 – The government evacuated 500 families from their homes in Dabaa to make way for the plant.

2006 – Former President Hosni Mubarak announced he would revive the Dabaa project, but nothing was changed.

2011 – The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced during its one-year rule following the January 25 Revolution that Dabaa is a “suitable” location and that the government will pay compensation to evacuated residents.

2012 – Former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi promised to meet Dabaa residents’ demands for compensation.

2013 – Former Interim President Adly Mansour promised to revive the Dabaa project.

2014 – In his inauguration, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced the Dabaa plant would be built during his tenure. In November, Sisi agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would cooperate in building the plant.

2015 – Russia and Egypt initialed nuclear cooperation agreements to build the nuclear plant. On Aug. 26, both countries signed contracts to build the first phase of the plant that includes four out of eight reactors. It was scheduled that Dabaa residents would receive their houses in the new Dabaa city, which was built by the armed forces in 2015.

2017 – Egypt’s parliament approved the deal with Russia. The Dabaa Atomic Technical School was built, while a new city for Dabaa residents is being constructed. President Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the ceremony of signing the final contracts of the project.

2022 – The trial operation of the nuclear reactors will be carried out; each reactor will produce 1,200 megawatts.]]>
12/11/2017 3:39:06 PM
<![CDATA[Arab journalists call on more escalation over U.S. decision]]>
The statement called for focusing on Jerusalem as the capital of occupied Palestine and covering all the developments in Palestine on a large scale.

Moayad al-Lami, chairman of the Federation of Arab Journalists, strongly condemned the U.S. president's decision and called on Arab and Muslims to exert more force on tyrants to put an end to their aggression against the Palestinian people.

The federation also condemned the Zionist repression of Palestinian anger and their targeting of Palestinian journalists during the occupation, which has led to many of them being injured, and they called for urgent international protection for the Palestinian people.

The federation called on all Arab journalist unions to organize daily protests and demonstrations until Palestine reaches a fair settlement.

On Wednesday, December 6, Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a televised speech from the White House.

Trump’s decision was met by a barrage of criticism and condemnations from many Arab and world leaders. Protests have since broken out in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and different locations across the Arab world.

At least 31 Palestinians have been wounded in clashes in the Gaza Strip and across the occupied West Bank during protests against the U.S. president’s decision.

Jerusalem is of huge importance to both Israelis and Palestinians. It contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.]]>
12/11/2017 3:37:21 PM
<![CDATA[EGX rallies, market cap gains LE 9.6B ]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 went up 0.09 percent to stand at 14,426 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.99 percent to end at 785.07 points and the broader index EGX100 leveled up 0.79 percent to close at 1,848 points.

Market capitalization hiked LE 9.6 billion as it recorded LE 805.307, up from LE 795.702 billion at the end of transactions Sunday.

As for the nationalities of transactions, foreign individuals and institutions were net sellers at LE 263,000 and LE 65 million respectively, meanwhile, Egyptian and Arab individuals and institutions purchased at LE 32.9 million, LE 7.9 million, LE 16.2 million and LE 8.3 million.

Shares of 100 companies recorded increases, while 55 others saw declines, while, shares of 32 firms remained unchanged.]]>
12/11/2017 3:35:21 PM
<![CDATA[Antiquities minister to inaugurate St. Catherine's' library on Saturday]]>
Director General of Research and Archaeological Studies and Scientific Publications in Lower Egypt and Sinai Abdul Rahim Rayhan told MENA that the library contains six thousand manuscripts, including 2,319 in Greek, 284 in Latin, 600 in Arabic in addition to Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopian, Armenian, English and French manuscripts as well as other religious, historical, geographical and philosophical ones.

The oldest manuscripts date back to the 4th century, Rayhan noted.

He pointed out that mosaic of the Transfiguration depicts the Christ's transfiguration and is considered among the oldest and most beautiful mosaics in the East, it dates back to the sixth century.

Christ is portrayed in an oval halo between Moses and Elijah and at the sides three apostles, John, James and Peter, pictured in different poses]]>
12/11/2017 3:34:44 PM
<![CDATA[Breaking: Sisi, Putin kick-start Egypt's Dabaa nuclear plant]]>
"The agreement is reflecting the strength of relations between both countries," Sisi said in a joint conference with Putin.

The nuclear plant is expected to not just cover the country’s energy needs and to produce a surplus which can be exported.

The agreement completes an preliminary agreement signed with Russia in November 2015 to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, along with a $25 billion loan to cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent.

Russian nuclear firm Rosatom will finance and construct four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities.
]]>
12/11/2017 3:32:36 PM
<![CDATA[ICC to report Jordan for failing to arrest Sudan's Bashir]]>
Bashir is wanted by the court for alleged genocide, and Jordan, as a member, is obliged to carry out its arrest warrants.]]>
12/11/2017 3:16:49 PM
<![CDATA[Discover Cairo’s beauty through Everyday Cairo Exhibition ]]>
Founded by Mattias Pruym in 2014, Everyday Cairo Exhibition aims to shed light on different forms of beauty and magic in Cairo’s streets, according to Everyday Cairo official Facebook page, "Everywhere in Egypt has a story."

A wonderful collection of street photographs taken by amateur and professional photographers will be displayed. The photos were taken by Egyptians and foreigners.

There is a number of regular contributors taking part in the exhibition, namely Gehad Hamdy, Heba el-Kholy, Ayman Aref, Mohamed Osam, Ahmed Kamnana, Mohamed Shokry, Asmaa Gamal,, Shaymaa Idris, and Amir Makar.]]>
12/11/2017 3:10:53 PM
<![CDATA[Education min., Finnish amb. discuss enhance joint coop.]]>
In statements on Monday, the minister stressed the importance of exchanging expertise in the field of education as Finland is considered one of the best countries in that domainو especially that the ministry will implement radical change in the educational system.

Developing education in Egypt comes within the framework of the political leadership's directives that considers education as one of its priorities, Shawki underlined.

He further reiterated that the ministry will implement a new education system to be applied during the 2018/2019 academic year.

The new system pays attention to children who will be prepared for the future, he underscored, noting that it will instill sense of belonging to the homeland in the students.

The teachers will be trained so as to be qualified as they are an important aspect in the educational process, the minister affirmed.

For her part, the Finnish diplomat lauded the new reform programs targeting developing education in Egypt, stressing the importance of enhancing joint ties and partnership in the field of education.

She asserted that the Finnish educational system is one of the best in the world, adding that it goes in line with the goals and vision of developing education in Egypt.]]>
12/11/2017 3:07:08 PM
<![CDATA[New York police responding to reports of explosion: police tweet]]>
Some subway train lines there were being evacuated.

The New York fire department said it was responding to an incident at the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan.]]>
12/11/2017 2:58:57 PM
<![CDATA[Using arts and drama to fight violence against women]]>
Several seminars were held in retrospect of the campaign included, “Anti-Violence Against Women,” led by film critic Magda Morris and a number of distinguished guest speakers, as part of the 39th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).

The recent terrorist attack on Al-Arish left a sad note over the seminar. “Nearly two hundred families woke up today without a father, only women playing both roles,” stated Rania Yehia, counselor at the Egyptian Center for Woman's Rights. Despite many cultural institutions suspending their activities in Egypt, in mourning for the victims of Rawdah Mosque, CIFF went ahead with its activities as a way to send a message to the terroist that their cowardly acts will not halt society.

Arts and drama are among the most effective ways to show the detrimental effect of violence against women especially since a significant portion of society is illiterate and visual media is their only source for information and a excellent platform for raising awareness.

“Hundreds of illegal mosques who preach that FGM and marriage of minor girls at the age of nine years old are a strong trigger for societal violence against women of all ages,” said writer Medhat el Adl.

Egyptian actress Youssra explained that drama has been used as a way to fight outdated notions about women for decades. In her series, “El Hessab Yegmaa” (A Full Bill) she showed the continuous struggle women face and how poverty often leads to crime. “The data collected from reality is much worse than we put in drama,” she said.

Actress Elham Shahin said in the seminar that the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 lead to discriminatory opinions that were hammered in the minds of viewers and listeners.

Violence against women is a global phenomenon, Australian Ambassador Neil Hawkins stated that in Australia one woman is killed every week by her partner.

“The seminar is an opportunity to address the issue and increase awareness of the violence against women,” said Jorg Schimmel, Deputy Director of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

The Pyramids, Sphinx and Cairo Tower will be lite with orange lights until December 10th in solidarity with the UN’s strategy of zero tolerance for violence against women.

“Violence against women is shown across ethnicity, socioeconomic levels and geographical location,” Schimmel stated, however cinema and drama have an important role in combating the phenomenon by changing societies views and by simply stating that women have the right to live without violence in their lives.

Nearly 115,000 girls skipped school, 7.8 million women have been victims of violence, according to Yehia who spoke about the economic cost of violence and discrimination against women, adding that health care expenses used by women to recover from violence amount to EGP 2.7 billion alongside legal expenses.

Writer Atef Beshay pointed out that we need a cultural revolution to awaken society in parallel with actually helping women who have experienced violence.

Olfa Salami, counselor at the Ministry of Social Solidarity pointed out the efforts made by the ministry to help violence victims, between campaigns to stop marriage of underage girls, FGM, to the visa card program that supports nearly two million needy families with EGP 450 per month. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:57:49 PM
<![CDATA[ Mohamed Fouad to perform in El-Mansoura]]>
Fouad recently participated in the century concert that took place on December 1 at Cairo Stadium. The concert hosted a group of the most prominent 1980s and 1990s singers.
Besides Fouad, the concert featured Simone, Hassan Abdel Megeed, Hossam Hosny, Hanan, Ehab Tawfik, Alaa Abdel Khalek, among others.

Fouad is a popular Egyptian singer who was born in 1961; he started his singing career in the 1980s. Fouad started to gain fame after he released his first Album titled "Fe el seka" (In the way) in 1983. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:55:36 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Nouran Sugar establishes first integrated sugar factory]]>
Al-Nouran Sugar provides all stages of sugar production from cultivation to manufacturing and then trade.

"The factory's aim is to bridge the gap between the supply and demand in the Egyptian market, which can reach around one million tons annually, in addition to exporting the surplus in the future," Mahmoud said.

Mahmoud stated that the cultivation of sugar beets on large plots of land is considered a promising addition to the sugar market in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East.

The chairman has presented the work of his company at the Africa 2017 Forum, which took place from December 9 to 11 in Sharm El-Sheikh. "Al-Nouran Sugar’s business model can be an example to investors wanting to expand in their fields, and can therefore encourage them to invest more in the promising Egyptian market," Mahmoud said, commenting on his participation.

Egypt produces around 2.4 million tons of sugar annually, while annual consumption averages 3.1 million tons. The gap is filled by private and public imports.

In March, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decided to exempt raw sugar imports from customs tariffs from January 1 to December 31 of this year.

A month later, Egypt’s Trade and Industry Ministry decided to impose a sugar export tariff worth LE 3,000 ($169.2) per ton.

In August, the Ministry of Supply's decision to reduce selling prices of sugar to consumers came as sugar stocks proved to be sufficient to meet domestic needs until January 2018.

The price of subsidized sugar was reduced from LE 10 ($0.57) to LE 9.5 per kilo as in September.]]>
12/11/2017 2:53:51 PM
<![CDATA[Haitham Dabbour: Photocopy is an extremely special experience]]>rative Film at the closing ceremony of the GFF first edition on September 29. Written by talented script- writer Haitham Dabbour and directed by Tamer Ashry, Photocopy stars the veteran Mahmoud He- meida and Shereen Reda alsongside Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash.

Dabbour began his career with short movies and documentaries, with Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad and the Politician being the most famous. The documentary was split into three segments and directors Tamer Ezzat, Ay- ten Amin and Amr Salama each took over one part. “It screened in Egyptian cinemas in 2011 and was the first documentary to be featured commercially for a long time,” Dabbour says, adding “It was well received by the audience” when it premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals.

Dabbour later wrote a number of short movies for the BBC which were all nominated for awards. “One of my favorite short movies that was well re- ceived by all is Fardy (Individually), released in 2013 and starring Khaled El Nabawy. It was the first short movie starring El Nabawy,” Dabbour says, and was screened at the Tangier International Film Festival and BAFTA.

Dabbour then started working on long feature movies like Photocopy, a script that was nominated for the Sawiris Cultural Awards. He explains that he worked a lot on the script to develop it before reach- ing its final version, starting in 2013 and finishing over a year later, in 2014. “Photocopy represents a very special status to me, actually a unique, soft and tender one, not for me only, but for the hero and the heroine as well, the veteran actor Mahmoud Hemei- da and the heartthrob Shereen Reda who each plays a multilayered character,” Dabbour elaborates.

Photocopy tackles issues and problems facing the elderly, topics that are rarely addressed in Egyptian cinema. “The main challenge that faced me while writing such a different movie is to maintain high artistic sides and values, and at the same time remain amusing for the audience so they do not easily get bored,” explains Dabbour, who is proud of the balance he achieved. Carthage International Film Festival and other festivals have contacted the cast to screen Photocopy in their upcoming editions.

“What made me really proud that Photocopy won the best movie award at GFF is that the other competing movies were all high-quality movies, GFF management truly created an amazing mov- ies program. This is exactly what made it a precious award, to win while competing with strong movies,” says Dabbour who has just finished writing a movie script titled Eyar Nary (Cartridge). Shooting began last month with Karim El Shenawy directing. “The most important stage for any script is the develop- ment stage, it is even more vital than the writing stage, the final Photocopy script was the seventh one, and the last version of Eyar Nary that we are now shooting is the ninth,” says Dabbour.

Despite his successes, Dabbour, whose recent Ayesh (He Is Living) won the Sawiris Cultural Award in 2016 for best script, continues to work on devel- oping his talents. “The cinema market nowadays is different, you need to have a movie that not only can compete in the local market and achieve high rev- enues, but is also able to exist in international festi- vals and be appealing to the Egyptian, Arab, English and European audience,” he says. “You need to have a movie that you can communicate with the whole world with, this is the true challenge.”

That’s why Dabbour sees it is very important to discuss the script with artists from different cul- tures, because this will add to the movie. “For exam- ple, the movie storyline revolves around how a young person is strongly attached to his mother, this rela- tion is normal in the Middle Eastern culture, but for the Western one it is a little bit weird, so we must add another line to the script to make it easy for them to understand it, some may view this as a tiny detail, but these tiny details are what truly make great movies]]>
12/11/2017 2:53:27 PM
<![CDATA[Brazilian president says pension vote could be delayed to early 2018]]>
Speaking to journalists in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Temer said he was confident that the bill, seen as crucial to reining in government debt, would pass a lower house vote this year but negotiations will continue even if does not.

"If it's not this year, it will be in the beginning of next year," Temer said, according to a transcript of a news conference.

His remarks struck a more flexible tone than his statements last week, when he said he would not even consider delaying the vote to 2018. Presidential and congressional elections next year, seen as the most wide open in decades, could make it even harder for Temer's administration to pass the unpopular measure.

Temer agreed with lower house leaders last week to vote on the constitutional amendment during the week of Dec. 18, the last before the Christmas recess. Approval in the lower house would send the reform to a final Senate vote.

The reform proposal seeks to increase the age at which Brazilians can retire and collect social security. It would also make pension payouts in Brazil, among the most generous in the world, more modest.]]>
12/11/2017 2:50:25 PM
<![CDATA[Rock band Qarar Ezala to perform in Alexandria ]]>
The band will play many songs from their new album, in addition to revealing many secrets about how the album was made.

The concert is part of the first PerForm Forum that will take place from December 13 to December 21.

The band is introducing alternative rock music with Arabic lyrics. The songs discuss many political and personal issues from the youth’s point of view. Through their music, they aim to replace negative ideas and negative behaviors with better and more progressive ones.

Qarar Ezala performed a few concerts this year at El-Oroba Mall in Tanta and the International Summer Festival at Bibliotheca Alexandria.

Formed in 2012, The trending Egyptian rock band's last concert in Cairo was two years ago at El-Sawy Culture Wheel.

The band consists of Yassen Mahgob on vocals and composition, Mohamed Allam on drums, Ahmed Hamdi on guitar, Mohamed Abdel Qader on guitar, Omar Adel on bass guitar, and Mina Awny on keyboard. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:40:19 PM
<![CDATA[Heavy snow causes travel mayhem in northern Europe]]>
The heaviest snowfall in four years in Britain caused travel mayhem Sunday, while more than 300 flights were cancelled at Germany's busiest airport and a ferry ran aground in the French port of Calais.

Hundreds of air passengers were stranded in Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, as well as Britain, and many took to Twitter to complain.

Some 330 flights were cancelled by 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) after heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures struck the region around Frankfurt, a spokesman for airport operator Fraport told AFP.

The airport – Germany's largest air hub and the home base for major carrier Lufthansa – had been scheduled to handle a total of 1,260 flights over the day.

Duesseldorf airport was also forced to close for four hours during the afternoon, news agency DPA reported.

Meanwhile, trains were delayed, redirected or cancelled across western North Rhine-Westphalia state.

In Britain, Birmingham airport, serving the country's second biggest city, suspended flights for all of Sunday morning, as staff worked to clear the runway in heavy snow.

The airport typically handles around 30,000 passengers and 200 flights a day in December. It diverted 11 flights elsewhere and expected to cancel more than that, a spokeswoman said.

London's Luton Airport closed its runway for two hours before reopening around 1130 GMT to departing aircraft, according to a spokesman.

It had opened to incoming flights by early afternoon.

Like a war zone

One frustrated traveller described the airport as "like a war zone".

Police forces in worst-hit Wales and central England urged motorists not to travel unless "absolutely necessary" as they dealt with surging calls.

A spokesman for the Highways England agency said there had been road incidents "all over the place".

The flurries continued to fall into the afternoon, threatening to block roads.

Swathes of Britain were hit by the snowfall, particularly in central and western regions, according to the official weather service.

Sennybridge, in Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, topped the records with 30 centimetres (12 inches), while Coleshill, close to Birmingham, received 10 cm, it reported.

Meanwhile, light snow and sleet fell through the morning in London, leaving Northolt, on the outskirts of the capital, with a covering of 2 cm, the Met Office said.

"We've gone through the worst of it," said spokesman Oli Claydon in the early afternoon.

Most areas impacted would have a "bright, sunny start to Monday," he added.

Claydon said the last time Britain saw this much heavy snow nationwide was March 2013, and during the winter of 2010.

Ferry aground

In France, a ferry with more than 300 people on board ran aground in high winds in Calais, interrupting traffic in one of Europe's busiest passenger ports but causing no injuries.

Having been stranded for several hours, the P&O vessel was secured and passengers were finally able to disembark after they were given food and drinks.

The ferry, The Pride of Kent, ran aground around noon after it hit a gangway while making to leave for Dover in southeast England.

Five tug boats were used in the operation to free the vessel, as winds gusting at up to 110 kilometres (70 miles) per hour made the task difficult.

Elsewhere in France, 32 departments were placed on orange alert with winds of more than 100 kilometres forecast in some areas.

In the northern Pas-de-Calais and Nord regions, some 20,000 homes were without electricity due to gale-force winds, power provider Enedis said.

Heavy rain also led to the closure of two airports on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, including the one serving the capital Ajaccio.

Heavy winds lashed northern Portugal. A 45-year-old woman died when a tree landed on her car near the city of Porto, Luis Belo Costa from the national civil protection agency said.

The weather service forecast winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour in the area until Monday morning.]]>
12/11/2017 2:37:53 PM
<![CDATA[EMS prevents Sherine from singing until Jan 2018]]>
“We should turn this page and be all fully dedicated to support our country culturally and artistically at this current historic stage to achieve the aspirations of the great Egyptian people,” the renowned Egyptian singer and the syndicate Head Hani Shaker stated, commenting on the syndicate's decision.

Sherine was officially banned from singing for insulting her home country during a performance.

The decision was provoked after the singer made an ill-humored joke during one of her recent concerts in Lebanon, where one of the fans asked her to perform “Mashrebtesh Min Nilha” (Have You Taken a Swig From Egypt’s Nile?). Abdel Wahab replied that she would go through Schistosomiasis if she drank it; a phrase which was deemed by some social media users as inappropriate.

“We will continue drinking the Nile’s water and will stop listening to Sherine’s song,” was the name of the hashtag that launched immediately in response to her answer. The Hashtag topped trends in Egypt for the past few hours.

The Health Ministry previously released a statement in which it contended that it has long fought Schistosomiasis and reduced its prevalence to 0.2 percent.

Abdel Wahab, 37-years-old, is consistently hailed as one of the most talented and successful singers of her era, being dubbed as “The Queen of Emotions” for her popular romantic ballads.]]>
12/11/2017 2:27:41 PM
<![CDATA[Rebels kill 15 peacekeepers in Congo]]>
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said he was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths, which come amid rising violence against civilians, the army and U.N. troops in Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern borderlands.

The U.N. chief said the attack constituted a war crime and called on Congolese authorities to investigate and “swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice”.

“I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night’s attack,” Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York. “There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else.”

The United Nations Security Council condemned the attack on Friday and held a moment of silence for the victims.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert wrote on Twitter that the United States was “appalled by the horrific attack”.

U.N. troops were still searching for three peacekeepers who went missing during the more than three-hour firefight that broke out at dusk on Thursday evening, Ian Sinclair, the director of the U.N. Operations and Crisis Centre, said.

U.N. officials said they suspected militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) staged the assault on the base in the town of Semuliki in North Kivu’s Beni territory.

The ADF is an Islamist rebel group that has been active in the area. Congo’s U.N. mission, MONUSCO, said it was coordinating a joint response with the Congolese army and evacuating wounded from the base.

Five Congolese soldiers were also killed in the raid, MONUSCO said in a statement. Congo’s army said only one of its soldiers was missing, however, while another had been injured, adding that 72 militants had been killed.

‘THEY DON‘T WANT US THERE’

Rival militia groups control parts of mineral-rich eastern Congo nearly a decade and a half after the official end of a 1998-2003 war in which millions of people died, mostly from hunger and disease.

The area has been the scene of repeated massacres and at least 26 people died in an ambush in October.

The government and U.N. mission have blamed almost all the violence on the ADF but U.N. experts and independent analysts say other militia and elements of Congo’s own army have also been involved.

In response to the growing unrest, and in an effort to protect civilians, the U.N.’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Pierre Lacroix said MONUSCO had stepped up its activities in the area.

“They don’t want us there. And I think this attack is a response ... to our increasingly robust posture in that region,” he told reporters.

Thursday’s raid was the third attack on a U.N. base in eastern Congo in recent months.

Increased militia activity in the east and centre of the country has added to insecurity in Congo this year amid political tensions linked to President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down when his mandate expired last December.

An election to replace Kabila, who has ruled Congo since his father’s assassination in 2001, has been repeatedly delayed and is now scheduled for December 2018.

Established in 2010, MONUSCO is the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping mission and had recorded 93 fatalities of military, police and civilian personnel.]]>
12/11/2017 2:26:18 PM
<![CDATA[Jordanian band Autostrad to perform in Cairo after 3 years absence ]]>
Established in 2007, Autostrad produces music resonating from daily life in Jordan. The rock band focuses on romance, patriotism, and socioeconomic struggles in Jordanian society and the Arab region.

The band’s vocalist and bassist Demerjian----- has previously stated in an interview by the UAE-based newspaper The National that they’ll be able to be globally recognized once they have the freedom of expression through their music.


Portraying actual human struggles, the band’s lyrics gained popularity not only among youth in Jordan but also in many Arab regions. Autostrad has participated in Dubai’s Step 2017 conference and took the stage with many other Arab musicians such as the Lebanese Mashrou’ Leila, where they delivered certain messages related to the Arab youth struggles.

Through a tour to the Middle East, Autostorad band succeeded to first reach international stages in 2015 when the Arab British Center invited them to perform in London.
.
Jordan’s prominent underground band has previously led a concert at El Sawy Culture Wheel last Friday, marking their first concert in the country after three years of absence.

]]>
12/11/2017 2:23:16 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandria to introduce audiences to Fernando Perez’s musical world]]>
Perez is a Spanish musician, who play s different genres of music including African Bulgarian, Greek, and Persian The ambitious musician has spent his artistic life roaming the world to learn new genres of music from different countries, according to his official website.

He was inspired first by the culture of each country before producing its popular music and experiencing the spirit of this music. In efforts to apply this concept, he lived for years in exotic places as Egypt , Hawaii, Africa, China, South, Central and North America, Spain, India, , among others.

. Perze has previously performed in Egypt at the Cairo Opera House and has participated in “Alexandria International Festival 2017”, alongside his collaborations with with Egyptian musician Grammy and BBC winner Fathy Salama.

Perez have released 11 CDs and books and has delivered educational productions through online guitar lessons playing different melodies such as classical and flamenco, African, Hawaiian, Kika kKila (steel guitar).
]]>
12/11/2017 2:21:09 PM
<![CDATA[Putin threatens to strongly blow terrorists in Syria ]]>
During his visit to the Hmeymim base in Syria's Latakia for the first time since the launch of the anti-terrorist operation at the request of President Bashar Assad, Putin said that "we will never forget about the deaths and losses sustained in the anti-terror fight both here in Syria and in Russia."

The Russian president underlined that with the help of Russia's military operation, Syria has been preserved as an independent and sovereign state, adding that conditions for the political settlement in Syria under the auspices of the UN have been created and the refugees, that had to flee their homes, may return.

Russia is backing the Syrian government forces in the fight against Daesh terrorist group, and provide them with air cover in the eastern Deir Ezzor where some of Daesh militants are holed up.]]>
12/11/2017 2:17:41 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas: government]]>
"Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years," the culture and information ministry said in a statement, adding that the government will begin licensing cinemas immediately.

Reviving cinemas would represent a paradigm shift in the kingdom, which is promoting entertainment as part of a sweeping reform plan dubbed "Vision 2030", despite opposition from conservatives.

"This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the kingdom," information minister Awwad Alawwad said in the statement.

Hardliners, who see cinemas as a threat to cultural and religious identity, were instrumental in shutting them down in the 1980s.

Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking cleric warned in January of the "depravity" of cinemas, saying they would corrupt morals.

But authorities appear to be shrugging off the threat.

Saudi filmmakers have long argued that a ban on cinemas does not make sense in the age of YouTube.

Saudi films have been making waves abroad, using the internet to circumvent distribution channels and sometimes the stern gaze of state censors.]]>
12/11/2017 2:16:55 PM
<![CDATA[Libya, Italy to set up operations room to tackle migrant smuggling]]>
Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities have begun to block departures under Italian pressure. More than 600,000 have made the journey over the past four years.

The agreement to set up the operations room was announced after a meeting in Tripoli between the head of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Seraj, Libyan Interior Minister Aref Khodja, and his Italian counterpart Marco Minniti.

A statement from Seraj’s office said the centre would consist of “representatives from the coastguard, the illegal migration department, the Libyan attorney general and the intelligence services, along with their Italian counterparts.”

No details were given on the location of the centre and how it would operate. In the past, migrant smugglers have worked with impunity in western Libya, where the GNA has little authority over armed groups that have real power on the ground.

The Italian navy already has a presence in Tripoli port, providing “technical” assistance to Libya’s coastguard, according to Italian and Libyan officials.

The coastguard, which is receiving funding and training from the European Union, has become more assertive in recent months in intercepting migrants and bringing them back to Libya.

Activists have criticised the policy, since migrants often face extreme hardship and abuse in Libya, including forced labour. Migrants who are caught trying to cross to Italy are put in severely overcrowded detention centres authorised by the interior ministry.

The GNA has said it is investigating reports of migrants being auctioned as slaves in Libya, after CNN broadcast footage appearing to show such auctions.

According to Saturday’s statement, Seraj told Minniti that “despite the successes achieved in the migration file, the number of illegal immigrants outside shelters remains large and we need more cooperation, especially in securing the borders of southern Libya through which these migrants flow”.]]>
12/11/2017 2:12:54 PM
<![CDATA[Rocker Homme under fire for kicking photographer]]>
The rock guitarist and vocalist was playing Saturday in Los Angeles at an annual holiday festival of radio station KROQ when video shows him slamming his foot into the face of a photographer in the pit next to the stage.

Chelsea Lauren, who shoots for Shutterstock, an agency that provides stock photos, said she spent the night in the emergency room and Sunday was still suffering a sore neck, a bruise in the eyebrow and nausea.

"Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning," she wrote on Instagram.

She speculated that Homme may have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. She posted another picture in which Homme smiled as blood trickled down his face after he stabbed himself in the forehead on stage.

"I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job," Lauren wrote.

Homme apologized and described the incident as an accident. He said he was a "in a state of being lost in performance" and also kicked equipment.

"I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology," he wrote on Twitter.

His explanation triggered a stream of negative reactions on social media, with some people urging that he face charges.

Homme, 44, known for his rugged, high-powered rock, is a founding member both of Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, although he was not present in Paris when the latter band's concert was attacked as part of a 2015 assault by supporters of the Islamic State group.

Based in the desert of southeastern California, Homme is also a prolific producer and collaborator, notably working with punk legend Iggy Pop on his latest album.]]>
12/11/2017 2:12:28 PM
<![CDATA['Coco,' a charmer from the Land of the Dead, lives on]]>
The colorful film tells the story of Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a young Mexican who longs to become a musician despite his family's unrelenting ban on music. He stumbles into the Land of the Dead, where trickster Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) helps him unravel a surprising family secret.

"Coco" has taken in $135.5 million since its release over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and is already the top-grossing film ever in Mexico. It is one of just four films to lead the North American box office for three weekends in a row this year, according to Variety.com.

But that is expected to change with the much-anticipated release next week of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," predicted to net up to a mammoth $200 million in its opening weekend.

Second on North American screens this weekend was Warner Bros.'s "Justice League," taking in $9.6 million, for a four-week total of $212 million. Its all-star cast features Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, plus Ciaran Hinds as a supervillain.

Third was Lionsgate's feel-good film "Wonder," which netted $8.5 million. The movie, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, tells the story of a determined fifth-grade boy with a facial deformity who must deal with rudeness and bullying by schoolmates.

Shooting up to fourth place was "The Disaster Artist," distributed by A24, a comedy-drama directed by James Franco about the making of 2003 cult movie "The Room," reputedly one of the worst films ever (it made a grand total of $2,000 when first released). Starring Franco, Seth Rogen and Alison Brie, "Disaster" took in $6.4 million for the weekend.

And in fifth was "Thor: Ragnarok," featuring the self-effacing humor of Chris Hemsworth as the powerful Norse god and Cate Blanchett as death goddess Hela. The Disney film netted $6.3 million, bumping up its six-week total to $301 million.

Rounding out the list were:

"Daddy's Home 2" ($6 million)

"Murder on the Orient Express" ($5.1 million)

"The Star" ($3.7 million)

"Lady Bird" ($3.5 million)

"Just Getting Started" ($3.2 million)]]>
12/11/2017 2:10:41 PM
<![CDATA[S. African prosecutors extend Zuma to file arguments over revived graft charges]]>
“They must submit their representation on the 31st of January,” said NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku.

The 783 charges against Zuma relate to a 30 billion rand ($2.20 billion) government arms deal arranged in the late 1990s. They were filed but then dropped by the NPA shortly before he ran for the presidency.]]>
12/11/2017 2:09:15 PM
<![CDATA[Hallyday returns to cherished Caribbean island for burial]]>
The star, who died of lung cancer on Wednesday aged 74, asked to be laid to rest there in a choice that has disappointed some fans and loved ones who would have preferred his grave to be more accessible on the mainland.

The coffin was flown to St Barts on a Boeing 757 with 62 passengers onboard, including his wife Laeticia and their two children who will lead a private burial ceremony on Monday.

Several hundred fans -- some of whom had travelled from mainland France -- gathered outside the funeral home where their musical hero's body was taken on a Caribbean island that was battered by hurricane Irma just two months ago.

One by one they filed past the white, flower-decked coffin to bid good-bye, some posing for photos, others sipping from cans of beer.

Many had dressed in white, a traditional colour of mourning in the Caribbean.

"I used to see him in my store, he was a sweetheart," one mourner from St Barts told AFP. "To see his coffin, it hurts."

Jean Pierre and Chantal, both fans dressed in Johnny t-shirts, took an eight hour flight from Paris to see off their idol in the tropical paradise.

"We understand why he wants to be buried here where things were good with his family," Chantal told AFP. "Even though it cost us, we did not hesitate."

Veteran fan Fred Bouton, 54, added: "I wanted to be with him right to the end because he always gave everything."

- 'So far away' -

Once condemned as the rock 'n' roll "corrupter of youth", Hallyday went on to become a very French cultural icon.

With an untipped Gitanes cigarette often at his lip, he held France entranced for five decades with his spectacular stage shows and equally colourful private life, reinventing himself for each generation.

He was given a state funeral in all but name on Saturday after a death, which prompted an outpouring of emotion for a singer not seen since the passing of Edith Piaf.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Paris to watch his white coffin, escorted by some 700 bikers, travel down the Champs Elysees.

Hallyday's final resting place will be a small sea-side cemetery on a part of St Barts popular with surfers.

Local politician Bruno Magras said Hallyday often talked about his burial wishes.

"He told me several times that he wanted to be buried here, that he didn't want to go to Pere Lachaise," he said, referencing France's most famous cemetery where many of its national and artistic titans are buried.

But many have found it hard to imagine the singer resting so far from his fans.

"It is with a broken heart that I must come to terms with the fact that Johnny will be buried today," his first wife, singer and actress Sylvie Vartan, said in a statement to AFP.

"I'm really sad that Johnny will now be so far away from all of us who love him so much," she added.]]>
12/11/2017 2:08:33 PM
<![CDATA[4 Palestinians killed, 1,632 injured during protests: ministry]]>
Up to 1,327 persons were injured in the West Bank and 305 in Gaza Strip.

According to the statement, the ministry underlined that its teams reported the death of four Palestinians namely Mahmoud el Masry, Maher Attallah, Abdullah el Attal and Mohamed el Safadi.]]>
12/11/2017 2:08:03 PM
<![CDATA[Mansour receives 6th IWC Filmmaker Award at DIFF]]>
“It is my pleasure to again be part of the IWC Filmmakers Award jury; I am always intrigued by the different voices and perspectives of the projects we get to judge,” Blanchett said.

The jury was headed by Blanchett for the third time, the members were Tunisian- Egyptian actress and IWC brand Ambassador Hend Sabri, IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Uma and DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla al-Ali.

Mansour received a grant of $ 100,000 for her project “Miss Camel” and an IWC Da Vinci Automatic 36 with a blue dial (Ref. IW458312) from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer.

“Miss Camel” revolves around Hayla, a blossoming Saudi teen who is exerting immense efforts to escape her arranged marriage and fulfill her ultimate life goal of attending art school outside Saudi Arabia.While scheming to make her way to join Art College in a neighboring Gulf state, she discovers at her cousin’s wedding that she can communicate with animals.

“We at IWC consider filmmaking an integral part of cultural creation and an art form which contemplates a wide range of themes central to humanity. Being storytellers ourselves, we deeply appreciate the creativity, courage and passion that talented filmmakers invest into their work and we are proud to support them with the IWC Filmmaker Award,” Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen said.

“The number and quality of entries that we receive continue to astound us, and this year was no different. We appreciate the vision and creativity of the filmmakers of the region, and through this award, we aim to help them make this vision a reality,” DIFF Chairman and member of the IWC Filmmakers Award jury Abdulhamid Juma added.

Mansour received the award in a ceremony that was held at the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” gala event in the One&Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court during the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

The main theme of the gala ceremony was celebrating the achievements of women in cinema and filmmaking.

The gala ceremony included an emotional dance routine and a breathtaking performance by talented singer Christine Said. The after-party was kicked off by the soulful powerhouse duo from London HanLei.

The IWC “For the Love of Cinema” gala was presented by the famous TV presenters Raya Abi Rached and Wissam Breidy. Among the celebrities attending were IWC brand ambassadors Sonam Kapoor, Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Tuba Büyüküstün, Jessica Kahawaty, French actor Clovis Cornillac, and Egyptian actress Yousra. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:03:43 PM
<![CDATA[May hails new optimism in Brexit talks after deal]]>
May, weakened after losing her Conservatives’ parliamentary majority at a June election, rescued an agreement last week to move the negotiations to unravel more than 40 years of union on to their second phase after easing the concerns of her Northern Irish allies over a border with EU member Ireland.

But the discussion of Britain’s trade relationship with the EU after Brexit contains many pitfalls and could widen differences among her top team of ministers, or cabinet, over how Britain should look after it leaves the bloc.

In a statement to parliament, May will take to task those who doubted that she could move the talks beyond the initial stage of agreeing terms on how much Britain should pay, citizens’ rights and the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

“I have always been clear that this was never going to be an easy process. It has required give and take for the UK and the EU to move forwards together. And that is what we have done,” she will say, according to extracts provided by her office.

”Of course, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

“But there is, I believe, a new sense of optimism now in the talks and I fully hope and expect that we will confirm the arrangements I have set out today in the European Council later this week,” she will say after holding a meeting of her cabinet.

May will head to Brussels on Thursday for a summit meeting at which she expects the leaders of the other 27 EU states to approve an assessment by negotiators that the sides have made “sufficient progress” to move on to phase two.

The deal to launch further talks looked in jeopardy a week ago when May was forced to abandon a choreographed meeting in Brussels intended to seal the deal after her allies in Northern Ireland expressed fears she was proposing a special status for the region -- out of sync with the rest of the United Kingdom.

After days of diplomacy, there was a compromise -- if no overall Brexit deal is secured, Britain will keep “full alignment” with those rules of the EU’s single market that help cooperation between Ireland’s north and south.

But those words have reverberated in both London and Belfast, with Brexit minister David Davis saying they were more “a statement of intent” than a legally binding move.

On Monday, Davis told LBC his words had been taken out of context and denied he was backing away from the commitment, but added there were several ways of securing a frictionless border.

The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May’s Conservative minority government in parliament, has said it is still concerned about how alignment could work without Britain staying in the EU’s single market and customs union.

For some campaigners for Britain to leave the EU, the possibility of having to follow the bloc’s rules meant that they could have Brexit in name only.

But May will say the commitments made in the first round of talks -- which includes a payment of 35-39 billion pounds over many years to meet EU obligations -- were necessary to sever ties with the bloc.

“In doing so we can move on to building the bold new economic and security relationships that can underpin the new deep and special partnership we all want to see,” she will say.

“A partnership between the European Union and a sovereign United Kingdom that has taken control of its borders, money and laws once again.”]]>
12/11/2017 2:03:19 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Libya to cooperate on taxes, customs issues]]>
In a meeting with the Libyan Minister of Finance Osama Hammad, Garhy discussed economic and fiscal cooperation between both countries.

"A joint committee will be formed in January 2018 for that regard," Garhy said in a statement.

Garhy and Hammad tackled the outlook of joint agreements and projects that can be reached in the field of automating the state budget.

Libya's finance minister called on Egypt to facilitate the passing of Libyan citizens' cars moving into the country.

The Ministry of Finance is working to develop the Custom Authority through automating custom services, applying a one-stop shop system, tightening monitoring on custom outlets, raising skills of employees and reviewing the legislative part.

Talks about a new custom law started to heat up in 2015 after the Customs Authority announced that a new act will entail incentives to importers, like an option allowing them to pay tax on production equipment in installments. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:02:10 PM
<![CDATA[Merkel, Social Democrats seek clarity on coalition talks]]>
The conservatives, meeting on Monday to map out their negotiating positions, believe compromises can be reached to renew the “grand coalition” that governed for the past four years.

The two blocs must overcome differences over the future of Europe, pensions, health care and education.

Merkel, whose CDU/CSU alliance last month failed to cut a coalition deal with two smaller parties after an inconclusive national election in September, is due to brief the media at 1 pm (1200 GMT).

Senior conservatives on Saturday rejected the vision for a “United States of Europe” put forward by SPD leader Martin Schulz, weakened after his party posted its worst post-war election result in September.

But Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the conservative premier of the Saarland region, told broadcaster ARD that she hoped some progress could emerge from this week’s talks with the SPD. “Maybe we can take a first big step in this direction this week,” she said.

SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil told ARD his party was open to all possibilities, including a renewed coalition with conservatives or a minority government.

“The ball is now in Mrs. Merkel’s court,” Klingbeil said, adding that the pace of negotiations depended to a large extent on the core demands of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

“The SPD made its positions clear at its party conference. Now we’ll listen to what the CDU leader wants, what the CSU wants, and it will be clear very quickly if further discussions are worth it,” he said.

A poll published on Monday by broadcaster RTL and n-tv showed 71 percent of SPD members welcomed the party’s decision to talk with conservatives about forming a new ruling coalition, while 81 percent wanted the party to conduct tough negotiations.

Klingbeil said his party would seek clear commitments from the CDU to spend more on education and combat childhood poverty before entering coalition talks.

Julia Kloeckner, deputy leader of the CDU, warned the SPD against making exaggerated demands and criticised comments Klingbeil made over the weekend suggesting that talks could stretch as long as May.

“If the SPD thinks we have time forever, that is not our view,” she said.

Monday’s poll showed that 71 percent of German voters favored rapid negotiations on forming a new government.

Kloeckner said it was clear that the two political blocs would have to revisit issues such as integration, digitalization and development of rural areas before agreeing to a new coalition.

“A continuation of the previous grand coalition cannot happen,” she said.]]>
12/11/2017 2:00:07 PM
<![CDATA[Pardew will look to recruit if West Brom keep misfiring up front]]>
West Brom fell to a 1-0 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday to extend their winless streak to 14 league games, during which time they have scored just 12 goals.

"January is not far away and we are going to have to look at that area if we can't increase our goalscoring ratio," Pardew said.

"I've used every offensive player I've got pretty much, and I still haven't found a moment... My teams have always managed to score. Sometimes you could question my defensive record, but my teams have always got goals.

"It's not great and we need to improve on it. We have a difficult Christmas programme but if we can get a couple of wins it may look different."

Former Crystal Palace manager Pardew joined West Brom late last month and is yet to see his side score in two league games in charge.

The loss to Swansea left them level on points with 18th-placed West Ham United but ahead on goal difference.

West Brom face three of the league's top five sides before the end of the year, starting with a trip to fourth-placed Liverpool on Wednesday.]]>
12/11/2017 1:45:25 PM
<![CDATA[Russian military chief criticises U.S., Japan and South Korea drills]]>
Russian Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov, issued his warning in Tokyo as the United States, Japan and South Korea began a two-day exercise to practice tracking missiles amid rising tension over North Korea's weapons programmes.

"Carrying out military training in regions surrounding North Korea will only heighten hysteria and make the situation unstable," Gerasimov said at the beginning of a meeting with Japanese Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera.

This week's exercise by the United States and its two Asian allies, in which they will share information on tracking ballistic missiles, comes just days after large-scale drills by U.S. and South Korean forces that North Korea said made the outbreak of war "an established fact".

North Korea says its weapons programmes are necessary to counter U.S. aggression.

On Nov. 29, North Korea test-fired its latest ballistic missile, which it said was its most advanced yet, capable of reaching the mainland United States.

China has also repeatedly called for the United States and South Korea to stop their exercises, which North Korea sees as preparation for an invasion.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked in Beijing about the latest U.S., South Korean and Japanese drills, said the situation was in a vicious cycle that if followed to a conclusion would not be in anyone's interests.

"All relevant parties should do is still to completely, precisely and fully implement the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions toward North Korea, and do more for regional peace and stability and to get all parties back to the negotiating table. Not the opposite, mutual provocation," Lu said.

'IMPORTANT MEANING'

Gerasimov's visit to Japan is the first by a senior Russian military official in seven years and follows the resumption of "two-plus-two" defence and foreign minister talks in March after Russia annexed Crimea.

Relations between Russia and Japan have been hampered for decades over the ownership of four islands north of Japan's Hokkaido, captured by Soviet forces at the end of World War Two. Japan has declined to sign a formal peace treaty with Russia until the dispute is resolved.

Gerasimov also met Katsutoshi Kawano, the chief of staff of Japan's Self Defence Forces.

China's Defence Ministry said on Monday it had begun a planned joint simulated anti-missile drill with Russia in Beijing, which had "important meaning" for both countries in facing the threat from missiles. It said the exercise was not aimed at any third party.

China and Russia both oppose the development of global anti-missile systems, the ministry added in a statement.

China and Russia both oppose the deployment in South Korea of the advanced U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system.

China in particular fears the system's powerful radar could look deep into its territory, threatening its security.

The United States and South Korea say the system is needed to defend against the threat of North Korean missiles.

It is not clear if this week's exercise by U.S., South Korean and Japanese forces will involve the THAAD system.]]>
12/11/2017 1:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[Construction of Dabaa's 1st unit to start Dec 12]]>
Speaking to Egypt Today, the source said that Russia's state-owned Rosatom Company has received the land plot of the project in November 2015, and that it is keen on delivering the plant on time.

An agreement was finally signed between Cairo and Moscow in November 2015 that allows Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, with Russia extending a $25 billion loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction. The loan will cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent.

Russian nuclear firm Rosatom will finance and construct four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities. ]]>
12/11/2017 1:40:02 PM
<![CDATA[Philippines' Duterte seeks martial law extension for south]]>
In a letter to lawmakers released by his office, Duterte said extending martial law was necessary in the southern region of Mindanao to contain an ongoing rebellion by Islamic State group supporters as well as a rising threat from communist guerrillas.

"I ask the Congress of the Philippines to further extend the proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a period of one year from 01 January 2018," the letter said.

Duterte initially imposed military rule across Mindanao, which covers the southern third of the country and is home to about 20 million people, in May to quell an uprising by IS supporters in Marawi city.

Hundreds of gunmen rampaged through Marawi, the mainly Catholic Philippines' Islamic capital, in what authorities said was part of a campaign to establish a Southeast Asian caliphate for IS.

A US and Chinese-backed military campaign took five months to defeat the militants, with the conflict claiming more than 1,100 lives and leaving large parts of Marawi in ruins.

Although Duterte declared in October that Marawi had been "liberated" and military chiefs said most militant leaders had been killed, authorities have continued to warn that others who escaped are regrouping and recruiting in Mindanao.

The initial period of martial law was limited by the constitution to 60 days. But lawmakers in July endorsed an extension until the end of this year.

Martial law is an extremely sensitive issue in the Philippines, after dictator Ferdinand Marcos used military rule as a key weapon in holding onto power a generation ago.

Duterte, who has praised Marcos, has repeatedly said he may impose martial law across the entire nation.

Rights groups and other critics warn Duterte is destroying democracy in the Philippines with strongman rule and a war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives.

But many Filipinos continue to support Duterte, believing tough tactics are needed to solve deep-rooted problems such as the decades-long conflicts with Islamist militants and communists.

Duterte enjoys overwhelming support in both houses of Congress.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on Duterte's martial law extension request this week, lower house majority leader Rodolfo Farinas told AFP.]]>
12/11/2017 1:38:25 PM
<![CDATA[Team effort vital for Burnley momentum, says Arfield]]>
Robbie Brady picked up a serious knee injury during the defeat at Leicester City this month and is the sixth player to be sidelined for Sean Dyche's side ahead of a packed festive schedule.

Arfield, 29, scored the winner in Burnley's 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday and believes the Clarets have the squad depth and talent to maintain their position at seventh in the table.

"It was important to keep the momentum going and a good day for everybody. Obviously on a personal level, but also on a team level and we just want to keep things going," Arfield told the club's website. (www.burnleyfootballclub.com)

"We train at such an intensity that everybody feels ready as soon as you get the nod and that stands us in good stead going forwards as we look to make this a successful club."

Burnley have collected 28 points from 16 league games and are level on points with sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

"We've managed to get these points on the board so quickly, before the Christmas period, but this is when the games rack up and why you want to be a footballer," Arfield added.

Dyche's side play five league fixtures before the end of the year, starting with at home against 15th-placed Stoke City on Tuesday]]>
12/11/2017 1:35:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Swiss cooperation strategy to be launched Tuesday]]>
In a statement released on Monday, the Swiss Embassy said the Swiss minister's two-day visit to Egypt comes as part of a long-standing Egyptian-Swiss partnership as Switzerland has been financing development projects in Egypt in several fields namely; democratic changes, economic growth, human rights as well as immigration.

The statement noted that such projects are being run and implemented through cooperation with the international cooperation office at the Swiss Embassy in Cairo.

The total budget of the Egyptian-Swiss Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2020 is expected to reach 86 million franc, according to the statement.

The Swiss minister is expected to make a tour of a number of development projects sponsored by her country in Egypt, including the National Center for Blood Transfusion which was established in Cairo through cooperation between the Egyptian and the Swiss sides.

She will also pay a visit to Badr University which received dlrs 10 million finance to upgrade the quality of education offered to Egyptians.

Meanwhile, Swiss Ambassador in Cairo Paul Garnier said his country decided to extend cooperation projects with Egypt for another four years, a matter which proves his country's commitment to Egypt's development vision for 2030.

He also said Egypt is considered the third trade partner for Switzerland in Africa and the fourth in the Middle East and North Africa as the volume of trade exchange hit dlrs 1.3 billion francs in 2016.]]>
12/11/2017 1:26:39 PM
<![CDATA[Putin to Bashar: Russia to pullout military forces from Syria]]>
"I order the Defense Ministry and the chief of the General Staff to begin the pullout of the Russian military group to permanent locations," Putin told an audience of military personnel.

This visit marks Putin's first trip to Syria and comes as Assad's forces have regained control over most of Syria under the Russian air cover. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Commander of the Russian troops in Syria Sergey Surovikin accompanied Putin during his trip to Syria's coastal province of Latakia.

The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad.

Russian President Putin is due to visit two more countries one Monday; Egypt and Turkey.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Putin, who visits Egypt upon an official invitation, at El-Ittihadya Palace in Heliopolis, eastern Cairo.

Sisi and Putin will discuss issues of common interest and tackle means of boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various fields, most notably in the commercial, military and transportation fields.

Both leaders will speak to media outlets in a press conference after their summit, which marks the eighth summit between the two leaders. The first meeting between the two leaders was in February, 2014, when Sisi was still a defense minister.]]>
12/11/2017 1:22:59 PM
<![CDATA[Jerusalem priority on Sisi's agendas with Putin, Abbas]]>
The most significant developments that President Sisi will discuss with his Russian and Palestinian counterparts are the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the death of Yemeni former President Ali Abdallah Saleh by Iran-backed Houthi militias.

Sisi is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Putin, who visits Egypt upon an official invitation, at El-Ittihadya Palace in Heliopolis, eastern Cairo.

Sisi and Putin will discuss issues of common interest and tackle means of boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various fields, most notably commercial, military and transportation fields.

Both leaders will speak to media outlets in a press conference after their summit, which marks the eighth summit between the two leaders. The first meeting between the two leaders took place in February, 2014, when Sisi was still a defense minister.

MRD_1531
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) visit a cafe at the Rosa Khutor resort in Sochi, August 12, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

President Sisi received a historically valuable gift from Russian President Putin during his visit to Russia in August, 2014. The gift is a model of a Pharaonic funerary boat that Ancient Egyptians used to place in the tomb of the deceased as a symbol of the voyage to the afterlife; according to expert analysis the boat dates back to circa 2100 BC.

SMH_0289
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received a model of a Pharaonic funerary boat Ancient Egyptians from Russian President Vladimir Putin- Press Photo

It is worth mentioning that the Jerusalem issue will be on the table of discussion between Sisi and Putin.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which includes the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Another summit between Egyptian President Sisi and Palestinian President Abbas is also scheduled to be held on Monday in Cairo to discuss the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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President Abdel Fattah al Sisi (R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) in Cairo on September 11, 2015- Press Photo

President Sisi made a phone call with Abbas on Sunday, discussing the importance of intensifying the international contacts to show the negative repercussions of Trump’s decision, which contradicts with the international resolutions, according to the Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi.

On Wednesday night, United States’ President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a televised speech from the White House. Trump’s decision was met by a barrage of criticism and condemnations from many Arab and world leaders, while protests took place in Gaza strip, West Bank as well as different parts of the Arab world.

Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank on Friday; Israeli forces fired tear gas on the protesters, killing two Palestinians and injuring more than 300 others. On Saturday, the Israeli airstrikes killed two other Palestinians and injured dozens, raising the injured toll to 1,114 people, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health on Saturday.

Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Pope Tawadros II announced their rejection to meet with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who will visit Egypt on December 20. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his rejection to meet with Pence, although the White House has warned that rejecting Pence’s meeting could have negative consequences.

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President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the Gaza Reconstruction Conference hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Kingdom of Norway on October 12, 2014- Press Photo ]]>
12/11/2017 1:20:48 PM
<![CDATA[Al Azhar reiterates rejection of US Jerusalem decision]]>
Addressing the 4th Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies that kicked off Monday in Abu Dhabi under the theme “Global Peace and the Fear of Islam”, Al Azhar Undersecretary Abbas Shoman reaffirmed his stance on the Arab identity of Jerusalem which he has already announced before in his report on Jerusalem in 2011.

Al Azhar warned the danger of the U.S. insistence on its biased decision.

He stressed that the US move triggers Muslims’ feelings of anger and threatens international security and peace while promotes polarization worldwide.

Shoman said such unfair practices and biased decisions make the peoples lose confidence in the integrity of the international community and reinforce hatred and divisions among them.

He slammed the international community’s reluctance to end the Rohingya crisis in Burma including killings and displacement to which they are subjected.

He also deplored inaction of the international community in fighting the real extremism and terrorism that is hitting several world countries especially Muslim countries.

Shoman called for supporting concerned Arab and international organizations to eliminate such terrorist groups. ]]>
12/11/2017 1:15:50 PM
<![CDATA[Urgent Arab Parl't session over Jerusalem kicks off]]>
The meeting will held upon a request from Arab Parliament Speaker Mishaal bin Fahm al Salami, the session is attended by Arab League Chief Ahmed Abul Gheit along with Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al Malki.

The parliament is set to issue a resolution - at the end of its session - reflecting Arabs views regarding the latest US move that contradicts all international resolution on the historic and legal status of Jerusalem.

In a recent statement, Arab Parliament speaker deemed the US decision a blatant challenge of all international resolutions related to the Palestinian Cause. ]]>
12/11/2017 1:03:58 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi receives Russia's Vladimir Putin ]]>
In his second official visit to Egypt since President Sisi assumed power in 2014, President Putin will discuss ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between their countries.

Sisi and Putin
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has received his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin - photo is a screenshot of T.V. channel


Both leaders will attend the inauguration of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, which located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity, Mohamed Shaker, previously told Egypt Today.

A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

On September 5, Sisi invited Putin to attend the final signing ceremony of the Dabaa plant in Egypt, and Putin announced that he accepted the invitation. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the foundation stone of the Dabaa nuclear power plant will be laid soon.

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


]]>
12/11/2017 12:52:56 PM
<![CDATA[Europe's migrant crisis: the ghosts of Sid]]>
Every morning in the freezing winter cold they head for a closed printing factory, the last stop before the border with the EU.

Under police watch and sometimes harangued by locals, volunteers from western countries give the travellers coffee, apples, eggs and water for a wash.

A generator is installed to charge mobile phones. They also provide tents, shoes, clothes.

Some migrants who camp in the nearby forest, away from the police gaze, have a long walk. Their clothes are muddy, their faces worn.

"I am broken," said a 28-year old Afghan who introduced himself as "Sirg" and spoke of cold Serbian nights in the woods.

"We think tomorrow we will be dead," he said.

He said he had tried more than 60 times to reach Croatia, even making it to Slovenia once. But every time he was intercepted and sent back to Serbia.

According to Andrea Contenta of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), some 5,000 migrants are currently stuck in Serbia, mostly in official reception centres.

Some 500 sleep rough in Sid, others are in Belgrade or the northern town of Sombor.

Their chances of getting out of Serbia are steadily diminishing with borders increasingly better protected.

Time saps their strength, they sometimes get sick -- and money is scarce.

"We try every day. We are tired," says Hamza, 27, from the Algerian town of Biskra, who hopes to go to Belgium.

Croatian police intercepted him and sent him back overnight but he will try again the same day once he has warmed up.

Any means of transport will do. Some migrants hide in trucks, in the chassis of freight trains or on their roof.

Others simply try their luck on foot.

"Hopeless and left without alternative, some of them decide to take enormous risks to continue their journeys regardless of the dangers and hardship of cold winter," Contenta said.

"European measures of deterrence won't stop people," he added.

- Violence and tensions -

"I try and try again," said Ali Amjad, a 24-year-old from Kabul.

He has been in Serbia for almost two years, as has hs friend "Kako," who laughs maniacally and shows signs of psychiatric problems.

Sometimes fights break out between men of different nationalities.

Last week a north-African was stabbed in the heart and evacuated to a hospital in Novi Sad, the capital of Serbia's northern Vojvodina region that borders Croatia and Hungary.

A 21-year old Algerian, who introduced himself as Miki Salem, had his arm in a sling and bandages on his buttocks where he said he was stabbed.

"These were Afghans, it was not a fight, it was an attack for money," he recalled.

"We cannot stay here, this is a shitty life!" the pastry chef, who rules out going home, added.

"We are taking the risk, we are seeking the life," he said.

Once the winter becomes too harsh he will find a shelter in Belgrade then come back in March.

After the fight police apprehended several dozen migrants and sent them to a camp in the southern town of Presevo.

But they will almost certainly return -- shelling out another 150 euros ($175) to Serb smugglers for the trip by car.

For the local population, outbreaks of petty crime have strained relations.

Zoran Petrovic, a breeder from a nearby village, claims that since February numerous animals have gone missing.

"In last three months it has become massive. They come in a group of 10 to 15 and take five animals at once," he said.

Natasa Cvjetkovic, a councillor from the small opposition centrist SDS party, said she believed her community was "sacrificed" because it was small and remote.

"The main goal is to spare the big cities," she complained.]]>
12/11/2017 12:44:14 PM
<![CDATA[Venezuela's Maduro bans opposition parties from presidential vote]]>
That includes the groups of key figures who have led street protests against his rule such as Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez and others, Maduro told reporters after casting his vote in the municipal polls.

"That's what the National Constituent Assembly set out," he said, referring to a controversial Maduro-allied special powers legislature whose legitimacy has been questioned by many in the international community.

"If they don't want elections, what are they doing? What's the alternative? (Civil) war?" the president asked, visibly angry.

While municipal elections were under way across the country, Maduro clearly had his mind on the 2018 presidential race, in which he plans to seek reelection despite an approval rating of around 30 percent.

Crisis-weary voters meanwhile appeared to be staying away in droves from mayoral elections that the opposition is already boycotting.

Maduro said his party won more than 300 of Venezuela's 355 mayoral races. And the president insisted that 9.3 million people voted, which he called a record for a municipal vote.

In terms of politics, the local election stakes might seem low.

Yet a failure in municipal votes could be seen by many a sign the government had lost the support of the massive lower-income base it relies on to stay in power and in charge of the state-led economy.

Luis Emilio Rondon, a member of the electoral board, said that there were some irregularities involving pro-government candidates who are running some polling stations. He did not immediately say where, or address the extent of the issue.

But voting "cannot be restricted, obligatory, or supervised by people with political interests" therein, Rondon told reporters.

Lack of serious challenge

He also said he had received reports that in some polling stations run by the ruling PSUV, officials were making sure that those who have a special social benefits card get out to cast their votes.

He said some of these voters' "Fatherland Card," an electronic card that helps them get scarce food and medicine, were being scanned.

"There has been some confusion on voters' part about whether they have to go to the polls with their regular ID card and the Fatherland Card. This is not needed to vote. You only need your regular national ID," he stressed.

These are the last elections before presidential voting scheduled for late next year, in which Maduro says he will seek another term. Some analysts think they will be moved up to the early months of 2018.

The lack of a serious challenge Sunday to Maduro-aligned candidates led to skepticism in the main cities of Caracas, Maracaibo and San Cristobal.

Maduro's ruling socialist party was aided by the refusal of the three main parties in the opposition coalition Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) to participate, though smaller parties decided to contest the election.

Victor Torres, a chauffeur in Maracaibo, said the election will do nothing to resolve what he considers to be the country's biggest woe: hyperinflation, estimated at 2,000 percent this year.

"The other day I went to buy a banana. In the morning it cost 1,900 bolivares and in the afternoon, 3,000. You can't live this way. I am disappointed with politicians," said Torres.

Yon Goicoechea was contesting the election against the wishes of his party because he says the opposition must "defend" its political space.

Goicoechea, who is running for mayor in a Caracas municipality, said the government "will try to steal the vote, but we will not give it away."

The balloting station where the president himself votes, in a poor area of Caracas called Catia, also looked deserted, an AFP reporter there said.

"Not voting is a mistake. Instead of moving forward, we are going backwards the way crabs do," said Carmen Leon, 78, after casting her ballot in Chacao, which has been home to many opposition leaders.]]>
12/11/2017 12:39:54 PM
<![CDATA[6,000 IS jihadists could return to Africa, AU warns]]>
Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants.

"There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency.

"The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and intense cooperation between African countries," he said.

Tens of thousands of foreign fighters joined the Sunni extremist group after it seized vast swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in 2014.

But the group has suffered a host of losses to both its territory and military capabilities in the last year.

Backed by a US-led coalition, Iraqi forces gradually retook control of all territory lost to the jihadists, declaring on Saturday that the country was now liberated from its control.

In Syria, the group faces western-backed Syrian rebels, jihadist rivals and government forces that are supported by Russia and Iran.

But the losses have sparked fears that IS's remaining foreign fighters may now relocate, bringing their extremist ideology and violence with them.]]>
12/11/2017 12:39:25 PM
<![CDATA[Trade with Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa register $3.1B]]>
The exports of Egypt to these countries recorded $2.1 billion, while imports were $1.1 billion, according to the report.

Egypt's total exports from January and August were $17 billion, compared to $41.8 billion of imports.

Bilateral trade between Egypt and other African countries in 2016 recorded $5.46 billion, $3.25 billion of which is exports, while the remaining amount is imports. In the first half of 2017, bilateral trade between both parties reached $2.43 billion, including $1.66 billion in exports.

The deficit in the trade balance slumped $12.23 billion (37 percent) in the first eight months of 2017, to stand at $20.1 billion compared to $32.4 billion in the same period in 2016.

Non-petroleum exports in that period increased 11 percent to register $15 billion, compared to $13.5 billion from January to August in 2016. Meanwhile, non-petroleum imports declined from $45.5 billion to $35.1 billion in the same period, marking a 23-percent decrease.]]>
12/11/2017 12:35:50 PM
<![CDATA[Trade Minister calls for unified demands of developing countries ]]>
Kabil made the statements during his speech at the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) taking place in Argentina's Buenos Aires.

The minister stressed on the need to have a fair and transparent trade system with sufficient guarantees to benefit free trade between developing and developed countries.

In another statement earlier this week, Kabil said that Egypt and other developing countries, that are net food importers, are not welcoming negotiations on agriculture subsidies they offer, adding that any negotiations should give importing countries the needed flexibility to protect its food security.

Egypt ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement that is expected to double Egypt’s exports to international markets and reduce trade costs in developing countries by 14 percent.

Under the agreement, procedures and regulations of trade flow will be improved. It also obliges all WTO members to ease procedures to increase exports of small businesses and enlarge the involvement of developing counties in global value chains.]]>
12/11/2017 12:34:44 PM
<![CDATA[S. Korea's Moon seeks rapprochement in China visit]]>
Seoul and Washington decided to install the powerful US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system in the South earlier this year to guard against threats from the nuclear-armed North.

Beijing saw it as a threat to its own security and reacted furiously, slapping a string of measures against South Korean businesses and banning group tours to the South, in moves seen as economic retaliation.

China is the South's top trading partner and the diplomatic row took a major toll on many South Korean firms, most notably retail giant Lotte Group, which provided the land to host the powerful US missile system.

Angry boycott campaigns and regulatory crackdowns by Chinese authorities decimated its business in the world's second-largest economy, and it was forced to put its supermarket unit in China up for sale.

But last month the two countries issued identically-worded statements on their mutual desire to improve relations.

It did not state any specifics, but Beijing has demanded that Seoul formally promise not to deploy any more THAAD launchers and not to join any regional US missile defence system.

Nam Gwan-Pyo, a deputy director of the presidential national security office, did not give reporters details of any concrete steps that could be expected from Moon's four-day trip -- his first to China since taking power in May.

But he said it would be a turning point in relations towards a "more mature" relationship, he said, "by recovering bilateral trust and strengthening friendship between the leaders of the two nations".

Ties recently showed some -- albeit limited -- signs of thaw as China's state tourism board approved last month Seoul-bound group tours from some parts of China.

Moon heads to Beijing on Wednesday and will hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping the following day to discuss issues including how to curb the North's nuclear weapons drive, Nam added.

China -- the North's sole diplomatic ally and economic lifeline -- has stepped up sanctions on the North amid pressure from the US and the international community to play a bigger role in taming its regime.

Beijing has backed recent UN sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear and missile tests, including a ban on coal imports, although it repeatedly pushed for talks to defuse the tensions.

It has urged a "double freeze" on both North Korean weapons tests and joint military exercises by Seoul and Washington -- an idea consistently rejected by the US and South Korea.]]>
12/11/2017 12:33:02 PM
<![CDATA[Palestinian leadership unifying stances against Trump's decision]]>
In statements to Al Arabiya Al Hadath news channel on Monday, the Palestinian Authority is holding contacts with Arab, Islamic, international parties to close ranks to support Palestinians' right in establishing an independent state with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The decision raised Arabs' and US allies' hackles.

It also sparked a wave of protests in the Palestinian territories and in various world countries.]]>
12/11/2017 12:30:32 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Cathedral holds mass to mark 1st anniversary of blast ]]>
Families and friends of victims as well as survivors are gathered for the first anniversary of the church bombing.

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Christians gathered at Mass at St. Peter and St. Paul church attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to mark the first anniversary of the the church bombing, Dec.11, 2017-EgyptToday/ Mohamed El Hosary

Police forces have intensified security measures at the church’s gates and prevented the entrance of anybody without an invitation to attend the service.

On December 11, 2016, an explosion hit the small church of St. Peter and St. Paul attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral during the Sunday mass, killing 29 Copts and injuring many others, the majority of which are women and children.

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Christians gathered at Mass at St. Peter and St. Paul church attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to mark the first anniversary of the the church bombing, Dec.11, 2017-EgyptToday/ Mohamed El Hosary

The blast was caused by the 22-year-old terrorist, Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa, who used an explosive belt to blow himself up in the church.

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Christians gathered at Mass at St. Peter and St. Paul church attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to mark the first anniversary of the the church bombing, Dec.11, 2017-EgyptToday/ Mohamed El Hosary

Since then, the Interior Ministry arrested seven terrorists responsible for the accident who were involved in hiding explosive materials and explosive belts, and in promoting Takfiri ideas on the social media.

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Christians gathered at Mass at St. Peter and St. Paul church attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to mark the first anniversary of the the church bombing, Dec.11, 2017-EgyptToday/ Mohamed El Hosary

Since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013, Egypt has faced many terrorist attacks, trying to destabilize Egypt and cause chaos, but Security forces have exerted immense efforts to combat terrorism in Egypt.

Besides the attack on St. Peter and St. Paul church, the first blast took place on a Palm Sunday service on April 9 at St. George's Church in Tanta, killing at least 27 and wounding 78 others due to an explosive device that was planted under a seat in the main prayer hall.

At the same time, a suicide bomber attacked St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria where Pope Tawadros II held the Palm Sunday mass. Two of the Police officers who have been guarding the church stopped a man wearing an explosive belt. Two of those officers, a man and a woman, were killed, along with civilians and other police staff.

Responding to these attacks and trying to uproot terrorism from Egypt, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency after the two deadly bombings that targeted the Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday.

The country also formed a Supreme Council to counter terrorism and extremism.
A month after Tanta and Alexandria’s attacks, another terrorist attack took place on May 26 when three vehicles blocked the way of Christians heading to St Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Maghagha, and opened fire.

In response to that attack, the Egyptian military launched airstrikes against what were said to be militant training facilities in Libya.

The most recent attack on worship places in Egypt is the Al-Rawdah mosque attack. According to eyewitnesses, the 30 terrorists had initially come out riding all-terrain vehicles, which they ditched 150 meters away from the mosque. They then set off a bomb in the vicinity of the mosque, and started opening fire at the worshippers inside and outside the mosque. The attackers gunned down the trapped worshipers in a horrific 20 minute massacre. They also targeted ambulances at the crime scene and set cars nearby ablaze.

A few hours later, the Egyptian Air Forces launched airstrikes, targeting terrorist hideouts in mountain areas near the Arish attack scene. The attacks destroyed a number of pickups used in the attacks and killed the “terrorists” on board, according to an official statement by army spokesman Tamer el-Refaie.

Other “terrorist hotbeds” were also discovered and targeted by the Air Force and forces on the ground in North Sinai, the statement read.

A total of 30 “terrorists” were also killed in a raid on the Risan town of Central Sinai hours earlier, a security source told Sky News Arabia. ]]>
12/11/2017 12:29:12 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian parliament delegation to meet EP members in Strasbourg]]>
The meeting took up the necessity to enlarge the role of parliamentary diplomacy in the international organisations and entities.

They also discussed the agenda of the delegation's visit to the European Parliament along with issues to be tackled during their meeting.]]>
12/11/2017 12:27:24 PM
<![CDATA[Former Chinese leadership contender faces graft probe]]>
Sun Zhengcai, who was once tipped to become a member of the party's top leadership, has had a precipitous fall from grace since he was suddenly removed from office this summer.

He will be investigated for "accepting bribes," according to a brief statement on the website of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

The decision follows Sun's expulsion from the CCP in September after an investigation by the party's disciplinary body found the politician had abused his position by taking bribes and trading power for sex.

The former member of the party's Politburo was also accused of nepotism, sloth and leaking confidential party information and betraying party principles.

Sun had once been tipped for promotion to the Politburo's elite, seven-member standing committee.

At 53, he was the youngest member of the 25-member Politburo and he was even seen in some quarters as General Secretary Xi Jinping's potential successor.

In October, the CCP accused Sun and two others of attempting to rig leadership elections at top party gatherings, potentially threatening Xi's ascension to the party's top spot.

Sun was the first serving member of the Politburo to be placed under investigation since Bo Xilai, also a former Chongqing party chief who was jailed for life in 2013 in the wake of a massive anti-corruption campaign launched by Xi.

His sweeping crusade against official corruption over the last five years has removed several rivals, leading some analysts to liken it to a political purge.]]>
12/11/2017 12:20:19 PM
<![CDATA[US man on the run after escaping notorious Bali prison]]>
The pair made a break from the Indonesian resort island's main prison by cutting a hole in the roof with a hacksaw, authorities said. It was not clear how they obtained the tool.

Police are now scouring the palm-fringed island and handing out pictures of escapee Chrishan Beasley, a 32-year-old arrested in August for carrying five grams of hashish.

Foreigners are regularly arrested for drugs offences on Bali.

Beasley was awaiting a sentencing in his case. It was not immediately clear how much jail time he was facing, but Indonesia has some of the world's toughest drugs laws, with the death penalty available in some trafficking cases.

Beasley's accomplice in the escape, convicted thief Paul Anthony Hoffman, 57, was apprehended before he could make good on the escape.

"Paul was immediately recaptured by the locals who saw him trying to escape while Chrishan, who climbed up before him, managed to run away," Kerobokan chief warden Tonny Nainggolan told AFP.

Hoffman is serving a 20-month sentence for robbing a number of convenience stores at knifepoint.

Kerobokan houses some of the country's most notorious and high-profile inmates, including members of the so-called Bali Nine which plotted to bring heroin into Australia via Bali. Two members of the group have been executed.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions at overcrowded and poorly guarded prisons.

In May, more than 200 inmates staged a mass breakout from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra island, while last year a convicted child murderer escaped from jail by putting on a woman's Muslim veil, make-up and sunglasses and walking out past unsuspecting guards.]]>
12/11/2017 12:11:53 PM
<![CDATA[Christmas Workout]]>
On the contrary, however, if we give ourselves just 20-30 minutes a day, we can take care of our bodies the way they need to be taken care of, and from the comfort of our homes. Simple workouts like the ones below give most of your body the exercise it needs to help it revive and make it feel alive.

They also give you strength to help you dance the night away no matter where it is you are gathering throughout the holiday season. As they always say, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Find an empty wall in your house with nothing around it. Rest your back and neck flat on the wall, descending into a seated position where your legs are on the floor at a 90 degree angle. Hold this po-sition for 45 seconds, then stand up and rest for 15 seconds.

2

If you would like to make it a bit more difficult for yourselves, hold something weighty—it can be a wa-ter bottle or anything else handy around the house—then punch forward and backwards toward your chest with the ob-ject in both hands. This way you can get both an upper and lower body workout.

Plank

Lie down on the floor and raise your-self on your elbows, start at this position and then come up onto both hands then back on both elbows. Make sure your hands are placed directly underneath your shoulders and that your hips are in a straight line with your body as you are moving.

One-leg glute bridges

Lie down on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Lift one leg up straight in front of you with your knees next to each other. Keep that position then begin lifting your hips off the floor, hold in the air for two sec-onds and then come back down again. Re-peat for a total of 10 reps then switch legs.

3

High knees

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then run in place. As you run, bring your knees up as high as you can. If you have space, you can do the high-knee running back and forth; if your space is limited, then you can do this in your place.

Repeat these exercises for 45 sec-onds and then rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the exercise after it. Once you have done each move one time and you have completed them all, repeat four rounds of this workout.]]>
12/11/2017 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian FM: sending Egyptian forces to Yemen is no option ]]>
Shoukry stressed that sending Egyptian Military Forces to Yemen is not an option for the Egyptian Administration.

"The Arab-Qatari crisis remains the same, particularly as the Qatari side has not taken any action to respond to the Arab demands," stated Shoukry when asked about the Qatari crisis, adding that there is an Arab consensus to confront Iran's interference in the region.

When asked whether the peace process would end after U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli's capital, Shoukry explained that the peace process will not end unless Palestine is able to restore its legitimate rights and establish itself as a state.

Commenting on the situation of Ethiop’s Renaissance Dam, Shoukry said "Despite our understanding of Ethiopia's desire for development, there is a sense of trying to impose on an existing situation from the Ethiopian side without paying attention to the legal restrictions.”

“Egypt is ready to accept the technical studies which were entrusted to a global company with an unquestionable reputation, but so far we have not yet given the company the necessary declarations to start its work,” Shoukry added.

"Over the past seven months, the three countries [Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan] have not agreed on the company's approach for conducting the studies, while the dam is being built, and will reach advanced stages before the completion of the study," Shoukry explained.

Talking about the Egyptian relations with Russia, he said, “We have important relations with Russia in terms of exports and imports as well as major national projects.”

When asked whether flights between Moscow and Cairo will resume soon, Shoukry remarked that there is no specific date and there are ongoing technical communications with the Russian Aviation Ministry, adding that Egypt has benefitted from Russia's experiences which helped raise Egyptian capabilities to promote security measures in Egyptian airports.

Regarding the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant deal with Russia, he noted that there are huge developments in many fields related to the national project regarding its design and funding.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Cairo on Monday, the Russian Kremlin stated on Thursday.

A Russian delegation consisting of 35 officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday December 7 to prepare for Putin's visit to the capital, according to security forces at Cairo International Airport.

"On Monday December 4, President Sisi received a telephone call from Putin during which the presidents discussed Egypt’s first under-construction nuclear power plant (NPP) in Dabaa," Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ambassador Bassam Rady, remarked in a statement.

"Both leaders will attend the inauguration of the NPP, located at the Mediterranean city of Dabaa in Marsa Matrouh, by the end of this year," Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker previously told Egypt Today.]]>
12/11/2017 11:46:37 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi orders swiftly finalizing 2nd stage of Zewail city: min.]]>
Abdel Ghaffar said in a statement on Monday, that president sponsors the city and is following up the progress realized so far in the project.

Abdel Ghaffar inspected Zewail University buildings and an exhibition of technological and engineering projects by university students.]]>
12/11/2017 11:41:27 AM
<![CDATA[Singapore drone frees your fingers to take photos]]>
More than 2.8 million consumer drones are expected to be sold this year, up from 2 million last year, says research firm Gartner. Most carry some kind of camera.

SPONSORED

“We want to enable more intuitive and natural interaction with the flying drone to take photos autonomously - even for the novice user who has not used drones before,” said Ziquan Lan, one of four researchers behind the project.Their innovation, called XPose, works in several stages. The user tells the drone to take photographs from different angles of the subject, such as a statue. Next, the shot is composed by moving objects on photos from a sample gallery.

Then the drone finds the best position to take the commissioned photo. No manual piloting of the drone is needed.

The researchers from the National University of Singapore say their prototype, based on a Parrot Bebop quadcopter, relies mainly on a single monocular camera and works reliably even when there is no GPS signal.

Some remotely controlled drones take their cue from global positioning system satellites, or GPS, which requires the drone pilot to know where the image is in respect to the drone, adding another layer of complexity to the process.

But XPose does away with that. The researchers said it had a higher success rate in photo-taking tasks than the usual touchscreen joystick interface.

“Drones will be even smaller (than they are now) so we can carry them around as a smartphone camera, throw it in the air and take photos for us,” Lan said, as he outlined his vision of the future.

But the problem is a thorny one, he said, adding that he and fellow researchers Mohit Shridhar, David Hsu and Shengdong Zhao went through dozens of methods and environments to evolve a working prototype.

Several companies are working to simplify how users take airborne pictures and videos.

A U.S.-based startup, Skydio, which aims for “flying cameras without the complexity”, is working on a drone that follows its operator using onboard cameras to capture a 360-degree view of its environs.

Another firm, Squadrone System, offers an “autonomous flying camera” called HexoPlus for $1,000. A user can program it via a smartphone app with simple instructions, such as “follow” or “hover close”.

For $700, the Mota Group offers the Lily Next-Gen camera drone that flies itself and hovers above the user, taking photos and video. ]]>
12/11/2017 11:17:22 AM
<![CDATA[Gulf may have firm tone, Saudi in uptrend]]>
The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent points to 7,145 on Sunday, bouncing for a second straight day from technical support around 7,000 points in very heavy trade - another positive technical sign.

Exchange data released late on Sunday showed foreign investors turned net buyers of Saudi Arabian shares last week for the first time since the country’s anti-corruption purge was announced early last month. This suggested concern about the impact of the purge on the economy has faded.

Dubai’s stock market may be encouraged by the release of a very expansionary 2018 budget for the emirate; spending is to jump 19.5 percent from the original budget plan for 2017 because of a leap in infrastructure allocations.

Asian stocks are marginally higher with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.2 percent, while Brent oil has inched 24 cents lower to $63.16 a barrel, drifting away from its recent 2-1/2 year peak of $64.65.

Kuwait’s stock exchange has announced a plan to improve liquidity and attract more investment by dividing the market into three: a “first” market for the most liquid stocks, the main market and an “auction” market for the most illiquid stocks. However, it is not clear that the plan will have much impact in changing the dynamics of the bourse. ]]>
12/11/2017 11:11:33 AM
<![CDATA[Mediterranean music project Estabena to perform at Dawar ]]>
Estabena is a multicultural band that performs folk music compositions taken from Mediterranean cultures. The band presents the cultures of Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon and Syria.

Although Estabena is a newly-founded band, they have given many live performances in different venues, such as Dawar, Bab 18 Art Space, Room Art Space and Café and El-Dammah Theater.

Originally borrowed from the Italian language, (estabena) means (we agree) in Egyptian slang.

The band consists of Chakib Ararou on guitar and vocals, Mahmoud Mohamed on violin, George Emad on percussions, and Mohamed Samy Negm on oud, in addition to two vocalists Luisa Russo and Emad Fathy.

Dawar is a cultural venue specialized in theatre and its branches; such as psycho drama, theatrical performances, and drama therapy (using drama to heal). Providing art exhibitions and other cultural events, the place hosts activities that are headed by professional experts, in addition to organizing a number of drama workshops. ]]>
12/11/2017 10:49:43 AM
<![CDATA[Linking road study between Egypt, Chad in process: FECC’s Head ]]>
Wakil added the road will also link Egypt with locked land states in mid Africa, adding that this road and the new shipping lines will support the Suez Canal axis as a logistics center.

He pointed out that African leaders welcome cooperation with Egypt in different fields. They agreed on studying projects which have priorities and means of finance from banks at every country.

FECC will coordinate with concerned ministries in preparation for directing delegations to these countries, he added.

The fields of cooperation include logistics and transportation, in light of FECC’s plan to establish logistics in Africa, infrastructure, electricity (in partnership with the European Union, Japan and China).

The road between Egypt and Chad should cross four African countries, said Alaa Ezz, the secretary general of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, in statements to MENA.

The road is currently unpaved and prevents the exchange of commodities, and should help reduce the price of goods among the African countries through which it will pass, Ezz said, noting that Chad has welcomed the project.

The EU will provide a grant to bankroll feasibility studies of the project, Ezz said, expecting the study to be over by mid 2018.

Egypt also can offer to African Countries its experiences in education and healthcare.
During his speech in second day of Africa 2017 forum, president Sisi said Egypt is offering support to it African counterparts with the objective of achieving integration.

He also noted that Egypt is pursuing support for African initiatives from the African union and regional projects which aim to develop infrastructure and establishing linking roads such as setting up the route between Victoria Lake and the Mediterranean Sea and the Cairo to Cape Town road.]]>
12/11/2017 10:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Uber heads to court in fight for London survival]]>
Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm by rejecting its license renewal bid in September, citing its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Uber’s 40,000 drivers, representing around one in three of all private hire vehicles on the British capital’s roads, can continue to take passengers until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take years.

The legal battle pitches one of the world’s richest cities against a tech giant known for its forays into new markets around the world that have prompted bans, restrictions and protests, including by drivers of London’s famous black cabs.

Uber’s lawyers will begin their appeal at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, in what is expected to be a largely administrative hearing designed to set a date for a fuller hearing next year.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi has apologized to Londoners and met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown in October for what both sides described as constructive talks.

Brown told Reuters in November that “there are some discussions going on to make sure they are compliant.”

Months of legal wrangling are likely unless the Silicon Valley app, valued at around $70 billion with investors including Goldman Sachs (GS.N), can come to a new arrangement with the regulator.

“We continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London in order to resolve this,” an Uber spokesman said ahead of the hearing. “As our new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said, we are determined to make things right.”

Losing its London license was just one of many blows to Uber this year as a stream of executives left amid controversies involving allegations of sexual harassment and issues surrounding data privacy and business practices.

In Britain, Uber is looking to appoint a new boss after Jo Bertram announced her departure less than two weeks after London’s decision.

It also faces potential problems in the northern English city of Sheffield where its license has been suspended and in Brighton, southern England, where local officials extended the firm’s license for only six months to give them more time to consider the outcome of the dispute in London.]]>
12/11/2017 10:22:33 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar edges up ahead of Fed; Bitcoin futures seize the spotlight]]>
U.S. employment data on Friday showed a bigger rise in jobs than expected in November, but the dollar’s gains were capped by disappointing wage data that analysts said could weigh on the pace of interest rate hikes next year.

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Bitcoin was up 1.2 percent at $14,819.05 BTC=BTSP on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

The first bitcoin futures <0#XBT:> began trading at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) on CBOE Global Markets Inc’s CBOE.O CBOE Futures Exchange. The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The most-traded futures contract opened at $15,460, then leapt to a high of $16,660 and last stood at $15,860.The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rival currencies, was steady at 93.885 .DXY.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates at its two-day policy meeting that will end on Wednesday, and is seen as likely to tighten two or three times in 2018. But still-sluggish inflation has clouded the policy outlook.

“There is a consensus that the Fed will hike this week, so what investors are most interested in is any clue as to what it will do next year, and the pace of interest rate increases,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 113.56 yen JPY=, probing levels last touched in mid-November.

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank will also meet this week and are expected to hold rates steady.

The euro inched slightly lower to $1.1770 EUR= but was holding above its nearly three-week low of $1.1730 plumbed on Friday.

Sterling was up 0.1 percent at $1.3390 GBP= but well off Friday's high of $1.3521 hit as after a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations. With the UK economy still facing headwinds, market participants locked in gains.

Britain and the European Union reached an accord on Friday that paves the way for talks on future trade ties, easing immediate pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May and raising investors’ hopes for an orderly Brexit.

May will hail “a new sense of optimism” in Brexit talks on Monday, telling parliament Britain and the European Union should sign off on a deal at a summit this week “to move forwards together” to discuss future trade ties.]]>
12/11/2017 10:16:22 AM
<![CDATA[Oil prices drop on increased U.S. drilling activity]]>
A statement by Kuwait’s oil minister that OPEC and other oil producers will study before June next year the possibility of exiting their global oil supply-cut agreement also weighed on prices, traders said.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $57.14 a barrel at 0418 GMT, down 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $63.15 a barrel.

“The largest concern for investors currently remains the rise in the U.S. rig count, which could potentially jeopardize the OPEC and Russian agreement when they meet for a review in June 2018,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers.

The number of rigs drilling for new oil output in the United States rose by two in the week to Dec.8, to 751, the highest level since September, General Electric Co’s (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

A higher rig count points to a further rise in U.S. crude production C-OUT-T-EIA, which is already up by more than 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.71 million barrels per day (bpd).

That’s the highest level since the early 1970s, and close to levels from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Rising U.S. output threatens to undermine efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to support prices by withholding supplies.

OPEC and its allies started withholding supplies last January and currently plan to continue doing so throughout 2018.

Kuwait’s oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said on Sunday, however, OPEC and other oil producers will study before June possibly ending the global oil supply cuts earlier.]]>
12/11/2017 10:13:38 AM
<![CDATA[Bitcoin futures rocket past $18,000; Asian shares buoyant]]>
The most-traded contract on the Chicago-based CBOE Global Markets exchange XBTc1 opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, before leaping to a high of $18,700 - a gain of 21 percent. They were last quoted at $18,100 a premium of more than$1,700 to the price on Gemini Exchange.

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The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The cryptocurrency has boasted a gravity-defying 15-fold gain since the start of the year, attracting institutional interest and no small amount of question marks.

The acting governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Sunday said bitcoin appeared to be a “classic case” of a bubble.

“With a bubble you never know how far it is going to go before it comes around,” Grant Spencer told a local television program.

Some market participants believe the fallout across other financial assets from a potential bursting of the bubble will be limited.

“Bitcoin’s market capitalization is currently around $240 billion, which is much smaller, say, than the value of gold outstanding,” said Andrew Kenningham, economist at Capital Economics.

“If the price of bitcoin fell to zero today, the paper losses would be equivalent to a 0.6 percent fall in U.S. equity prices. As most investors have bought bitcoin at much lower prices, the relevant losses would arguably be smaller.”

Asian shares were buoyant with every single market but one in the black, following strong U.S payrolls data and better-than-expected Chinese trade figures on Friday.

Spreadbetters pointed to a strong opening for European shares, while U.S. stock futures indicated a firm start for the S&P 500 which is seen up 0.1 percent ESc1.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS added 0.5 percent to 552.38, well above a recent two-month trough of 542.27 points.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 climbed 0.6 percent while Chinese shares rallied, with the blue-chip CSI 300 index .CSI300 up 1.3 percent. Vietnam .VNI was the only Asian index in the red.

RATE RISES?

Currency market investors were cautious ahead of a big week for policy meetings globally, with the Federal Reserve the only major central bank expected to raise interest rates. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are likely to hold rates steady.

The dollar steadied near a one-month top against the yen JPY=, after climbing 1.2 percent last week. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, eased 0.1 percent from close to a three-week high. .DXY

Traders will keep their eyes peeled for the Fed’s future rate projections as U.S. wages growth and inflation crawl at a snail’s pace.

Data out on Friday showed average hourly earnings in the United States nudged up 5 cents or 0.2 percent in November when economists had looked for a 0.3 percent gain.

The weakness persisted despite stronger-than-expected non-farm payrolls, which rose by 228,000 in November.

“We’ll be listening close for any signs of a dovish shift,” said Aerin Williams, New York-based forex strategist for Citi about the Dec. 12-13 Fed meeting.

Elsewhere, oil prices slipped after the latest rise in the U.S rig count pointed to an increase in production there.

U.S. crude CLc1 was down 15 cents at $57.21 a barrel and Brent crude LCOc1 inched 17 cents lower to $63.23, drifting away from a recent 2-1/2 year peak of $64.65.]]>
12/11/2017 10:09:04 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi, gov’t qualified Egypt to attract investment: Georgieva]]>
“What I would like to do is first to recognize how brave President Sisi and the government have been in reforming Egypt so it can be a more attractive place for domestic investment and for foreign direct investments,” Georgieva stated in an interview with TV presenter Sherif Amer on MBC Masr.

Georgieva said that she will discuss with Sisi how the World Bank can help in terms of addressing some of the most serious problems in urban development and environment. She will also discuss how the World Bank can be “helpful in building new cities in Egypt, and making them smart and green.”

Georgieva promised to tackle some of the problems in Egypt that have been undermining the quality of life of people. She will also discuss ways to continue to “support the reforms by focusing on those that are least, at this moment of time, benefiting from the economy here.”

Arriving in Egypt on December 1, Georgieva attended the Africa 2017 Forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh, in the presence of Sisi. On Saturday December 9, Georgieva and the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly visited several projects in Luxor.]]>
12/11/2017 10:01:13 AM
<![CDATA[What you need to know about Egypt’s 1st nuclear power plant]]>
In September, President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi announced that Egypt had finalized the agreement with Russia to build a nuclear power plant at Dabaa, 130 kilometers northwest of Cairo in Matrouh governorate.

The 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant is set to be completed within seven years and is expected to not only cover the country’s energy needs, but also producing an excess that can be exported. The trial operation of the plant is expected to take place in 2022.

Although talks about building a nuclear plant in Egypt have been going on since the 1980s, it was not until 2015 that serious steps have been taken to peruse the plan.

On November 19, 2015, an agreement was finally signed between Cairo and Moscow that allows Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, with Russia extending a $25 billion loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction. The loan will cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent.

According to the deal, Russian nuclear firm Rosatom will finance and construct four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 MW. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities.

On November 27, Egypt’s parliament approved three laws, which allow for the creation of three regulatory bodies on nuclear power. The laws are believed to help revive Egypt’s program for the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes, which began in the mid-1980s but came to a halt after the tragic explosion of the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine in 1986.

Nuclear energy is part of the government’s plan to diversify its energy sources to prevent any future crisis resulting from shortages in electricity. ]]>
12/11/2017 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[UEFA Champions League 16th round draw takes place]]>
The road to Kiev, where the final will be held in May 2018, begins its next stage with the round of 16.

The draw will involve the 16 teams who qualified from the group stage. Two pots will be formed; one includes the group leaders and the other includes the second teams placed of each group.

Remember that it is not a purely random draw as no team will be able to face another club from the same group or from the same country.

The leaders of the group will have the privilege of being able to play the first leg at their home stadium.

Here are the pots:

Pot 1:

Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Roma, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Besiktas, and Tottenham Hotspur.

Pot 2:

Basel, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, and Real Madrid.

The first leg of the round of 16 will be played on February 13-14 and 20-21, while the second leg will be on March 6-7 and 13-14.]]>
12/11/2017 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Guess what is behind the Giza Pyramids]]>
1-_Grassess_fill_Farouk_s_Lake_in_Giza
Grassess fill Farouk's Lake in Giza – Hossam Abbas Photography official Facebook page on Nov. 26, 2017

The Black Pyramid, the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid give this region great prosperity. They are three of the five remaining pyramids form the original eleven pyramids at Dahshur. The Black Pyramid was built by king Amenemhat III during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, while the Red Pyramid is the largest of the three major pyramids in Dahshur and it gets its name from the red limestone used to build it; it is also considered to be Egypt’s first attempt to construct a true smooth sided pyramid. The third pyramid, the Bent pyramid, is the oldest of these three pyramids; it was built during the old kingdom of Senefru.

2-_Natural_View_of_King_farouk_Fishing_lake
Natural View of King farouk Fishing lake – Best places Egypt official facebook page

Not far from these pyramids is a magnificent fishing Lake with calm, balmy water and a great view of Dahshur’s Pyramids in the background.

3-Snofru_s_Red_Pyramid_-_Best_Places_of_Egypt
Snofru's Red Pyramid August 27, 2007 – Wikimedia.com / Sturm 58

Grassy land and fine weather surround the lake, making it a sought after place to the extent that it attracted Egyptian King Farouk as a relaxing spot while practicing his favorite hobby, fishing.

4-_Black_Pyramid_of_king_Amenemhat_III._at_Dahshur
Black Pyramid" of king Amenemhat II at Dahshur March 28, 2008- Wikimedia.com / Tekisch

The lake also attracts migrating birds that stop on their way from Europe and Mediterranean cities and nestle amongst the trees, which makes the spot all the more special. ]]>
12/11/2017 9:46:05 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt hosts Red Sea nations’ meeting]]>
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid stated that the conference discusses ways to boost political, security and economic cooperation among countries located along the Red Sea.

According to Abu-Zeid, the conference will also discuss issues including coordinating efforts to face security threats, terrorism, illegal immigration, human trafficking and smuggling operations.

The conference aims to strengthen the sovereignty of the Red Sea nations over their own internal affairs and regional water. In addition, the conference aims to exchange expertise related to legal frameworks to improve investment.

The Red Sea nations include nine countries; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and the Palestinian territories.]]>
12/11/2017 9:42:14 AM
<![CDATA[Sabri: Trump's decision on Jerusalem not to be implemented]]>
In a call-in to a TV program, he called on Arab countries to "Throw sand in the face of the U.S." and to unify their statements.

Sabri praised the role of Al-Azhar and its Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb who rejected meeting with American Vice-President Mike Pence, after Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Jerusalem is of huge importance to both Israelis and Palestinians. It contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

There has been widespread condemnation of President Trump's decision - announced on Wednesday - to reverse decades of U.S. neutrality on the status of Jerusalem which cuts to the heart of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.]]>
12/11/2017 9:40:31 AM
<![CDATA[Government borrows LE 2.5B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 1.5 billion with a three-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a seven-year term.

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.]]>
12/11/2017 9:35:12 AM
<![CDATA[et Quote: Naguib Mahfouz]]>“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

Celebrating the birthday of the legendary Nobel Prize-winning author

Naguib Mahfouz

, we have gathered only some of his best quotes considering that we would never be able to include all of them due to there being too many still relevant.

“The Arab world also won the Nobel with me. I believe that international doors have opened and that from now on, literate people will consider Arab literature also. We deserve that recognition.” - Naguib Mahfouz

Mahfouz was born on this day back in 1911 and passed away on August 30, 2006 at the age of 96. He is mainly known for being as one of the first Arabic literature contemporary writers. Every day, Mahfouz would write for the duration one hour during his 70-year career he wrote 25 movie scripts, seven plays, 350 short stories and 34 novels. Egyptian cinema today has witnessed over 30 movies that were based on Mahfouz’s novels and literary works.

“I was a government employee in the morning and a writer in the evening.” - Naguib Mahfouz

19839
Naguib Mahfouz - Courtesy of AUC Press


There was an assassination attempt by an Islamic extremist that took place in 1994 on Mahfouz, who was 82 at the time due to his controversial novel “Awlad Haretna” (The Children of Gebelawi”). The novel spoke about God, the prophets and creatively explained the philosophy of religion. This incident only directed attention to the novel, which was later deemed as one of the most famous novels in the history of Arabic literature.

“We used the Western style to express our own themes and stories. But don't forget that our heritage includes The Thousand and One Nights.” - Naguib Mahfouz

The Egyptian government would go on to honor Mahfouz with Egyptian State Prize twice for his literary works. While the American University in Cairo (AUC) recognized him with a doctorate in 1995 and was chosen as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Institute of Arts.

MahfouzYoung
Naguib Mahfouz - Courtesy of AUC Press


“There are no heroes in most of my stories. I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see.” - Naguib Mahfouz

The AUC press has become his main English language publisher and agent of all translation rights. The agreement was signed with Mahfouz prior to his death and there are around 600 editions in 40 languages for his works displayed at AUC Press.

“I defend both the freedom of expression and society's right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.” - Naguib Mahfouz


]]>
12/11/2017 9:28:56 AM
<![CDATA[More than $30B Russian deals expected during Putin’s visit]]>
Egypt and Russia have strong relations in various fields; politics, security and economy which is expected to be the milestone of discussions between the counterparts.

During the visit, Putin will discuss with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi bilateral relations, trade, and Middle Eastern issues, the Kremlin said last week.

The Egyptian business community keeps an eye on the visit as three key issues are expected to be discussed; the Dabaa nuclear power plant, the Russian Industrial City located in Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) and, the long-awaited decision of direct flights’ return between the two countries.

Three senior sources told Reuters on Sunday that Egypt and Moscow will sign the contract of al- Dabaa nuclear power plant during Putin’s visit to Cairo.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Russia Today in an interview on Saturday that “they have completed several stages” of the plant and “soon” it will be finished.

Moscow and Cairo signed an agreement in 2015 for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, with Russia extending a loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction which is worth $25 billion.

The nuclear plant is expected to not just cover the country’s energy needs, but to produce a surplus which can be exported, the sources told Reuters on Sunday.

On the other hand and for those who consider investing in the SCZone, Reuters reported that the new Russian industrial city is scheduled to be signed within the visit with total investments expected at $7 billion.

The 5 million square meter industrial zone will be located east of Port Said in the new Suez Canal Economic Zone, a mega project initiated by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The plan aims to create an international hub for manufacturers with easy access for exporting goods to African and European markets.

Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said in late October that Egypt will sign the contract for the Russian industrial city by end of 2017.

The return of direct flights between Egypt and Moscow was earlier many times discussed and is expected to be concluded during Putin’s visit on Monday.

The passenger flights between Russia and Egypt were suspended in November 2015 after a Russian passenger airliner exploded and disintegrated over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

The flight suspending affects almost all business divisions in Egypt, however tourism is the big loser as Russians accounted for a large proportion of tourists to Egypt, especially to the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Russia continues checking security measures in Egyptian airports.

Trade between Egypt and Russia rose to be about $2.5 billion in the first seven months of the 2017 from about $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier, a statement issued by the Trade Ministry indicated in late October.

Egypt’s exports to Russia reached $387.9 million in the first seven months of the year compared with $304.6 million in the same period last year, a 27.3-percent increase, it added.

Total Russian investments in the Egyptian market are valued at about $62.8 million across 417 projects in various fields, the statement said.]]>
12/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[ Zidane calls all his players for Club World Cup]]>
Among the injured players who have entered the Zidane squad are Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale. Madrid`s coach has only added one change, that of the youth goalkeeper Moha in the place of the injured Luca Zidane.

However, despite the fact that his name does not appear in principle among the 23 registered for the competition, Jesús Vallejo, Madrid`s defender, is in the Zidane squad and his participation in the tournament is not ruled out depending on the evolution of the French defender, Varane.

Varane and Bale will be tested in the two trainings that Real Madrid will perform before its first match on Wednesday against Al Jazira, to decide if they can be called in the semifinals.

The list of summoned are: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, Moha, Dani Carvajal, Achraf, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Vallejo, Marcelo, Theo, Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Kroos, Modric, Kovacic, Ceballos, Isco, Marco Asensio , Lucas Vázquez, Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Borja Mayoral.

Real Madrid will play their two Club World Cup games at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The first will be the semifinal of this Wednesday, December 13 against Al Jazira, champion of the United Arab Emirates league.

On Saturday, December 16, Real Madrid will play the third and fourth place match or the final depending on the result of the semifinal.]]>
12/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Borussia Dortmund sack Peter Bosz]]>
Dortmund suffered since the end of September, especially after Bayern Munich appointed Jupp Heynckes as a manager, and this decision was expected weeks ago.

Peter Bosz was appointed on June 2017 as a substitute for Thomas Tuchel.
Bosz was Ajax`s manager last season and he succeeded to reach the Europa League and he was the second in the Dutch league (Eredivisie) behind Feyenoord.

After achieving six victories and a draw in the first seven games in the Bundesliga, with 21 goals scored and only 2 conceded, his Bundesliga start was outstanding, but he suffered in the Champions League when he lost to Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
Dortmund placed third in their group of the Champions League to play the next round in the UEFA Europa League.

Hours after Saturday's defeat against Werder Bremen, Borussia`s officials decided his dismissal and agreed to assign Peter Stöger as a manager until end of the season.

The Austrian coach, 51, was fired on December 3 by Cologne, after drawing against Schalke 04 and placed in the last position in the German league`s table.]]>
12/11/2017 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi meets Japanese FM]]>
Kono and Sheikh Mohamed discussed ways of boosting cooperation between both countries, as well as a number of regional and international issues of common interest.

In addition, the crown prince met with Chief Presidential Secretary of the Republic of Korea Im Jong seok, the UAE's WAM news agency reported on Sunday.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the South Korean official and discussed the bilateral ties, as well as means of enhancing them to serve the interests of both countries.

The two sides also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern. ]]>
12/11/2017 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Swedish PM condemns attempted arson attack ]]>
There were no reports of injuries and the fire did not reach the synagogue or an adjacent meeting house where Jewish youths had gathered when the attack took place late on Saturday, Swedish media reported.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a statement he was outraged by the attack.

"There is no place for anti-Semitism in Swedish society," he said in the statement, which also referred to a demonstration in the city of Malmo on Friday, at which Lofven said participants had incited violence against Jews.

Swedish newspapers reported that around 200 people had attended Friday's demonstration at which some participants chanted anti-Jewish slogans, two days after the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The World Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish communities in 100 countries, also condemned the attack on the Swedish synagogue.

The Swedish Security Service said it was helping the police in the investigation and was also trying to prevent new attacks. ]]>
12/11/2017 5:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Thousands in Ukraine protest the arrest of Saakashvili]]>
Saakashvili, president of his native Georgia for nine years until 2013, moved to Ukraine after a popular uprising there and served under Poroshenko as a regional governor from 2015-2016, before falling out with the Ukrainian leader.

He was detained in Kiev on Friday, following a dramatic standoff earlier in the week where he clambered on a roof to avoid law enforcement and was freed from a police van by his supporters.

He accuses the Ukrainian authorities of widespread corruption. Prosecutors accuse him of assisting a criminal organisation, charges he says were trumped up to undermine his political campaign against Poroshenko.

A large number of police in riot gear guarded Sunday’s rally, which was peaceful in contrast with protests last week that resulted in clashes between Saakashvili’s supporters and law enforcement.

“A lot of people are looking for the changes. It is more difficult when Mikheil is not with us,” his wife, Sandra Roelofs, said in a speech at the rally.

“We remember his words: ‘When they catch me, you continue despite anything, because Ukraine wants changes, Ukraine has to become a better country’,” she said.

Protesters shouted ‘Shame’ and ‘Impeachment’ as they marched to Maidan square, the scene of the 2013-14 pro-European protests that ousted a Moscow-backed president and installed a new leadership that promised to eliminate entrenched corruption.

A few snowballs were thrown at the windows of a branch of Roshen, the confectionary business owned by Poroshenko, who was a wealthy chocolatier before he went into politics.

Saakashvili has launched a hunger strike to protest against his detention, which will last until a court rules on whether to release him under house arrest.

The saga has attracted international attention to Ukraine at a time when the authorities face a chorus of criticism from reformers and foreign donors over perceived backtracking on reforms and attacks on anti-corruption institutions.

While Saakashvili has a core base of supporters, he enjoys limited support across Ukraine. Only 1.7 percent of voters would support his party, the Movement of New Forces, in elections, according to an October survey by the Kiev-based Razumkov Centre think-tank.

]]>
12/11/2017 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias push towards Idlib province]]>
They said dozens of aerial strikes believed to be conducted mainly by Russian jets in the last 48 hours hit opposition held villages and towns in the northeastern Hama countryside and the southern part of Idlib province.

The Islamist Hayat Tahrir al Sham and some Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel faction in control of these areas said they were sending reinforcements to seize back a string of villages in the northeastern Hama countryside, near the town of Rihjan, that the army had earlier announced were captured in heavy fighting.

The army said the villages of Um Turayka, Bilil, and Rujum al Ahmar were seized, forcing the rebels to flee to areas close to the administrative boundaries of Idlib province.

The Syrian army had lost the strategically located Idlib province to insurgents when the provincial capital fell to rebels in 2015. It has since become the only province that is fully under opposition control.

The Syrian army's first goal was to retake strategic Abu al Dhour military airport, one of the largest airports in the north of the country that fell to rebels in 2015. It was heavily bombed on Sunday, a rebel source said.

"The regime movements seek to besiege Idlib province with the help of Shi'ite militias fighting with them," said Colonel Mustafa Bakour, a commander in the Jaish al Izza rebel faction.

Tahrir al Sham, which is spearheaded by the former al Qaeda branch in Syria, is the main rebel force in the province, raising fears among civilians and rebels alike that Moscow and the Syrian army and its allies would soon turn it into a major battlefield.

The strategically located province that borders Turkey is part of the Russian-led de-escalation zones that seek to shore up ceasefires in western Syria.

Idlib has been a haven for tens of thousands of rebels and civilians who were forced to abandon their homes in other parts of western Syria that the government and its foreign military allies have recaptured from rebels.

It has already been the target of intensive strikes by the Russia and Syrian air forces in the past year that have killed thousands of civilians and destroyed hospitals and civil defense centers.

Tahrir al Sham also repelled simultaneously an offensive by Islamic State militants who have been for the last few weeks pushing into the opposition-controlled territory to extend a small enclave they have in that area, among the few they retain across Syria.

The ultra hardline militants also seized a string of villages that brought them within kilometres of Idlib province.

The Russian and Syrian army advance towards Idlib is also piling pressure on Turkey which had since October begun a major military deployment in the province it considers within its sphere of influence.

Ankara's intervention seeks to rein in Russian strikes and prevent Idlib from facing a similar fate to Mosul or Aleppo, according to a senior rebel commander briefed on Turkish policy.]]>
12/11/2017 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[bags of bullets found near xmas market not linked to terrorism]]>
Asked about a possible link with terrorism, a police spokesman said: "Not at all."

"Ammunition is always being found in Berlin," he added. "Somebody was probably clearing their cellar out and found something from their grandfather."

Germany is on high alert for militant attacks, nearly a year after a Tunisian Islamist rammed a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 11 people as well as the driver. Earlier this month, experts made safe a device filled with nails that was delivered to a pharmacy near a Christmas market in the German city of Potsdam near Berlin.]]>
12/11/2017 4:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Winless Cologne squander three-goal lead and lose 4-3]]>
In a game that began half an hour late for snow to be cleared from the pitch, Nils Petersen scored two penalties in the final minutes to complete a hat-trick and win the match for the visitors, who began the day one place above their opponents.

Cologne, in their first league game under caretaker coach Stefan Ruthenbeck after Peter Stoeger was fired a week ago, looked certain to pick up their first league win of the season as they raced to a 3-0 lead in less than half an hour.

"What happened today was very painful," said Ruthenbeck. "We began well and did everything right early on. But after halftime the game was turned on its head."

Lukas Kluenter sidefooted home from Milos Jojic's pass to put them ahead, Sehrou Guirassy won and converted a penalty and Caleb Stanko turned Konstantin Rausch's cross into his own goal.

It began to go wrong for the Billy Goats when Petersen volleyed one back five minutes before halftime and the tension was palpable after Janik Haberer headed a second in the 65th minute.

Petersen then equalised with his first penalty in the 89th minute, after Salih Ozcan fouled Nicolas Hoefler, and struck the winner from the spot in the fifth minute of stoppage time, this time following handball by Guirassy.

Cologne remained stuck on three points at the bottom, eleven adrift of Werder Bremen, while Freiburg climbed out of the direct relegation spots to 16th with 15 points.]]>
12/11/2017 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[France's conservatives choose leader to rattle Macron's perch]]>
The conservatives' ambitious new chief, 42-year old Laurent Wauquiez, is a hard-hitting critic of the 39-year-old centrist president, whom he dismisses as out of touch with rural France, weak on security and too much in favour of closer European integration.

Wauquiez wants the party to pull its weight after months when internal divisions and the shock from failing to make the run-off in this year's presidential election held them back.

"Tonight, the Right is back!" he told supporters.

"France needs the Right because the president of the Republic (Macron) is passive against crime ... and not firm enough against radical Islam," said Wauquiez, who wants to relaunch the Republicans by taking them further to the right.

He won an overwhelming mandate with three quarters of the near 100,000 votes cast by party members on Sunday.

Wauquiez bills himself as the champion of small-town, rural France - a France, he says, with which Macron has no connection as he pursues a "start-up nation".

While there are few policy parallels between the two men, Wauquiez and Macron actually have some traits in common. Both are younger than French political leaders usually are and are graduates from the country's top elite schools who promise to shake up the political establishment.

Inside Macron's camp, some ministers have cautioned against underestimating the threat of Wauquiez.

"We need to be wary because he is very gifted, very strong and there's nothing he won't do. He will establish a violent fight," Gerald Darmanin, Macron's budget minister and former member of the Republicans, told the newspaper Le Monde.

But Wauquiez's main challenge may well come from within.

He inherits a party divided in its response both to Macron's poaching of party stalwarts and economic policy that encroaches on its turf.

Moderate veterans, ill at ease with his wooing of far-right National Front voters, have warned they could leave the party if he does not water down his hardline views.

And opinion polls show he is not popular with voters overall. Both far-left 'France Unbowed' leader Jean-Luc Melenchon and far-right National Front chief Marine Le Pen have so far been viewed as stronger opponents to Macron, polls have shown.

"Now the hard part begins," said Jean-Daniel Levy, head of Harris Interactive pollsters.

Wauquiez has time to turn the party around.

French voters will next go to the polls only in 2019, for the European parliament election. The next presidential and parliamentary elections will be in 2022.]]>
12/11/2017 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Today's world news brief]]>
Middle East

Egypt’s Bar Association protests against Trump’s decision

Egyptian lawyers

held on Sunday a protest outside the Bar Association headquarters in downtown Cairo announcing their refusal of U.S.
President Donald Trump’s decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

34785
Egyptian lawyers chant slogans during a protest outside the Bar Association headquarters in downtown Cairo on December 10, 2017/AFP/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED



What to expect during Putin’s visit to Egypt

In light of Russian President

Vladimir Putin’s

visit to Cairo which is scheduled to begin on Monday, many issues are expected to be discussed between the Russian president and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

34820
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) visit the Laura Cross-country Ski and Biathlon Center in Sochi, August 12, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin



Sisi, Abbas to hold summit on Monday in Cairo

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi invited his Palestinian counterpart President

Mahmoud Abbas

to hold a consultative bilateral summit in Cairo on Monday, Presidency spokesperson Bassam Radi said on Sunday.

34796
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi meets with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas – Press Photo



23 Houthis killed in clashes with legitimate forces in Yemen

As many as 23

Houthis

were killed while 17 others were injured in clashes with the legitimate forces in western Yemen, Sky News reported on Sunday with no more details.

34810
23 Houthis killed in clashes with legitimate forces in Yemen - FILE PHOTO



Iraq holds victory parade after defeating Islamic State

An

Iraqi

military parade in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone celebrated final victory over Islamic State on Sunday, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi looking on as troops marched in formation, their bodies spelling "victory day" in Arabic.

34806
Tanks of Iraqi army are seen during an Iraqi military parade in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, Iraq December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer



Palestinian stabs Israeli in Jerusalem

A

Palestinian

stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem's main bus station on Sunday, police said, and violence flared near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

34814
A Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Decemb



United States

American-Russian collision over Syria ascends

The friction between the

United States

and Russia over Syria becomes more intense this week as each attempt to attain higher credit for defeating the Islamic State (IS). The two also blame one another for the unsafe encounters in airspace.

34780
Damaged buildings and debris in Deir al-Zor, June 13, 2013.Picture taken June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi



Whit House slams Palestinians over rejecting Pence's meeting

The

White House

said on Sunday it was "unfortunate" that Palestinians were declining to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during an upcoming trip to the region in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

34803
Vice President Mike Pence stands behind as President Donald Trump holds up the proclamation he signed that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there, during an address from the White House in Washingto



N. Korea slams US over growing talk of maritime blockade

North Korea

lashed out at the United States on Sunday over the possible use of a naval blockade in the wake of its recent missile provocation, warning that it would consider such a move as a "declaration of war," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

34819
Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque



Europe

No place for anti-Semitism in Germany

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said there was no place for

anti-Semitism

in Germany after demonstrators angered by U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel burned Israeli flags in Berlin.

34793
A protester reacts during the demonstration outside the U.S. embassy against President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in Berlin, Germany December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt



Pope prays for nuclear disarmament

Pope Francis

on Sunday called on world leaders to work in favour of nuclear disarmament to protect human rights, particularly those of weaker and underprivileged people.

26362
Pope Francis will visit Myanmar and Bangladesh in late November - AFP



France's conservatives choose leader to rattle Macron's perch

In his first seven months in office, President

Emmanuel Macron

has faced little opposition. But come Sunday, the once-dominant Republicans elect a new leader they hope might recover the party's voice.

31396
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the COP23 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, November 15, 2017 - REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay



PM will 'stand up' for Australia after China criticism

Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull

has said he will "stand up" for Australia, brushing aside Chinese criticism of new foreign interference laws as fears rise of overseas meddling in domestic institutions.

34718
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, seen here with Chinese President Xi Jinping, told Beijing he was merely defending Australian interests after a row over alleged foreign interference - AFP
]]>
12/11/2017 2:24:48 AM
<![CDATA[Uber heads to court in fight for London survival]]>
Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm by rejecting its licence renewal bid in September, citing its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Uber's 40,000 drivers, representing around one in three of all private hire vehicles on the British capital's roads, can continue to take passengers until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take years.

The legal battle pitches one of the world's richest cities against a tech giant known for its forays into new markets around the world that have prompted bans, restrictions and protests, including by drivers of London's famous black cabs.

Uber's lawyers will begin their appeal at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, in what is expected to be a largely administrative hearing designed to set a date for a fuller hearing next year.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi has apologised to Londoners and met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown in October for what both sides described as constructive talks.

Brown told Reuters in November that "there are some discussions going on to make sure they are compliant."

Months of legal wrangling are likely unless the Silicon Valley app, valued at around $70 billion with investors including Goldman Sachs, can come to a new arrangement with the regulator.

"We continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London in order to resolve this," an Uber spokesman said ahead of the hearing. "As our new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said, we are determined to make things right."

Losing its London licence was just one of many blows to Uber this year as a stream of executives left amid controversies involving allegations of sexual harassment and issues surrounding data privacy and business practices.

In Britain, Uber is looking to appoint a new boss after Jo Bertram announced her departure less than two weeks after London's decision.

It also faces potential problems in the northern English city of Sheffield where its licence has been suspended and in Brighton, southern England, where local officials extended the firm's licence for only six months to give them more time to consider the outcome of the dispute in London. ]]>
12/11/2017 2:06:20 AM
<![CDATA[California wildfire rages toward scenic coastal communities]]>
Authorities ordered residents in parts of Carpinteria and Montecito to leave early on Sunday as the Thomas Fire edged closer to Santa Barbara, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles on the scenic central California coast.

The blaze, the worst of six major fires in Southern California in the last week and already the 10th largest on record in the state since 1932, has blackened 173,000 acres (62,726 hectares), destroyed hundreds of structures and left nearly 90,000 homes and businesses without power.

The combination of Santa Ana winds and rugged terrain in the mountains that run through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have hampered firefighting efforts, and officials said the Thomas Fire was only 15 percent contained on Sunday.

The National Weather Service said winds of up to 55 miles (88 km) per hour were expected on Sunday evening, up from gusts of 40 miles per hour on Saturday.

The fires burning across Southern California have forced the evacuation of some 200,000 people and destroyed nearly 800 structures.

Among them are residents of Montecito, one of the state's wealthiest communities and home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey.

Emmy Leikin, an Emmy-winning songwriter who was ordered to evacuate her Montecito home at 9 a.m. on Sunday, said she fled with only her cell phone, medication, eyeglasses and a few apples.

Leikin, 74, said she doesn't know the condition of her home and belongings but "none of that means anything when it is your safety."

WORST IN A DECADE

The fires that began last Monday night collectively amounted to one of the worst conflagrations across Southern California in the last decade. They have, however, been far less deadly than the blazes in Northern California's wine country in October that killed over 40.

In the last week, only one death has been reported, a 70-year-old woman who died Wednesday in a car accident as she attempted to flee the flames in Ventura County. Scores of horses have died, including at least 46 at a thoroughbred training facility in San Diego county.

Residents and firefighters alike have been alarmed by the speed with which the fires spread, reaching into the heart of cities like Ventura.

At the Ventura County Fairgrounds, evacuees slept in makeshift beds while rescued horses were sheltered in stables. Peggy Scissons, 78, arrived at the shelter with her dog last Wednesday, after residents of her mobile home park were forced to leave. She has not yet found out whether her home is standing.

"I don't know what's gonna happen next or whether I'll be able to go home," she said. "It would be one thing if I were 40 or 50, but I'm 78. What the heck do I do?"

James Brown, 57, who retired from Washington State's forestry service and has lived in Ventura for a year, was forced to leave his house along with his wife last week because both have breathing problems.

"We knew a fire was coming, but we didn't know it would be this bad," said Brown, who is in a wheelchair.

Some of the other fires, in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, have been largely controlled by the thousands of firefighters on the ground this week.

Both the Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were 90 percent contained by Sunday morning, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in Los Angeles' posh Bel Air neighborhood was 75 percent contained.

North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,659 hectare) Lilac Fire was 60 percent contained by Sunday.

Governor Jerry Brown, who surveyed the devastation in Ventura on Saturday, said the outbreak of December fires may be "the new normal" for the state, saying global warming was exacerbating drought conditions.]]>
12/11/2017 1:56:50 AM
<![CDATA[UAE, UK FMs meet on joint cooperation, regional developments]]>
The meeting also tackled the latest regional and international issues of common concern, the UAE's WAM news agency reported.

Sheikh Abdullah lauded bilateral relations between the two countries.

He emphasized his country's keenness on boosting joint cooperation in various fields.

For his part, Johnson underlined the depth of strategic relations between the two countries and his country's keenness on enhancing bilateral cooperation, praising the UAE's status at the regional and international levels in the light of the development process enjoyed by the country at various levels.]]>
12/11/2017 1:54:27 AM
<![CDATA[Yemen FM: Hopes for peaceful solution in Yemen ]]>
“The road to peace is better than the road to war,” he said, adding that the Yemeni legitimate government will always be ready for reaching peace according to the three terms of reference namely the outcome of the Gulf initiative, the outcome of national dialogue, and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

He added that hopes for a peaceful solution were fading after Houthis assassinated former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. ]]>
12/11/2017 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[What to expect during Putin’s visit to Egypt ]]>
The military expert and the head of the former war intelligence reconnaissance body, Nasser Salim, said to Egypt Today on Sunday that "this is the right time for the Russian president's visit to Egypt because there are a lot of files that are being put up during this visit and appropriate solutions must be devised due to Egypt's strategic importance.”

Salim added that Egypt and Russia will definitely discuss the Palestinian crisis and the American declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

“In addition to the Syrian and Libyan files among the discussions, different views will be put forward on the incomprehensible actions of Trump, declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and igniting the territory where a decision will be made to ensure the stability of the region,” Dr. Tariq Fahmi, professor of economics and political Science, stated to Egypt Today.

Of the most prominent issues on the table, as well, cooperation in counter terrorism comes on top.

2014-08-12T120000Z_391001318_GM1EA8D04BL01_RTRMADP_3_UKRAINE-CRISIS-RUSSIA-EGYPT
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) visit a cafe at the Rosa Khutor resort in Sochi, August 12, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

“This cooperation is due to the increasing number of terrorist organizations in the region and their seriousness in the Middle East, so the terrorism issue will be given special priority during Putin's visit, as it threatens the whole region,” Salim explained.

Of prominence as well comes the Syrian issue and its impact on the region.
General Hisham Alhalabi, the military expert, informed Egypt Today that Putin's visit comes due to the importance of Egypt in the region, as well as the need for coordination and consultation for the stability of Syria because Syrian stability has become very important.

In terms of security, the two presidents are expected to discuss security matters pertaining to the World Cup set to be held in Russia in June of next year.

“Since Russia is hosting the World Cup in 2018 and must deal with the world's security services and exchange information with them, Egypt will help Russia in this file; especially as there are threats from ISIS regarding this global event,” Major General Talaat Musa, advisor to Nasser Military Academy, said to Egypt Today.

On the economic side, economic expert Mohamed Nasr told Egypt Today that the return of Russian aviation and tourism represents a strong and new boost to the Egyptian economy. “Putin's visit to Egypt should resolve this issue because Egypt is capable of attracting more Russian investment in the coming period,” Nasr explained.

"We need to increase economic cooperation with Turkey because it will have many economic effects, including increased Russian tourists in Egypt," he added. “Increasing Russian Investments and opening more Russian projects in Egypt will provide great job opportunities for young people. It has become necessary for Russia to establish an industrial zone in Egypt, as this will contribute to the stability of relations.”

Dr. Ahmed Karim, an analyst in Russian affairs, agreed with Nasr. Karim stated to Egypt Today that Egypt has to resolve the controversial points with the Russian side on top of which is the return of Russian aviation to Egypt as soon as possible, and the return of Russian tourists must not be postponed. ]]>
12/10/2017 11:00:27 PM
<![CDATA[N. Korea slams US over growing talk of maritime blockade]]>
The condemnation came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently mentioned the "right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods" to and from the North after its Nov. 29 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking anywhere on the US mainland.

"We will regard the naval blockade of the United States and its followers as an act of violence against the sacred sovereignty and dignity of the Republic of Korea and as another public declaration of war," the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's ruling communist party newspaper, said in a commentary.

The paper added, "If we see a small movement to put the maritime containment into practice, we must be prepared to follow our immediate and ruthless self-defensive response." ]]>
12/10/2017 10:55:12 PM
<![CDATA[Social solidarity min. meets Canadian amb. in Cairo]]>
They discussed initiatives offered by the Ministry of Social Solidarity in support of low-income brackets, the ministry said in a statement.

Wali urged the Canadian ambassador to boost cooperation between the two countries in the field of disability needs.

Dutton, meanwhile, praised social protection programs offered by the ministry in support of low-income people in Egypt. ]]>
12/10/2017 10:46:15 PM
<![CDATA[ Honduras electoral court finds results 'consistent']]>
Court president David Matamoros says that the recount of less than one-third of the total number of boxes showed that tallies done at polling stations were well-executed.

The court's original tally put President Juan Orlando Hernandez ahead by more than 52,000 votes, or 1.6 percent in the presidential election of Nov. 26. But the electoral process was plagued by delays and inconsistencies, and Salvador Nasralla formally challenged the results Friday and demanded a full recount.

The electoral court has 30 days from the contest to declare a winner, potentially placing an announcement square in the holiday season.]]>
12/10/2017 10:42:02 PM
<![CDATA[Abbas arrives in Cairo for talks with Egypt's Sisi]]>
Both leaders will discuss the ongoing political crisis sparked by the American President Donald Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel.]]>
12/10/2017 10:36:15 PM
<![CDATA[Al Azhar urges to invalidate US decision ]]>
In a press release on Sunday on the occasion of celebrating the Human Rights Day, Al Azhar said the day unfortunately coincides this year with the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The US decision is stripping the Palestinians from their land and challenges Arabs and Muslims worldwide, the statement added.

Al Azhar also urged international organizations and world powers to work on invalidating the US decision concerning Jerusalem. ]]>
12/10/2017 10:35:38 PM
<![CDATA[Legendary film critic Samir Farid; a spark in Egyptian cinema]]>
Work as a critic in the film industry is difficult; pointing out the shortcomings in anyone’s hard work is not a way to make friends. So the recognition of Farid’s work through the honorary prize of the 39th Cairo International Film Festival is a testament to his effect on the industry.

Samir Farid considered criticism a way to discover cinema, its language and its nature. He was in love with cinema; his criticism of films reflects his method to experience cinema and life.

Farid published over 60 books, most of which are about Egyptian cinema. Hollywood’s films usually didn’t capture his imagination quite like Egyptian films did, so he focused his work on the subject of cinema and politics in Egypt and how intellectual leaders such Youssef Chahine and Naguib Mahfouz dealt with these issues.

Samir was not only interested in the theory and execution of cinema but also its history and preservation. He aimed to understand the medium and its role in Egypt; he was the first to take an intellectual look at its evolution over the decades in his essay the “Six Generations of Egyptian Cinema”. He took it upon himself to archive about 5,000 Egyptian and Arab films to preserve Middle Eastern cinematic history for future generations; he made the cinematic memory of the region available to everyone.

The death of Samir Farid in February 2017 left a vacuum in his wake. He was not a just a critic but an institution. He founded festivals, created the associations of Arab and of Egyptian film critics, edited magazines, translated and published books and headed the CIFF in 2014.

By honoring Samir Farid in Cairo International Film Festival, we are rewarding a figure that has dedicated his heart and mind to Egyptian cinema.]]>
12/10/2017 10:35:17 PM
<![CDATA[Palestinian stabs Israeli in Jerusalem]]>
Four days of street protests in the Palestinian territories over Trump's announcement on Wednesday have largely died down, but his overturning of long-standing U.S. policy on Jerusalem -- a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians -- drew more Arab warnings of potential damage to prospects for Middle East peace.

"Our hope is that everything is calming down and that we are returning to a path of normal life without riots and without violence," Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Army Radio.

But in Jerusalem, a security guard was in critical condition after a 24-year-old Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank stabbed him after approaching a metal detector at an entrance to the city's central bus station, police said. The alleged assailant was taken into custody after a passer-by tackled him.

In public remarks on Sunday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a frequent critic of Israel, called it an "invader state" and a "terror state".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who spoke at a news conference in Paris alongside French President Emmanuel Macron after the two leaders met, fired back:

"I'm not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, helps Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people," Netanyahu said.

Macron told Netanyahu that he needed to make gestures to the Palestinians to break the impasse between the two sides.

"I asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to make some courageous gestures towards the Palestinians to get out of the current impasse," Macron said, suggesting that a freeze of construction in settlements could be a first step.

Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in a 1967 war, to be occupied territory and say the status of the city should be decided at future Israeli-Palestinian talks. Israel says that all of Jerusalem is its capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

The Trump administration has said it is still committed to reviving Palestinian-Israeli talks that collapsed in 2014, but jettisoning old policies is necessary to break the deadlock.

Washington says it has not taken a position on Jerusalem's final status or borders, but it is sensible to recognise that any future peace deal will have Israel's capital in the city.

The United States was "as committed to the peace process as we've ever been", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday. Trump "didn't talk about boundaries, he didn't talk about borders... Because the final status of Jerusalem is between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It's not for the Americans to decide."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to the region, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Saturday. The White House said on Sunday that decision was unfortunate and Pence looked forward to seeing Netanyahu and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region," said Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Pence.

Netanyahu reacted to critics in a statement before talks with Macron, to be followed by a meeting with European foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

"I hear (from Europe) voices of condemnation over President Trump's historic announcement, but I have not heard any condemnation for the rocket firing against Israel that has come (after the announcement) and the awful incitement against us," Netanyahu said.

DEMONSTRATIONS

In Beirut, Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters, some of them waving Palestinian flags, near the U.S. Embassy.

Demonstrators set fires in the street, torched U.S. and Israeli flags and threw projectiles towards security forces that had barricaded the main road to the complex.

In the Moroccan capital, Rabat, tens of thousands of protesters marched down the city's main thoroughfare chanting slogans including, "The people want to liberate Palestine" and "Death to Israel, enemy of the people and provoker of wars."

Waving Palestinian flags and holding up pictures of Jerusalem, they expressed anger at the "betrayal" by Arab governments perceived to have backed Trump's move.

In the Indonesian capital Jakarta, thousands protested outside the U.S. embassy, many waving banners saying "Palestine is in our hearts".

Maliki has said the Palestinians will be looking for a new peace talks broker instead of the United States and would seek a United Nations Security Council resolution over Trump's decision.

Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo on Saturday urged the United States to abandon its decision on Jerusalem and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.

Echoing that view, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates, said the U.S. move "could throw a lifebuoy to terrorist and armed groups, which have begun to lose ground" in the Middle East.

GAZA TUNNEL

Along Israel's tense frontier with the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military on Sunday destroyed what it described as a "significant" cross-border attack tunnel dug by the enclave's dominant Islamist group, Hamas.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas on the demolition, which came as Palestinian factions tried to meet Sunday's deadline for an Egyptian-mediated handover of Gaza by Hamas to Western-backed President Abbas after a decade's schism.

Pre-dawn Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday killed two Palestinian gunmen after militants fired rockets from the area into Israel on Friday.]]>
12/10/2017 10:34:28 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian lawmakers in France to prepare for speaker's visit]]>
In statements to MENA, MP Tareq Radwan said Abdel Aal is scheduled to pay a visit to France in January or February 2018, adding that the Egyptian parliament delegation will hold a series of meetings with lawmakers from the European Parliament to discuss the war against terrorism in Egypt and illegal immigration.

The talks will also focus on the economic, educational and health situation in Egypt, he added.

The meetings will tackle the Palestinian issue in light of the decision recently taken by US President Donald Trump to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he concluded. ]]>
12/10/2017 10:29:26 PM
<![CDATA[Misr Al-Makasah thrashed Al-Ahly by 3 goals]]>
Al-Makasah raised their points to 18 points and climbed to the seventh place in the table, while Al-Ahly, with 25 points, remains in second place.

Hussein Al-Shahat, Paulen Fawafy and John Antwi scored for Al-Makasah, while Al-Ahly`s Abdallah El-Saeed and Walid Azarou scored for the Reds.

Al-Ahly began to pressure Al-Makasah from the first minute and missed a lot of chances while Al-Makasah did not appear to be dangerous in the first 15 minutes of the first half.

Al-Makasah`s Hussein Al-Shahat took the lead in the 24th minute when he sent a missile into Sherif Ekramy`s, Al-Ahly`s goalkeeper, net.

Al Ahli tried to return to the game and draw the tie, but the defenders of Al-Makasah were always on guard and Mahmoud Hamdi, Al-Makasah`s defender behind them.

In the 46th minute, Al Ahly`s Aballah El-Saeed leveled the score when Amin Omar, the match`s referee, gave a penalty for the Reds and ended the first half.

In the second half, the two teams continued attacking each other until Al-Makasah`s Paulen Voavy scored the second goal in the 65th minute from a fine shot.

The referee awarded Al-Makasah a penalty kick which scored by John Antwi in the 72nd minute to make it 3-1.

In the 74th minute, Al Ahly reduced the gap when they scored the second goal through Moroccan striker Walid Azarou.

This is the first loss for Al-Ahly since 46 games when they got defeated by Al-Masry 3-2 in the second stage of 2015/2016 season.]]>
12/10/2017 10:10:20 PM
<![CDATA[23 Houthis killed in clashes with legitimate forces in Yemen]]>
Earlier, 32 Houthis, including a senior leader, were killed when Arab coalition warplanes shelled a training camp in Hajjah governorate. ]]>
12/10/2017 9:58:49 PM
<![CDATA[Mamish: Floating bridges' projects have developmental purpose]]>
The floating bridges will link between Sinai and the valley via a number of integrated developmental projects, including the tunnels being constructed under the canal, Mamish added.

During his inspection of the area, he lauded the efforts being exerted, noting that development was the best way to get rid of terrorism.]]>
12/10/2017 9:56:31 PM
<![CDATA[ELBA, Nasr discuss developing Egyptian-African economy]]>
During the meeting, ELBA’s Executive Chairman Fathallah Fawzy invited Nasr to participate in ELBA's forum, which is slated for next February in Beirut.

ELBA's head of economic committee Marwan Zantout said the meeting came as part of contacts with the ministry on exploring trade and investment opportunities between the Egyptian and Lebanese private sectors.

During the meeting, Nasr reviewed her ministry's efforts to remove the obstacles hindering investments.
]]>
12/10/2017 9:52:12 PM
<![CDATA[Trade min. takes part in meeting on facilitating investment at WTO]]>
The meeting was held Sunday on the sidelines of the 11th ministerial WTO conference, currently held in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

During the meeting, Qabil reviewed Egypt's vision on facilitating investments, the Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

Egypt welcomes current informal frameworks as a forum for dialogue and discussion on ways to achieve development goals in the developing countries, he noted. ]]>
12/10/2017 9:45:43 PM
<![CDATA[Whit House slams Palestinians over rejecting Pence's meeting]]>
"It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region, but the administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan," said Jarrod Agen, a deputy chief of staff and spokesman for Pence. ]]>
12/10/2017 9:45:23 PM
<![CDATA[Interior Ministry foils attempt to smuggle heroin in Red Sea]]>
The General Directorate for Drug Control, in coordination with the international control bodies, monitored the activity of one of the most dangerous gangs, which includes elements of different foreign nationalities.

The international gang planned to bring a large consignment of narcotics "200 kg of heroin drug and 10 kg of ice dope" from Asian country on a commercial boat flies the flag of an African country.



Border guards in successful coordination with naval forces managed to arrest the ten-element gang seizing 10 kg of ice dope and 200 kilos of heroin in a secret warehouse in engine room.

After arresting, they confessed seizing narcotic substances for the purpose of trading inside the country, then the necessary legal action was taken against the accused, and the Egyptian prosecution to conduct investigations soon.]]>
12/10/2017 9:41:28 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. agency to help Iraq recover from IS despite Trump aid cuts]]>
Thomas Staal, the Counselor of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), said the agency would continue to provided basic humanitarian services and additional support for minority groups such as psychosocial support to those who suffered genocide, slavery, and gender-based violence.

"The budget that the president submitted included a 30 percent cut, but for Iraq actually we are looking at additional funding, especially for the victims of Islamic State," Staal told Reuters in an interview at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Trump staked out his position on foreign aid on the campaign trail, casting it as a waste of U.S. tax dollars. The White House proposed slashing the budget for foreign aid by a third.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State on Saturday after Iraqi forces drove the last remnants of the group from the country, three years after the militants captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

The war has had a devastating impact on the areas previously controlled by the militants. About 3.2 million people remain displaced, the United Nations says.

The last estimate by Abadi put the cost of post-war reconstruction at $50 billion, a figure calculated before Iraqi forces retook Mosul, which severely damaged the biggest city in northern Iraq.

The U.S. government has provided nearly $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance for Iraq since the Islamic State takeover of the north in 2014, Staal said.

That includes a total of $265 million donated to the United Nations Development Programme's Iraq stabilisation fund in 2016 and 2017. USAID has asked UNDP to focus on the minority areas, said Staal, who met with Christian and Yazidi leaders during a five-day visit to Iraq.

"The primary request from everybody was security," said Staal, who also met with two young women who were sold into slavery by Islamic State fighters.

In 2014, more than 3,000 Yezidis were killed by Islamic State in what the United Nations described as a genocidal campaign. Others were sold into sexual slavery or forced to fight.

Iraq is exempted from Trump's policy of cutting aid because of the especially "terrible plight" experienced by Islamic State's victims, Staal said, but it was a short term focus.

"The long term solution is that the Iraqi government is going to have to provide services to people in a more effective, efficient way," he said.

USAID is working directly with Iraqi ministries to train staff and improve efficiency, with procurement reform high up on the agenda, Staal said.

Corruption is rife in all levels of government in Iraq, which in 2016 ranked 166 out of 176 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.

Abadi has repeatedly said that once Islamic State was beaten, fighting corruption would be his next focus.]]>
12/10/2017 9:32:54 PM
<![CDATA[8 MB defendants accused of inciting violence ]]>
Prosecutors accused perpetrators of joining an organization built upon violating provisions of the law, aiming at interrupting work process, preventing state institutions and general authorities from doing their jobs.

The movement is also accused of attacking people’s personal freedoms, abusing national unity and social peace, attacking army and police personnel and installations to destabilize the general regime and risk society’s peace and security. Investigations revealed that perpetrators use terrorism to implement their purposes.

Security bodies spotted schemes by the Muslim Brotherhood to make use of public rage following the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to destabilize Egypt’s stability.

The national security sector detected one of these defendants posting videos on the Internet in an attempt to ignite people to protest and incite violence against state institutions.]]>
12/10/2017 9:13:43 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Abbas to hold summit on Monday in Cairo]]>
The summit is scheduled to tackle developments of the latest decision of the U.S President Donald Trump of recognizing the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It also will discuss means of dealing with the crisis in a way that preserves rights of Palestinians, their national sacred and legal right in establishing an independent state and a capital of the Eastern Jerusalem.

For his part,the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Cairo on Sunday evening in a two-days visit upon an invitation by President Sisi in order to meet to dicuss latest developments, the Palestinian ambassador to Cairo and its permanent representative to the Arab League Diab al-llouh said. ]]>
12/10/2017 9:10:45 PM
<![CDATA[City beat United in derby to go 11 points clear]]>
City have become the first team to win 14 consecutive English top-flight games in the same season. Their victory ended United's run of 40 home games unbeaten in all competitions.

City went ahead in the 43rd minute when Romelu Lukaku was unable to clear Kevin De Bruyne's inswinging corner and the ball fell to David Silva, who was played onside by Ashley Young. The Spaniard gratefully hooked the ball home.

Poor defending at the other end allowed United to get level before the break. Marcos Rojo hit a hopeful diagonal cross into the City box but Nicolas Otamendi misjudged a header, Fabian Delph hesitated and Marcus Rashford pounced on the loose ball and drove low past Ederson.

Nine minutes after the interval, City grabbed the winner when Silva whipped in a free-kick into the box and Lukaku, who had a derby to forget, drove an attempted clearance into the back of team mate Chris Smalling. The ball looped to Otamendi who, making amends for his earlier mistake, showed great athleticism to volley home on the half-turn.

City had keeper Ederson to thank for the three points after he produced a superb double save at close range six minutes from the end to keep out efforts from Lukaku and Juan Mata.]]>
12/10/2017 9:08:59 PM
<![CDATA[Future of Iraq wavering amid difficult challenges post IS]]>
Iraq has engaged into a fierce war against IS and various militant groups since 2014 until Abadi declared the “defeat of IS” on the military level.

First of all, the reasons behind the creation of ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] must be identified so that the eradication of this fundamental group will be successfully achieved. Egypt Today sheds light on likely reasons behind IS creation as follows:

• Discrimination of Shiite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki

• Revenge attitude of Shiites against Sunni residents in various districts

• Unfair distribution of oil revenues, in addition to economic and social deteriorating circumstances

• Spread of corruption and lack of negotiations with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) post-Saddam era

Abadi_photo
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (C) holds an Iraqi flag as he announces victory over Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, July 10, 2017- Reuters

Abadi stressed his upcoming battle will be against corruption, which deems a “natural extension of liberation of land and men.”

Kuwait revealed in august that it started contacting the World Bank and other countries to prepare for hosting a donors' conference next year on rebuilding Iraq. The donors' conference is expected to be held in first quarter of 2018, most probably in February.

Reconstruction

“ISIS won’t disappear,” expert in Iraqi affairs in Geneva Mohamed Weld Mohammadu told AFP on Sunday, adding that the military defeat is nonsufficient to eradicate the supporters of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“Recent terrorist attacks revealed that most of militants had headed to desert areas after their defeat in many inhabitant cities,” Mohammadu said.

He stressed the reconstruction process must include social rehabilitation as the “social aspects are more important than infrastructure and military ones when it comes to ideological radicalism.”

Karim_Bitar_photo
Karim Emile Bitar , Senior Research Fellow, Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) and Associate Professor of International Relations, University Saint Joseph in Beyrouth- Via his Linkdin Profile

Karim Emile Bitar, Senior Fellow at the Institute for International and Strategic Affairs in Paris (IRIS), told AFP on Sunday that proxies and weakness of decentralized governments would be able to turn over the militant radicalism in Iraq.

“Feeling of suppression which many Sunnis have will remain a potential threat and rebellion for a new Jihadist group,” Bitar manifested according to the AFP report published on Sunday.

Origins of ISIS

Saddam Hussein was accused of humiliating and suppressing the Shiites in Iraq, as a result the Shiites have contributed positively to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. All the rulers of Iraq since the emergence of its modern state in the 1920s came from the Sunni sect, although in general Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis lived in peace before 2003.

Saddam_photo
A U.S. soldier, Corporall Edward Chin, scaling a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and draping the Stars and Stripes and a noose over the black metal visage of the ousted despot. The rope was used to tear down the ousted leader's statue - Reuters/GORAN TOMASEVIC

Various extremist groups emerged and started operating in Sunni areas in western, central and northern Iraq where the Sunni inhabitants suffered from oppression of the Shiite mayors and rulers, after holding the first general elections on June 28, 2004 following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The interim president installed was Sheikh Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, and the interim prime minister was Iyad Allawi, a man who had been a CIA asset according to former U.S. intelligence officials.

Allawi’s government was described as anti-Sunni rule, which had sought to vengeance from all Sunnis on behalf of Saddam Hussein. Therefore, many rebellion groups were created to fight against the Iraqi national government.

This sectarian behavior against the Sunni Iraqis had given a justification to extremists to brain-wash many Iraqis who belong to the Sunni sect, eluding them that the so-called Sunni-dominated Islamic caliphate would restore the Sunnis in power.

Reconciliation

The missing of containment of Saddam’s remnants and senior allies was another reason behind the current mess in Iraq. The Egyptian revolution which erupted in 2011 against former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak made a fetal mistake when it did not allow embracing Mubarak regime’s remnants who declared their hands were free of blood which shed during the uprising at Tahrir and other governments’ squares.

Brotherhood_photo
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi gesture with the "Rabaa" sign during a protest in Al-Haram street, in Cairo December 13, 2013- REUTERS/Stringer

The Egyptian mistake brought the Muslim Brotherhood group in power, although it was only one year before the Egyptians overthrew the Brotherhood via million-man demonstrations at streets. The same mistake occurred in the Iraqi case as the embracement of Saddam’s non-criminal leaders would have changed the fate of Iraq.

Unity is a must for building and reconstructing devastated areas. Fighting together only brings more enemies to the battlefield.

Future of Hashid Shaabi

The Shiite-led Hashid Shaabi forces [Popular Mobilization Forces] which emerged in 2014 upon Shiite initiative launched by Sayyed Ali Hosseini Sistani to combat ISIS in Iraqi cities.

Hashid_Shabbi_photo (1)
Iraqi Shi'ite Muslims from Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) march during a parade marking the annual al-Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Baghdad, Iraq July 1, 2016 - REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily/Files

In November 2016, the Iraqi Parliament drafted a law to place Hashid Shaabi militias under the government control led by Prime Minister Hadair Abadi.

AFP revealed that the Hashid Shaabi includes over 110 thousand soldiers, while experts speculate its man-force is between 60 and 140 thousand.

“The Future of the Hashid Shaabi militias is determined by the political balance which should put an end to the cold proxy between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the Iraqi territory,” Bitar added. ]]>
12/10/2017 9:00:05 PM
<![CDATA[No place for anti-Semitism in Germany]]>
Hundreds of people gathered outside the U.S. embassy in the German capital for "Day of Rage" protests on Friday. Police later said on Twitter that they had detained 10 people during the protest and 12 criminal charges had been brought -- including for burning Israeli flags.

Maas told Bild newspaper's Monday edition: "Any kind of anti-Semitism is an attack on everyone. Anti-Semitism must never be allowed to have a place (in society) again."

Anti-Semitism remains a very sensitive issue in Germany more than 70 years after the end of the Nazi-era Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed. Germany regards itself as one of Israel's closest allies.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Bild that while criticism of Trump's decision was understandable, people had no right or reason to burn the Israeli flag, stir up hatred against Jews or question Israel's right to exist.

He said whoever did this nonetheless was "taking a stand not only against Israel but also against the German constitution" and Germany would not tolerate that.

Gabriel said Germany only permitted peaceful demonstrations and would not allow conflicts in which people were prepared to use violence to be brought to Germany from other countries and played out here.]]>
12/10/2017 8:54:46 PM
<![CDATA[Honduras tribunal says partial vote recount shows same result]]>
In the partial recount of 4,753 ballot boxes, the conservative Hernandez won 50.1 percent of the votes, against some 31.5 percent for his rival Salvador Nasralla from the center-left coalition Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship.

The tribunal did not specify exactly how many votes from the Nov. 26 election were recounted. There are some 18,000 ballot boxes overall.

Including all votes, Nasralla trails conservative Orlando Hernandez by 1.6 percentage points according to the official count, which has been questioned by the two main opposition parties and a wide swathe of the diplomatic corps.

Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a series of recommendations this week to authorities including a recount of disputed ballots.

"What we can say is that the results of the recount are extremely consistent with what we had originally," David Matamoros, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) said.

The election has been plagued with problems since voting stations closed, sparking concerns of deepening political instability in the poor, violent Central American nation.

The tribunal declared Nasralla the leader in an announcement on the morning after the vote, with just over half of the ballot boxes counted. However, it gave no further updates for about 36 hours. Once results then started flowing again, Nasralla's lead quickly started narrowing, sparking a major outcry.

Since early December, the government imposed a curfew which is still in place in 5 of the country's 18 departments.

Opposition parties on Friday presented formal requests to annul the election.

On Sunday afternoon, opposition groups were expected to take to the streets to protest the results. The electoral tribunal has until December 26 to declare a winner. ]]>
12/10/2017 8:48:52 PM
<![CDATA[Clash between 4 English clubs on a German player]]>
Scouts moved on to follow the performance of Augsburg defender Philipp Max, 24, who won the silver medal with the German team at the Rio de Janeiro 2016.

English clubs have been interested in Max because of his impressive performances in the Bundesliga since the start of the season.

Augsburg is currently eighth in the Bundesliga, while Max is currently the top in making assists with 7 assists, although he is a defender but has played a big role in the great start of this season for his team.

According to Daily Mail, the German left-back is watched by the three Premier League giants in an attempt to strengthen their squad in January, while Everton reportedly also sent a scout to watch the young man.

Philippe Max, who has not yet played for Germany, renewed his contract with Augsburg until the summer of 2022 earlier this year.
]]>
12/10/2017 8:38:39 PM
<![CDATA[Salah scores as Merseyside derby ends 1-1]]>
Salah continued his amazing performance in the Premier League after he scored his 13th goal to be back on the top of the goal scorers in England above Harry Kane with 12 goals.

Jurgenn Klopp, Liverpool`s coach, started the game with Salah and Sadio Mane while Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho on the bench.

Everton closed all the ways to their goalkeeper but Salah managed to take the lead in the 42nd minute after he defeated two Everton defenders and then fired a left-footed shot from inside the box, which went to the corner of the keeper Pickford`s net.

In the second half, Liverpool continued wasting chances to double the score until the former Manchester United`s striker, Wayne Rooney, frustrated the Reds` fans when he scored the first goal for Everton from the penalty spot in the 77th minute.

Liverpool placed fourth with 30 points while Everton placed tenth with 19 points.
Salah reached his 19th goal with Liverpool in his 24th game with the Reds equaling his goals last season with AS Roma in 41 games when he scored 19 goals also in the Serie A (Italian League).]]>
12/10/2017 8:36:12 PM
<![CDATA[Nadal is best tennis player of 2017]]>
His compatriot Garbiñe Muguruza won the best tennis player award, and the best doubles champion went to Poland's Lukasz Kubot, Brazil's Marcelo Melo in the men's class, Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan in the women's category.

The awards will be presented at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Champions' Gala Dinner on 5 June 2018 in Paris during the Roland Garros Championship.

Rafael Nadal's unforgettable season came to a painful end when he withdrew from the ATP Finals with a knee injury after defeat in his opening round-robin match against David Goffin on Monday.

Nadal has been plagued by knee injuries throughout a career which has earned him 16 grand slam titles.]]>
12/10/2017 8:34:02 PM
<![CDATA[Napoli keeps Inter Milan as leader in Serie A]]>
The Southern team tried to score through many opportunities to win and grab the top of the table, but the host failed to score due to Fioerntina`s defensive style of play, which succeeded as they prevented the registration of any goals.

Everything kept as it is in Serie A; Napoli remains in the second place with 39 points behind the leader Inter Milan with 40 points, while Fiorentina remained seventh with 22 points.

The ‘derby d`italia’, between Juventus and Inter Milan, was ended on Saturday with a goalless draw to keep the Nerazzurri undefeated in the Italian league for 16 games.]]>
12/10/2017 8:23:46 PM
<![CDATA[Medina Beats Night to take place in Cairo]]>
Medina Beats is organized by W.A.R project and Onorient initiative. Both aim to revive the Arabic heritage and shed light on Arabic subcultures.

The night will start with screening two documentary films; "Rihla: The Cultural Paths of the Arab World" and "A Song for Nubia."

A wonderful music performance by Multinational independent band Estabena will follow the screenings.

Estabena is a multicultural band that performs many folk music compositions taken from Mediterranean cultures. The band represents the cultures of Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon and Syria.

Although Estabena is a newly-founded band, it performed many live performances in different venues such as Dawar, Bab 18 Art Space, Room Art Space and Café and El Dammah Theater.

Estabena means “We Agree” in Egyptian slang. Originally the word was borrowed from the Italian language.

The band consists of Chakib Ararou on guitar and vocals, Mahmoud Mohamed on violin, George Emad on percussion, and Mohamed Samy Negm on oud, in addition to two vocalists Luisa Russo and Emad Fathy. ]]>
12/10/2017 8:19:39 PM