<![CDATA[rss-All News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[All News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Pakistan foils Falcon smuggling to Qatar ]]>
“On a tip-off, a joint team of the wildlife department and ASF carried out a search operation at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore,” Wildlife Department Punjab director general Ayaz Khan told Pakistan Today.

The paper revealed that during the operation, nine falcons hidden in a black bag owned by a Qatari national Ali Muhammad al-Sada were recovered, adding that the accused was leaving for his country via a private airline flight.

The ASF and wildlife department took the recovered falcons into custody and arrested the culprit; further investigation is underway.

The sport of falconry, the art of training hawks to hunt in cooperation with a person, is generally believed to have originated in Persia and the Mongolian steppes around 4000 B.C.

It was the sport of kings, who often gifted each other prized birds. Al-Harith bin Mu’awiya, of present-day Saudi Arabia, was one of the first monarchs to train and hunt falcons, elevating his falcons to royal status.

The Qatari government’s investment includes the Falcon Souq, a section of Souq Waqif dedicated to the sale of raptors. There are breeding centers for falcons in Qatar, but most falcons are brought in from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria, among others.
10/17/2017 1:22:09 PM
<![CDATA[Riyadh denounces Arish terrorist attack]]>
A Saudi Foreign Ministry official confirmed the kingdom's support for Egypt in its war against terrorism, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

He extended condolences to the Egyptian government and people and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

10/17/2017 1:20:10 PM
<![CDATA[Azhar Sheikh calls clerics to follow their conscience ]]>
Tayeb’s comments were made during his speech in the opening of the International Conference for Ifta held in Cairo on Tuesday. He warned against individuals who feign religious knowledge and their dependency on mistakes in the interpretations of the Quran and Sunna.

Tayeb added that throughout his one and a half years as a mufti, he had been working freely with no pressures or instructions. “I was told to just follow my conscience,” he added.

The conference is taking place over the next three days under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and is attended by muftis from 63 Muslim-majority countries to discuss the topic “The Role of Fatwa in Social Stability”
10/17/2017 1:16:17 PM
<![CDATA[Prosecution starts probe in El Arish attacks]]>
The prosecution ordered the forensic inspection of the sites of the attacks, including the headquarters of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) in El Arish city.

Within the course of the investigations, the investigators questioned the injured and eyewitnesses who were present at the site when the attacks took place.

It also assigned forensic experts to examine the bank's treasury and the sites of the attacks for fingerprints to match them and reveal the identity of the attackers.

It also urged security bodies to swiftly bring those behind the attacks to justice.]]>
10/17/2017 1:14:54 PM
<![CDATA[Popular Mobilization Forces retakes Sinjar town: Iraq]]>
Clashes between the PMF and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are still ongoing in the vicinity of the town, the sources added.

The clashes ensued in the town following the announcement of the results of Kirkuk security operation by the Iraqi forces on Monday.]]>
10/17/2017 1:06:43 PM
<![CDATA[Mufti of Lebanon: Fatwa coordinates with state to protect nation]]>
Derian delivered a speech during the opening session of the International Conference for Ifta titled "The Role of Fatwa in Maintaining social Stability.” The conference is being held from October 17 to 19 in Cairo, as an initiative of the Egyptian Islamic institution Dar Al-Ifta Al-Missriyyah, under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

“We cannot address the injustice and hostile campaigns faced by Islam, and the distortion of our religion caused by misguided fatwas. However, with God on our side we can face all challenges,” stated Derian.

During his speech, he stated that a large number of Egyptian Muslims represent the modesty of Islam, thanking Al-Azhar for exerting huge efforts to achieve peace.

He added that the Arab world is at a critical stage facing the violations committed against the Rohingya Muslims, and against the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

The conference promotes the culture of understanding, coexistence and dialogue, the mufti said in statements to MENA.

Dar Al-Ifta, affiliated to the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide, is hosting the third international conference with the participation of delegations representing 60 countries.

The move came as part of the continuous coordination between the Foreign Ministry and Dar Al-Ifta; seeking to highlight Egypt’s efforts in denouncing extremist discourses.
10/17/2017 1:05:23 PM
<![CDATA[Frazier, Judge power Yankees over Astros]]>
After dropping the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Houston, the Yankees bounced back before a sell-out crowd of 49,373 at Yankee Stadium to trim the Astros' series lead to 2-1.

Aaron Judge, the rookie sensation and AL Most Valuable Player candidate, broke out of his playoff slump with a two-out, three-run home run off of Astros relief pitcher Charlie Morton that highlighted a five-run fourth inning.

Judge came up big defensively as well, with a leaping catch into the right field wall in the top of the fourth that denied Yuli Gurriel at least an extra base hit and possibly a home run.

Judge's diving catch of a ball hit by Cameron Maybin gave the Yankees their first out of the fifth.

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia pitched six gritty, scoreless innings.

Frazier gave Sabathia some early breathing room with a two-out, three-run homer off of Astros starting pitcher Charlie Morton in the bottom of the second inning.

Judge came into the game in a 4-for-31 slump in these playoffs -- including 19 strikeouts -- said he was pleased to provide support for Sabathia.

"It felt good to put a couple more runs on the board for CC," Judge said of his home run. "He was working his butt off, did a great job tonight, and just to add those extra couple of runs was huge for us."

Sabathia allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, striking out five. He's 10-0 this season when pitching following a Yankees defeat.

The 37-year old pitcher was making his 22nd post-season start, and produced his first scoreless playoff outing.

"It's weird," he said. "Me being 37, smoke and mirrors, getting a shutout. "I wanted to come out and try to give it everything I could to throw strikes and have a good performance."

New York took the lead in the second. Starlin Castro sparked the two-out rally with an infield single. Aaron Hicks followed with a single to left-center before third baseman Frazier smacked a fastball that was down and outside into the right field stands.

"That home run I hit, it was unorthodox, but I'll take a hundred like it," he said.

'Swing happy' -
While the Astros' big bats struggled -- Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa were a combined 1-for-8 at the plate -- Houston avoided being blanked when they posted their lone run in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Alex Bregman.

"CC was really good because he didn't make a lot of mistakes," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He can pitch with the elevated fastball. He's got a pretty good breaking ball, especially when he gets you in the swing mode.

"We were a little swing happy tonight against him and he took advantage of being able to pitch to the outer parts of the strike zone."

The Yankees will try to level the series when they host game four on Tuesday.

The winner of the series will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

The Dodgers lead the reigning champion Cubs 2-0 in the National League Championship Series with game three on Tuesday in Chicago.]]>
10/17/2017 1:03:25 PM
<![CDATA[Matrouh prepares inauguration of new museum]]>
The antiquities gathered have been collected from several Egyptian museums across the country including artefacts from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir and National Suez Museum among others, according to state owned agency Egynews.

Among the gathered collections is the upper part of the statue of Ramses II of the ninth Dynasty, manuscripts, and stone plates among others.

Matrouh Museum is a collaborative project between the Ministry of Antiquities and Matrouh governorate to include funding, construction of exhibition halls, and lighting systems, that all came as part of a protocol signed in August.

The new museum in Matrouh is expected to include 1,000 artefacts dating back to ancient Egypt. The new project is also expected to exhibit the role of Matrouh as a governorate in boosting trade and businesses and connecting north to west.

Another museum in Matrouh has been opened recently called Romel Museum, featuring antiquities belonging to Egyptian war and Matrouh’s heritage.
10/17/2017 1:01:37 PM
<![CDATA[October war victory landmark in Egypt's history:Egypt's Military Attaché]]>
The remarks were made during a celebration that was held by Omara in China on Monday night to mark the 44th anniversary of the October War Victory. The ceremony was attended by Egypt's Ambassador to China Osama El Magdoub and a number of the embassy personnel.

A number of Chinese military, political and diplomatic officials attended the celebration along with some Arab and foreign diplomats and attachés accredited to China.

During the ceremony, Omara said that Egypt and the all Arab countries celebrate October War victory that had been achieved by the sacrifices of the Egyptian people and military.

Omara noted that Egypt is still strong during its fight against terrorism, achieving progress to get the regional and international stand it deserves.

He pointed out that Egypt’s participation in BRICS summit that was held in September reflected the growing economic progress it has achieved over the past few years.

He invited Chinese people to visit Egypt to witness development and mega projects being implemented in record time.

10/17/2017 12:59:56 PM
<![CDATA[Japan's "Blade Library" offers joy of blade running to amputees]]>
The 10-year-old boy, who had his right leg amputated at age two, never had the chance to use a blade because it was too expensive.

That changed in April when he was given early access to Japan’s new Blade Library in Tokyo, which lets people try on prosthetic limbs for running for a small fee.

“It’s difficult to leap forward with the prosthetic limb I usually use. It’s different from this one (the blade),” Saito told Reuters during a weekend ceremony when the library officially opened to the public.

“But this blade jumps and leaps...it lets me run faster,” he said after running and shooting basketballs on the library’s sports track.

The curved prosthetic blades are often made of carbon fiber and bend and spring as a person runs.

The blades, which can cost thousands of dollars each, generally do not qualify for government subsidies in Japan because they are not deemed “essential to daily life,” an official at the health and welfare ministry told Reuters.

The Blade Library allows people to try any of its 24 prosthetic blades for a daily fee of around 1000 yen ($9).

The library was opened by Xiborg, a Japanese company that researches and develops prosthetic limbs for runners. The company collected over 17.5 million yen ($156,300) in crowdfunding to open the facility.

“It’s sad that having your leg amputated becomes the reason why you can’t run,” said Ken Endo, Chief Executive Officer of Xiborg.

“I want to create an environment where everyone can run and have fun,” he said.

Chie Yamashita, a 20-year-old university student whose left leg was amputated a decade ago after a car accident, played tennis with a regular prosthetic limb because blades were too expensive.

“If there is a place like this library, then I can borrow them without hesitation and that’s wonderful,” she said.

10/17/2017 12:42:19 PM
<![CDATA[BA screens “The Sultan and the Saint”]]>
Directed by Alexander Kronemer, the film is set in the time of Crusades during the year 1219, when religious tensions were high and warfare between faiths was common.

Two men of faith, Sultan al-Kamel of Egypt and Saint Francis of Assisi from Italy, meet in Damietta and begin to form a friendship that transcends their religious differences. The two come together through mutual respect as men of faith and prove that coexistence and dialogue are reasonable alternatives to warfare.

"The Sultan and the Saint" stars Zack Beyer as Sultan al-Kamel, Alexander McPherson as Saint Francis and is narrated by Jeremy Irons.

The film screening will be followed up by a discussion featuring various intellectuals such as director Sandra Nashaat, journalist Hamdy Rizk, Catholic Church spokesman father Rafiq Gereish and Al-Azhar University's dean of the School of Languages and Dialogue Kamal Boreiqa.

Other attendees include historian and president of the Alexandria Sister City Committee Maged Farag, father William Faltas, the head of Saint Catherine's Cathedral and convent, and lastly a Skype interview with the director of the film.
10/17/2017 12:40:01 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, World Bank discuss 3rd batch of $3B loan]]>
The loan is meant to support the Egyptian government's economic and social reform program.

Egypt has already received the first two batches over the past two years worth two billion dollars.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of Nasr's participation in the annual meetings of the World Bank in Washington.

She expounded, at the meeting, economic reform efforts exerted by the Egyptian government and the establishment of several national development projects in the domains of transportation, education and infrastructure, according to a released statement by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.

She expressed satisfaction over cooperation between Egypt and the Bank, noting that the Bank is financing a development project in Upper Egypt worth 500 million dollars along with another low-cost housing project worth 550 million dollars.

The Bank is also financing a sewage drainage project worth 500 million dollars, she said, adding that another social protection project is financed by the Bank to the value of 400 million dollars.

For her part, Georgieva lauded the Egyptian economic reform experiment, asserting the Bank's keenness on increasing its support for Egypt in the sector of infrastructure.

Nasr extended an invitation to Georgieva to visit Egypt to attend a conference on investment and sustainable development in Sharm el Sheikh on December 9.

The event is organized by the ministry of investment in cooperation with the COMESA.
10/17/2017 12:38:26 PM
<![CDATA[Risk premium returns to oil over Iraq fighting, rising U.S.-Iran tensions]]>
After months of rangebound trading during which OPEC-led supply cuts supported crude values but rising U.S. output capped markets, prices have moved up significantly this month.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 25 cents at $58.07 a barrel by 0845 GMT, up almost a third from its mid-year levels. U.S. light, sweet crude CLc1 was 25 cents higher at $52.12.

Iraqi government forces captured the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk on Monday, responding to a Kurdish independence referendum. There were unconfirmed reports that Kurdish forces had shut around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production from major fields.

“In the case of Kurdistan, the 500,000 bpd Kirkuk oilfield cluster is at risk,” Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

Tension between the United States and Iran is rising, also raising the global risk premium for oil.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday refused to certify Iran’s compliance over a nuclear deal, leaving Congress 60 days to decide further action against Tehran.

“If there (were new sanctions), we expect that several hundred thousand barrels of Iranian exports would be immediately at risk,” Goldman said.

During the previous round of sanctions against Iran, around 1 million bpd of oil was cut from global markets.

“Oil and geopolitics are very much interlinked,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, told Reuters on Tuesday. “Oil security remains a critical issue for all the countries.”

With supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries tightening the market, analysts have been revising upward their oil price forecasts.

Birol said the rate of compliance by OPEC and its partners in their targeted cutting of around 1.8 million bpd between January this year and March 2018 was about 86 percent.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it was raising its oil price forecasts.

“We see Brent averaging $54 this quarter and $52.50 per barrel in 1H18, compared with our previous forecasts of $50 and $49.50 per barrel respectively. We also adjust WTI to average $49 this quarter, relative to our previous forecast of $47 per barrel.”

Merrill Lynch said it expected a sizeable deficit in 2017 of 230,000 bpd, and that there was further upside potential to its outlook.]]>
10/17/2017 12:31:03 PM
<![CDATA[NAFTA trade ministers to square off over hard-line U.S. demands]]>
The proposals to drastically reshape the North American Free Trade Agreement to help shrink U.S. trade deficits have cast a pall over the modernization talks, leaving some participants and analysts wondering how the NAFTA partners can avoid an impasse.

The U.S. demands, previously identified as red lines by its neighbors, include forcing renegotiations every five years, reserving the lion’s share of automotive manufacturing for the United States and making it easier to pursue import barriers against some Canadian and Mexican goods.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland are scheduled to meet and take stock of the negotiations before issuing statements at a joint event at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT). They later plan to separately brief media.

Lighthizer has made no apologies about his hard negotiating line, which he has said reflects U.S. President Donald Trump’s desire to claw back lost manufacturing jobs and shrink U.S. goods trade deficits amounting to $64 billion with Mexico and $11 billion with Canada last year.

Trump has continued his attacks on NAFTA throughout the talks launched in August, repeating his threats to terminate the pact if Mexico and Canada won’t agree to changes.

U.S. negotiators opened a new front over the weekend with a proposal that Canada dismantle its system of protections for the dairy and poultry sectors, a move that Ottawa will reject, a source briefed on the matter said on Monday.

U.S. opposition to NAFTA’s dispute resolution mechanisms, plans to restrict outside access to government contracts and attacks on Canadian dairy and softwood lumber producers have further stoked the grim mood among trade officials.

While Mexican and Canadian officials have expressed dismay at the U.S. proposals, they have publicly taken a less confrontational stance, with three more negotiating rounds scheduled through December.

“This is what negotiations are like,” Vanessa Rubio, Mexico’s deputy finance minister, said on Saturday.

“There are sectors where you get to a deal quicker, and in other sectors where you don’t. But let’s just say we’re in the normal process of a free trade negotiation.”

Canadian and Mexican officials are loosely allied with U.S. industry, farm and services lobbying groups who are opposed to the Trump proposals and stepping up their efforts to persuade administration officials to ease them.

Financial markets have taken notice of the acrimony over the negotiating table. By Monday, Mexico's peso MXN=D2 hit a near five-month low with fears growing about the future of the deal underpinning $1.2 trillion in annual trade between the three countries.e of the 23-year-old free trade pact in doubt.]]>
10/17/2017 12:28:42 PM
<![CDATA[Greece, IMF agree on fast bailout review conclusion: Tsipras says]]>
European Union and IMF inspectors are expected in Athens next week to start talks on Greece’s bailout progress.

Disagreements between Athens, the European Union and the Washington-based IMF over the country’s fiscal targets and the size of debt relief it needs helped delay the conclusion of a previous bailout review, which dragged on for months hurting economic activity.

Athens now wants to speed up, hoping to end bailout supervision when its current program expires in August 2018.

“We agreed that it is in all parties interest to conclude the third review in time, the soonest possible,” Tsipras said after meeting IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde as part of an official trip to the United States.

According to statements released in Greece on Tuesday, Tsipras said he believed that all parties have now overcome differences and hoped the IMF would play “a crucial and decisive” role in discussions on debt relief, a long standing Greek demand.

He was expected to meet U.S. President Donald Trump later on Tuesday.

Greece’s 86-billion-euro bailout, its third since 2010 when the debt crisis broke out, ends in less than a year. Athens hopes to conclude its third bailout review by December to start talks on the terms of exiting the program.]]>
10/17/2017 12:25:15 PM
<![CDATA[International medical teams arrive to Somalia]]>
Relief workers from Djibouti also arrived to Somalia to offer help.

Over 267 people were killed in the attack which targeted one of the busiest areas in Mogadishu.

The Somali presidency declared three-day mourning over the victims of the blast.

10/17/2017 12:21:13 PM
<![CDATA[U.S.-backed Syrian militias raise flag in Raqqa stadium]]>
The flag of the Kurdish YPG, the strongest of the militias in the SDF, was planted in the middle of the stadium, where fighting had ended, but which had not been fully cleared of landmines, militia fighters told the witness.

10/17/2017 12:20:29 PM
<![CDATA[Kuwaiti Emir to tour Gulf ahead of summit ]]>
The Kuwait and Saudi Arabia talks will focus on the rift between Qatar and the Arab quartet and ways to address the differences during negotiations, as to radically resolve it, according to a Saudi source quoted by Germany’s official news agency.

The source refused to comment on the reports suggesting that the crisis will be resolved soon through a meeting held between the six Gulf states including Egypt in the Gulf Summit.

“Wisdom and experience of Sheikh Sabah will facilitate reaching practical solutions that ensure Qatar’s abidance to the basic principles required by the Arab quartet and the adoption of procedures to converge views based on the six principles adopted in 2013 for which Qatar’s Emir has made a written commitment,” noted the Saudi source.

The Gulf Summit faces many obstacles threatening its convention due to the boycott, especially as three Gulf States accuse Qatar of adopting a policy that destabilizes the Arab region.

Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah declared that Kuwait has not yet sent any invitation to Gulf states regarding the summit. “Ahead of any Gulf Summit, Kuwait usually invites the states at an appropriate time, but it is still early to speak about these invitations.”

Jarallah said that he was optimistic about reaching a solution to the crisis. He also expressed hope that the dispute between the Gulf brothers would be addressed ahead of the upcoming summit.

“Kuwait’s mediation regarding the crisis will not fail and will continue with the help of the United States,” Jarallah stated late last month.

GCC member Kuwait has launched mediation efforts to find a common ground to end the crisis; however, Doha rejected the 13 demands made by the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), foiling the mediation attempt.

Last week, Kuwait announced its readiness to host the summit in December, amid hopes that the dispute would be mostly resolved by then.
10/17/2017 12:13:52 PM
<![CDATA[Oil elevated as Iraq tensions escalate, Asian shares hold firm]]>

Reports that U.S. President Trump might pick Stanford University economist John Taylor to lead the Fed after Janet Yellen’s term ends next year sent two-year Treasury yields to their highest since 2008 and pushed up the dollar.

That meant European bonds started in the red too [GVD/EUR] while the euro EUR=EBS was down for a fourth straight day for the first time since May.

Taylor is an advocate of a rules-based approach to interest rate policy that would likely see official Fed rates much higher than at present - at least 3.5 percent according to some economists.

The pop in short-yields was not matched at the long end and the 2-to-10 year U.S. yield curve hit its shallowest in more than a year.

“Fed chairs have often influenced U.S. monetary policy quite considerably in the past. And I would certainly see Taylor as a candidate who would fit in this pattern,” Commerzbank analyst

Thu Lan Nguyen said.

“That makes one thing clear: should Trump nominate Taylor as Yellen’s successor the U.S. dollar would initially appreciate notably.”

Despite’s the dollar’s gains, Wall Street stocks set new records again on Monday [.N] along with all-time highs on the MSCI’s 47-country ‘All-World’ index .MIWD00000PUS.

The MSCI index held close to those levels on Tuesday, shedding around 0.1 percent.

European shares were close to flat too, underpinned by solid earnings from food group Danone (DANO.PA) and education specialist Pearson (PSON.L) and talk of a break-up of investment bank Credit Suisse (CSGN.S). [.EU]

The ViX volatility gauge .VIX, which measures market nervousness, stayed near its recent record lows below 10 percent and while Asia stocks had been more mixed, Japan’s Nikkei .N225 eked out its 11th straight daily gain as eyes there turned to the weekend’s Japanese elections. [.T]

One of Monday’s big movers, oil, consolidated a near month-high having spiked after Iraqi forces seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk from fighters loyal to the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government.

After months of rangebound trading during which OPEC-led supply cuts supported crude values but rising U.S. output capped markets, prices have moved up significantly this month.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 was 5 cents higher at $57.87 a barrel by 0800 GMT, up almost a third from its mid-year levels. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was nudging up again too at $51.99.

There were unconfirmed reports that Kurdish forces had shut around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production from major fields.

“The 500,000 bpd Kirkuk oilfield cluster is at risk,” Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

Tension between the United States and Iran is also rising, after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday refused to certify Iran’s compliance over a nuclear deal which removed long-running sanctions.

“If there (were new sanctions), we expect that several hundred thousand barrels of Iranian exports would be immediately at risk,” Goldman said. During the previous round of sanctions around 1 million bpd of oil was cut from global markets.

Bellwether industrial metal copper CMCU3 hit a three-year high as it soared to $7,134.5 a tonne after its biggest gain in about 10 months.


Britain’s pound drifted higher against the dollar and the euro as UK inflation data bolstered the chances of the Bank of England’s first interest rate hike in over a decade next month.

The figures showed year-on-year price growth hit 3.0 percent in September, up from 2.9 in August which was already a more than five-year high.

It left sterling at $1.3275 GBP= and at 88.6 pence per euro EURGBP=. BoE Governor Mark Carney may offer further clues about a possible rate rise later too when he appears before a parliamentary committee.

Brexit-related rumblings weren’t far below the surface either.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker agreed over dinner in Brussels on Monday that the pace of negotiations over Britain’s departure from the European Union should be stepped up.

Some market watchers such as JP Morgan are sceptical on sterling’s outlook, recommending investors to buy euros against the British pound as “the overhang of the Brexit issue itself would constrain how much accommodation the BoE would be able to remove.”

Mexico's peso MXN=D2 flirted with a five-month low on concerns over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after Washington presented a number of hard-line proposals in re-negotiation talks.]]>
10/17/2017 12:12:28 PM
<![CDATA[Ford, PSA led European car sales decline in September]]>
September registrations fell to a combined 1.466 million cars in the European Union and European Free Trade Area (EFTA), the Brussels-based Association of European carmakers said.

Combined sales of PSA brands fell more than 5 percent, with Peugeot, DS and Opel/Vauxhall all recording year-on-year declines. Paris-based PSA acquired Opel earlier this year and began reporting registrations for the German brand in August.

Ford sales dropped 13 percent to 93,288 cars, while EU market leader Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) saw its registrations slip 1.1 percent, weighed down by the VW brand’s 3.2 percent drop.

Asian carmakers fared better last month, with Toyota’s (7203.T) sales up 1.9 percent and Nissan (7201.T) recording a 3.3 percent gain. Hyundai (005380.KS) rose 2.1 percent as affiliate Kia]]>
10/17/2017 12:07:36 PM
<![CDATA[OPEC compliance with oil output cut deal at 86 percent: IEA head]]>
“Their compliance is about 86 percent, higher than in the past... whether or not they will continue with this plan in November it’s up to them,” Birol told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul.

“If they do so, we may see, sometime next year, a rebalancing of the markets, as we still see a significant amount of stock in the markets which is higher than historical averages.”

OPEC and other producers including Russia agreed to cut their production by around 1.8 million barrels a day until next March to drain a global oversupply and prop up prices.

Asked about the conflict in Iraq between the government and separatist Kurds and the United States’ decision to decertify its nuclear deal with Iran, Birol said it is premature to assess the impact of these geopolitical risks on oil markets.

“It is too early to say how these geopolitical developments will continue and how much they will have an impact on oil prices,” Birol said.

“These issues remind us oil and geopolitics are very much interlinked and it will remain so... oil security remains a critical issue for all the countries,” he said.]]>
10/17/2017 12:05:01 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian pound stable in major banks Tuesday]]>
The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar recorded an average of LE 17.59 for buying and LE 17.69 in majority of banks.

Slightly going up, the euro exchange rate stood at LE 20.76 for buying and LE 20.88 for selling, compared to LE 20.75 for buying and LE 20.93 for selling in the latest transactions.

The GBP (British Pound) registered LE 23.38 for buying and LE 23.52 for selling, compared to LE 23.36 for buying and LE 23.55 for selling Monday.

As for the Arab currencies, the Saudi Riyal stabilized at LE 4.69 for buying and LE 4.71 for selling, according to the CBE.

The Kuwaiti dinar recorded LE 58.19 for buying and LE 58.66 for selling, while the Emirati dirham market LE 4.78 for buying and LE 4.81 for selling.
10/17/2017 12:02:34 PM
<![CDATA[ Egypt expects to renew financing deal with global banks]]>
“I think so. I think the central bank will renew it. It is a joint decision between the central bank and us (the finance ministry),” El-Garhy said in an interview on the sidelines of a New York investor luncheon sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

The original $2 billion repurchase agreement, signed in November 2016, had a one-year maturity. The banks provided funds against international bonds issued by the finance ministry and listed on the Irish stock exchange.

Asked if the amount of money would be increased, El-Garhy said: “It depends on the amount of the haircut, or discount. I think it will be improved. Last year it was 30 percent. I think this will improve this year and the discount could be only 25 percent, and that reflects improvement in the risk profile of Egypt.”

Egypt has tried to implement economic reforms to help revive its economy, which has been battered by political and economic upheaval since a 2011 uprising. Part of that effort included signing a $12 billion, three-year financial bailout program with the International Monetary Fund in November 2016.

The government then floated its currency, the pound, cut fuel and energy subsidies and increased taxes.

The central bank has since boosted a key interest rate by 700 basis points in a bid to ease inflation pressures. That has fueled foreign buying of government Treasury bills, which El-Garhy said remains strong.

“Foreign investors in T-bills did not go away. They are still coming,” he said.

Inflation data for September has eased from July when it reached its highest levels since 1986. Prices surged after the energy and fuel subsidies were cut.

On fuel prices El-Garhy said: “We have no scenario for another increase this year.”

If there is confirmation of stable prices and level inflation that allowed the central bank to have a clearer 12-month horizon, El-Garhy said he believed “there could be a scenario for the central bank to act” in bringing rates down.

El-Garhy reiterated plans to issue $3 billion worth of U.S. dollar-denominated Eurobonds and one billion worth of euro-denominated bonds in 2018.

“No decision yet, but most probably we start at the beginning of the year,” he said.

He also flatly stated there would be no increase in the current 14 percent value added tax.

The government’s goal is to attract more investment and create a steady 6 percent economic growth rate over the next five to seven years, starting in fiscal year 2018/19. Growth in fiscal 2016/17 was 4.2 percent.

“People have to be sure that we have a strong macro/fiscal consolidation... That would basically facilitate the decision making process for investors to come into the country,” he said, with a focus on tourism, agriculture and technology.


In the last fiscal year, $7.9 billion worth of foreign direct investment flowed into Egypt, 40 percent of which was for oil and gas, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said in a separate interview after earlier addressing the same luncheon on Thursday.

“The British come first because they have three companies,” Nasr said, citing Centrica Plc’s British Gas, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Attracting businesses beyond the oil and gas sector remains a key government goal and a reason for the passage of a new investment law ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in June.

Nasr highlighted incentives such as the 30 percent to 50 percent tax exemption from investment costs for seven years and one of the big reasons for a surge in business registrations.

“Just in the last three months, July, August, September, 3,700 new companies were established... this is 25 percent more than the same period last year,” she said, citing the new law.]]>
10/17/2017 12:01:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s Mufti: Misleading fatwas threaten global security]]>
“Since the world rises up against terrorism, so religious intellectuals should confront extremist thoughts and instead spread the teachings of our tolerant religion,” Allam added in his speech.

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-17 at 10.40.27 AM
Azhar clerics and international members of Fatwa authorities from different countries - Photo by Mohamed Assal/Egypt Today

He further noted that the conference is considered an “opportunity to achieve this goal, as the conference’s importance is not limited to discussing the issues of terrorism and extremism, but it expands to include misleading fatwas that leads to confusion in our society.”

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-17 at 10.38.39 AM
Egypt's former Mufti Ali Gomaa participating in the international conference for fatwa in Cairo Tuesday Oct.17, 2017 - Photo by Mohamed Assal/Egypt Today

Fatwas are religious edicts issued by recognized authorities. In Egypt, Dar al-Ifta, is the only body authorized to issue fatwas.

The conference, titled "Fatwa Role in Maintaining Societies' Stability," kicked off Tuesday, and is scheduled to last until Thursday. Members of Fatwa authorities from 63 countries are participating in the conference.]]>
10/17/2017 12:01:30 PM
<![CDATA[Human rights org. calls for Qatari opposition protection]]>
Describing Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani as a dictatorial tyrant, Abdel-Moniem condemned storming the palace of Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani in Doha on Thursday by the Qatari authorities, describing the step as a serious abuse of authority.

Abdel-Moniem stated he will submit a memorandum to the United Nations Human Rights Council, demanding advocacy for the peaceful activits in Qatar and launching investigations on abuses committed against Qatari people calling for political reform.

Qatar’s suppression techniques against the opposition ranges from revoking citizenships to freezing bank accounts, in an attempt to contain the opposition’s impact internally and prevent more from coming forth.

On Thursday, an armed force of the Qatari security forces raided the palace of Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani in Doha and confiscated documents and possessions belonging to his father, former Foreign Minister Sheikh Suhaim bin Hamad.

The security forces confiscated about 137 cases and a number of iron cabinets containing all of Sheikh Sultan's documents and possessions, in addition to a vast archive that accurately documents the history of Qatar.

There was an escalation from the Qatari ruling family against Tamim. The Qatari regime had frozen all assets belonging to Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, one of the most prominent Qatari figures to speak out against the government in the ongoing crisis involving Doha.

Amid unstable circumstances in Qatar following the recent Qatari crisis, there are anticipations on the possible candidates to rule Qatar after Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, son of the late Emir of Qatar, Ali bin Abdullah Al-Thani, is the forerunner candidate to succeed Tamim, according to Egypt Today’s previous interviews with political professors.
10/17/2017 11:57:03 AM
<![CDATA[Qatari opposition to launch its 2nd conference: Hail]]>
Hail, an exiled Qatari opposition figure, organized the first Qatari opposition conference in London last month in which he accused the ruling family of corruption, especially regarding the millions of dollars that Qatar was splurged on the World Cup venues.

Hail did not mention an exact time or place for the upcoming conference,

According to "Qatar leaks" Hail added that Qatari regime was expected to have the assets of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani frozen, as it is the regime’s primary weapon against dissent.

Qatari authorities stormed on Thursday Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani’s palace in Doha, a step taken after authorities froze the bank accounts of the young Sheikh.

Doha has faced a severe rebuke since June 5 when the Arab quartet comprised of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties with the emirate on accusations of sponsoring and harboring terrorism, which Doha consistently denies.
10/17/2017 11:53:25 AM
<![CDATA[Somali newspaper reveals Doha recruiting African mercenaries]]>
Garowe revealed that the Qatari regime hired 6,000 Somalis to confront the Qatari people, in addition to hiring Sudanese mercenaries in order to defend and protect Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in Doha.

Opposition twitter account named Qatari Leaks published a document that “exposes Doha’s recruitment of 360 Sudanese to join the Qatari army via its embassy in Khartoum.”

Qatari Leaks reveals Doha's recuitment of Sudanese soldiers

According to the document published by Qatari Leaks account on Twitter, the Sudanese soldiers are required to submit their resume, education certificate and other documents in order to join the Qatari army.

The document said high-ranking officials at Villa Somalia, the country's Presidential Palace are facilitating the recruitment program which is currently underway in several Somali semi-autonomous regions.

In Mogadishu, at least ten people said to be employees working for the ministries of Somalia's federal government were dispatched to Qatar, becoming the first batch of cadets, according to sources to Qatari Leaks.

It is unclear whether the Somali federal government and federal member states are aware of the plan to recruit unemployed youths as they are 'being lured' by Qatari agents, Qatari Leaks added.

Another leaked document issued by the Embassy of Qatar in South Africa, bearing no. "wx/219/216/209-3" dated 8/6/2017, revealed that the head of Qatar's state security apparatus contracted South African mercenaries to carry out missions against the security of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Although the document did not elaborate on the details of these tasks, it indicates the malicious intentions of Qatar’s regime.

A leaked document issued by the Embassy of Qatar in South Africa revealed that the head of Qatar's state security apparatus contracted with mercenaries.

The document details the plan to send two African mercenary units. The first consisted of 719 members headed by a retired officer from the Preventive Security Service in South Africa and planned to be sent to the Saudi Arabia by passing as pilgrims through 514 separate flights.

The second group of mercenaries was headed by a retired general intelligence officer in South Africa who were planning to infiltrate the UAE through 90 tourist resorts.

Egyptian parliamentarian Tarek al-Kholy told Egypt Today that that these documents reflected Doha’s confusion and fears and exposed how many mercenaries are among the Qatari army.

Qatari Leaks Twitter Account.png

“Qatar envies the Egyptian army which embraces only Egyptian nationals, unlike the Qatari army which is composed of several nationalities,” Al-Kholy added.

On June 5, 2017 Egypt and Saudi, along with several Arab allies, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in a move that sent shockwaves throughout the Middle East and beyond, including Somalia.

Doha is working on plans to increase its army and eyeing the unemployed youths in poor countries, including Somalia, where it is recruiting low paid soldiers to strengthen its military capability.]]>
10/17/2017 11:51:27 AM
<![CDATA[Gulf flat to lower in early trade, Saudi banks hold up]]>
The main Saudi index was flat after the first hour. Most Saudi banks edged up though Alinma Bank, which had jumped 2.3 percent in heavy trade on Monday after it reported better-than-expected earnings, fell back 0.2 percent.

Malath Insurance surged 9.9 percent after the trading period for its rights issue ended on Monday. Another insurer, Metlife AIG ANB, jumped 4.5 percent.

Petrochemical stocks were generally weak although Brent oil prices rose as high as $58.47 a barrel on Monday, following tensions between Baghdad and the local government in Kurdistan.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.3 percent as Emaar Properties fell 0.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi lost 0.4 percent as Dana Gas fell a further 1.3 percent. It has been sliding since a London court adjourned hearings last week on its attempt to avoid redeeming $700 million of maturing sukuk.

In Qatar, Masraf al Rayan edged up 0.3 percent after reporting a 6.5 percent increase in third-quarter net profit to 542 million riyals ($148.9 million), which beat EFG Hermes’ estimates of 502 million riyals and QNB Financial Services’ forecast of 508 million riyals.

But Qatar’s index lost 0.7 percent as Qatar National Bank fell 0.7 percent, ending a five-day winning streak after it reported solid third-quarter earnings last week. ]]>
10/17/2017 11:50:56 AM
<![CDATA[Inspection battle threatens Egypt's wheat supply]]>
Those trips, funded by exporters, have been cancelled as part of Egypt’s efforts to streamline imports worth more than $1 billion a year. Traders say the new system has backfired as inspectors are now rejecting cargoes at Egyptian ports on arbitrary and unpredictable grounds.

There is more to the problem than erratic policies and red tape, according to interviews with grains traders, agriculture quarantine inspectors, government officials, and a review of inspection documents.

According to these sources, difficulties for importers are rather the result of a tug-of-war over the right to inspect cargoes abroad, where until recently government quarantine inspectors enjoyed fully-funded trips, dinners and shopping at the expense of supply companies looking to secure safe passage for their wheat.

By applying higher standards to grains upon arrival, inspectors are driving up costs in a bid to undermine inspection companies that replaced them abroad, traders said.

Six inspectors who Reuters spoke to denied they are trying to get their foreign trips reinstated and said they are simply upholding quality standards.

Suppliers say uncertainty is prompting them to add premiums of up to $500,000 per cargo to hedge against risks. With Egypt expecting to buy around 7 million tonnes of wheat in the fiscal year that began in July, these premiums add millions of dollars to the government’s food subsidy bill.

The bread supply chain has ground to a halt on several occasions as traders have boycotted tenders. Subsidised bread is a staple for millions of poor Egyptians and the country’s leaders are always keen to keep supplies flowing for fear of unrest.

Wheat traders say the only way out of the problem is for the government bodies involved to sit down and thrash out standards all sides can agree on.


Getting cargoes passed under the old system often came down to keeping government inspectors comfortable, traders said.

When a $6 million wheat cargo at a port in Ukraine suddenly stopped loading two years ago, its agent found Egyptian inspectors had halted the process because their hotel would not give them a late breakfast, traders said. The delay cost the supply company $8,000 in port fees.

“As soon as we arranged for the hotel to give them a later breakfast, everything went smoothly and the shipment was passed. It wasn’t a wheat problem. It was a breakfast problem,” said a Cairo-based trader responsible for the cargo who asked to remain anonymous.

Six other traders described the system in similar terms, saying shopping for electronics and clothes, expensive dinners, and hotel room upgrades were the cost of keeping their grains moving out of ports from Odessa to Dunkirk.

One trader said the money paid to inspectors could equal their annual salary.

“You’re talking about four to five people, and you have to take care of them from A to Z, meaning you are taking them shopping and you are paying,” said Med Star for Trading President Hesham Soliman.

Soliman said the delegations grew more expensive. “They began needing more pocket money, the hotels have to be certain hotels, the tickets, the visa,” he said.

Traders said they would spend about $30,000 on the inspectors, which also typically included a $3,500 pocket money payment per person, according to invoices seen by Reuters.

Agricultural quarantine inspectors who Reuters spoke to on condition of anonymity have quoted the same figures for the trips but say the old system was still cheaper for Egypt.

“I can’t deny that I benefited, but the country benefited more. Look how much they’re spending now,” one inspector said, referring to the high risk premiums traders now put on cargoes offered to Egypt.

Traders say the system was a relatively cheap way to win approval for their wheat abroad, which protected a cargo from being rejected at Egyptian ports, something that could mean big losses, or even bankruptcy for smaller firms.

“If they’re making it sound like we were spending too much, you have the figures, compare the numbers. They’re spending a lot more now on the inspections,” the inspector said.


The old arrangement unravelled in late 2015, when a French wheat cargo was rejected in Egypt for containing traces of the common grain fungus ergot despite being approved by government inspectors abroad.

As other shipments were rejected and import rules appeared to be tightening, some traders said they no longer found the travelling inspectors a bet worth taking.

“We got to a point where we couldn’t deal with this. You have a fixed cost and you still have no guarantee that the shipment will enter the country,” said Soliman.

A group of traders, including Soliman, persuaded the government to ban travelling delegations, which Egypt did in a prime ministerial decree in late 2016 that handed inspections abroad to private companies and made the agriculture quarantine inspectors subject to the oversight of a trade ministry authority.

In an interview at the offices of the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC), Ismail Gaber, who heads the agency that now has the final word on wheat inspections, told Reuters the travel regime had raised suspicions of corruption that he would rather keep civil servants away from.

“There is of course the issue of corruption, I want to take my employee away from this suspicion. I don’t want the supplier and the employee to have the same self-interest,” he said.

“If he takes someone with him abroad, the supplier says ‘I’ve already taken him with me ... you gave me a government employee and you inspected there so you can’t find a problem with it here (in Egypt) after all of this’,” Gaber said.


But having lost their travel benefits, the inspectors are making their presence felt.

Since January, when the new inspection regime came online, inspectors in Egypt have subjected nearly all shipments to costly processes before being approved at Egyptian ports, which add tens of thousands of dollars in costs.

In June, a group of inspectors won a court case that argued that the new system illegally granted their mandate to GOEIC, which the inspectors said was ill-equipped to protect the country from harmful grain contaminants.

The government has appealed and ignored a court order to restore the old inspection regime, including travelling delegations.

The inspectors, who are still checking cargoes under the new inspection regime, say they are just trying to stop bad wheat getting into Egypt and deny they are trying to get their overseas trips back.

One inspector said checks were now tougher at Egyptian ports because importers were sending poor-quality grains.

Traders however said two big state grain purchases halted for containing poppy seeds demonstrated that inspectors were seeking new ways to show that inspection companies abroad are not up to the task.

As a result, traders hiked prices or stayed away from a recent state tender.

The only way out of the impasse, traders say, is for government agencies to agree on consistent rules. “Without that, we are just waiting for the next victim,” said one.]]>
10/17/2017 11:49:05 AM
<![CDATA[Iraqi forces retake Bai Hassan oil fields in northern Kirkuk]]>
The all-news network reported the news with no further details.

Iraqi forces announced earlier the results of Kirkuk security operation that was launched on Monday.

Iraqi forces have reportedly captured vital sites in the city including Kirkuk airport, oil fields and a military base.

10/17/2017 11:46:10 AM
<![CDATA[Luxor as you have never seen before ]]>
So, we made an inspirational plan for enjoying every inch of Luxor.

Luxor Temple – Reuters

First, Luxor is 670 kilometers from Cairo. You can go on a journey by train through the desert, which will take about nine to 11 hours. Travelling by plane will take around one and a half hours.

As far as accommodation, there are various kinds of five-star hotels, cruises, local hotels, and rental apartments. The selection is up to you.

Kebash Road – Reuters

Luxor conjoins one third of the world’s monuments, such as the Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple and the Valley of Kings. So, don’t miss a visit to a wonderful place like this.

In Luxor, you are able to enjoy riding air balloons and visiting the Holy Lake. There are other things to do, too. You can go sightseeing to the monuments and temples, in addition to walking through Al-Kebash Road, which links between the temples.

Holy Lake - Reuters

Surely, Luxor is an impressive monumental city that you will never forget!
10/17/2017 11:43:24 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Latvia discuss plans to operate flights to Riga in 2018]]>
In a statement, the Latvian diplomat said that there are many undiscovered tourist destinations in Latvia, including wonderland of medieval castles, pristine forests and centuries-old buildings in all sorts of styles.

The Egyptian travel agencies are currently preparing visitor orientation programs, Sulca said, adding that the embassy extended an invitation to these agencies to visit Latvia, Europe’s Best Kept Secret.]]>
10/17/2017 11:38:09 AM
<![CDATA[Afghan officials: Taliban attacks kill 10 policemen]]>
In southern Ghazni province, the insurgents stormed a security compound, using a suicide car, and killed at least seven policemen. Provincial chief police, Mohammad Zaman, says the attack in Andar district early on Tuesday morning triggered several hours of heavy fighting until the attackers were repelled.

Zaman says the district compound has been destroyed.

In western Farah province, police chief Abdul Maruf Fulad says the Taliban attacked a government compound in Shibkho district, killing three policemen.

The Interior Ministry says a militant attack, including a suicide car bombing is underway in eastern Paktia province's capital, Gardez, where insurgents targeted a police training center.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for all three attacks.]]>
10/17/2017 11:35:50 AM
<![CDATA[Qatar orbits Iran stalling to solve Gulf crisis]]>
“We are not losers,” Sheikh Khaled said as Asharq Al-Awsat reported. “We are concerned about the stability and prosperity of our countries, the security and progress of our peoples before anything else, and it is up to them – the Qataris – if they want to resolve their crisis or not.”

“Arab countries now have a clearer picture of the source of danger in the region; it is quite clear that Iran represents the greatest threat to the region's security and stability,” he added.

Sheikh Khaled also stated that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain strongly support U.S President Donald Trump's strategy regarding the possibility of terminating the nuclear deal with Iran.

“Bahrain welcomed this strategy because it is one of the countries that have suffered the most from Iranian terrorism and Iranian interventions, and we are waiting for this strategy to progress and achieve its objectives and not be withdrawn,” he explained.

Kuwait will send delegates in the coming period to other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to deliver letters to the Gulf leaders about the upcoming GCC summit in Kuwait in December.

“The summit [will be held] on time, upon an invitation by the host country,” the Bahraini minister said about the summit.

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, funding terrorism and having close ties with the regional foe Iran.

GCC member Kuwait has launched mediation efforts to find a common ground to end the crisis; however, Doha rejected the 13 demands made by the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), foiling the mediation attempt.
10/17/2017 11:33:04 AM
<![CDATA[Damage assessment committee to be formed after Arish terrorist attack]]>
This decision came to start estimating suitable compensations to be granted for the people who are affected by the attack.

The committee will be supervised by governorate's Secretary-General Mohamed el Saadani and will comprise representatives of financial affairs, urban planning, social solidarity and engineering department along with a number of bodies concerned.

The Ministry of Interior had said that three policemen and one civilian were killed while trying to abort a terrorist attack on the banks' area in Arish.

The incident took place when a group of terrorist elements targeted with guns and explosive charges security posts guarding key establishments in Arish.

A number of citizens were wounded and several houses, shops and cars were affected during the attack while the terrorists managed to seize a sum of money from a bank.

Security agencies started combing the area to hunt down the terrorist elements and arrest them, the ministry noted.

10/17/2017 11:31:26 AM
<![CDATA[Abbas signed decision to open recruitment in GS]]>
Interviewed by the Palestinian TV on Monday night, he explained that the legal and administrative committee has three and a half months to rectify the status of Gaza employees in order to resolve this issue once and for all.

Sheikh made it clear that the issue of war and peace is a joint political decision, not a factional one, and therefore no political party has the right to decide on war and peace issues except the legitimate authority which upholds the law and possesses the weapons.

President Abbas, said Sheikh, also gave instruction to Fatah Central Committee members to be present in Gaza on a regular basis to help in reorganizing the Fatah movement in Gaza.

Sheikh said that the real test for the success in ending the division is found in the full empowerment of the government of national reconciliation, which was not given an opportunity in the past to function in the Gaza Strip as in the West Bank, expressing hope that this time it will succeed in its mission.

"There is no country in the world that accepts dual authority, decision-making, law and order and possession of weapons. This is unacceptable," he said. "We are not militias to share power between us. We want a full and integrated system of authority with solid foundation.”

Sheikh added: "We told Hamas full empowerment means handing over all the responsibilities to the reconciliation government starting with the crossings, tax collection and security. There cannot be an end to division without enabling the government to become the bridge toward reconciliation.”

He stressed that the Palestinian Authority was committed to what was agreed upon in Cairo and that it will not pay any attention to statements from anywhere else.

“The President’s directives were clear: a positive approach towards reconciliation and no going back,” said the Fatah official who is also head of the Palestinian liaison office with Israel.

Sheikh pointed to a number of major strategic issues on the agenda of the talks, the most important of which is the handover of the crossings to the government on November 1, which is supposed to have a positive impact on the life of Gazans.

Another issue is security, he said, explaining that the key to empowering the government is security. “We want only one security establishment. We want to build one Palestinian security doctrine under the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority.”

Sheikh admitted that after 11 years of division, the road ahead will not be easy and therefore everyone needs to make an effort to make it work.

10/17/2017 11:23:01 AM
<![CDATA[Mohamed Ramadan begins filming El-Diesel ]]>
The movie has a notable cast along with Ramadan, such as Fathy Abdel Wahab, Hana Shiha, Mohamed Tharwat, Shaimaa Seif, Tamer Hagrass, Yasmine Sabri among others. The movie is written by Amin Gamal and Mohamed Mehrez, and directed by Karim al-Sobky.

It is worth mentioning that Ramadan’s latest movie ‘’ El-Kenz’’ (The treasure) is currently screening in Egyptian cinemas, achieving high revenues. El-Kenz’s storyline spans from the Pharaonic period of Egyptian history all the way to the 1970s, passing by the Abbasid and Ottoman periods. The plot revolves around corruption and how religious figures impose their authority over politics to secure high positions and power, focusing on the risks related to mixing religion with politics.

The administration of the Cairo International Film Festival, taking place at the Opera House from November 21-30, specifically asked for the participation of this film.

Directed by the veteran filmmaker Sherif Arafa, the film is starring Mohamed Ramadan, and the cast includes Amina Khalil, Sawsan Badr, Mohy Ismail, Mohamed Saad, Hend Sabry and Ahmed Rezk.
10/17/2017 10:57:08 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian National Film Festival to kick off October 18]]>
The Egyptian National Film Festival is going to honour a group of renowned filmmakers like the great actress Lobna Abdel Aziz, the famous Egyptian director Khairy Beshara, the well-known cinema photographing director Mohsen Ahmed and the montage specialist Laila Fahmy.

‘’Preserving the presence of a competition between the local Egyptian films only, without the participation of foreign films, supports and activates the Egyptian film industry, especially since the majority of its elements are young, and therefore we must motivate them to continue their journey with huge financial prizes in order to help them develop and give their best,’’ Seif recounted.

Seif explained that it is impossible to have Egyptian movies if we do not support the Egyptian film-makers both financially and morally. He expressed his sincere wishes that this edition of the festival be as successful as the previous ones, as all the participating movies were carefully chosen.
10/17/2017 10:22:50 AM
<![CDATA[Al Hilal eyes AFC CL Final]]>
Al Hilal enters the game with a strong offense that consists of Omar Kharbin, Carlos Eduardo and Salem Aldossari, but the team will miss their biggest star, Nawaf El Abed, for muscle injury.

“We are ready, and we seek to win tomorrow’s match to qualify for the final. We performed well in the first leg though we were missing a player in the second half, and we have the desire to play tomorrow at the same level,” Al Hilal manager, Ramon Diaz, told press on Monday.

On the other hand Persepolis fans seek for a comeback against Al Hilal though they are missing their top scorer, Mehdi Taremi.

It is worth mentioning that Al Hilal defeated Persepolis 4-0 in the first leg. Omar Kharbin scored three goals, while Yasser El Shahrani scored the fourth.]]>
10/17/2017 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hamrawein coal plant contracts to be signed in mid-2018: Min]]>
International consultant of the project, Belgian Tractebel Engineering Consultancy, is still studying the offers made by bidders, Shaker said, adding that three international consortiums have submitted bids for the project, which costs between $5.5-6 billion in total.

The consortiums include Shanghai Electric and Dong Fang Electric consortium, and a Japanese-American consortium led by General Electric (GE) and a consortium of Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi-Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS).

Speaking at an event organized by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) Monday to review latest developments of the electricity sector, hosting Shaker as a keynote speaker, the minister highlighted that the project’s construction is expected to take from five to six years, with each phase of the plant to enter operations at 2,000MW.

“The project’s consultants asked the three bidders to amend some terms of their offers and they have re-submitted the bids,” Shaker added.

In June, nine local banks announced intentions to fund $1.5 billion in loans to the project’s construction, including Commercial International Bank (CIB), Qatar National Bank (QNB) Al-Ahli, the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) and others.

The project is planned under the Electricity Ministry’s 2022-2027 program on EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) + Finance basis.
10/17/2017 9:35:40 AM
<![CDATA[et Quote: Focus on Poverty ]]>

1. "Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere." — Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

2. "I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act." — Bill Gates, business magnate and philanthropist

3. "Poverty is the worst form of violence." — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

4. "Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity." — Coco Chanel, French fashion designer

5. "To me, a faith in Jesus Christ that is not aligned with the poor...it's nothing." — Bono, singer-songwriter and philanthropist

6. "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." — Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun

7. "You can't comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable." — Diana, Princess of Wales

8. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." — Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister and civil rights activist

9. "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

10. "As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest." — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

10/17/2017 9:28:03 AM
<![CDATA[Khattab speaks post-UNESCO election]]>
Khattab, Former Minister of State for Family and Population, said that deals and the splitting of (African) votes have played a big role in her loss, as "It's an election, and every candidate uses their tools." Egypt didn't amass all African votes despite being a representative for the African Union, Khattab added.

Although it was expected that the Qatar-Gulf crisis would put Qatar in a weak position in the election, western symphathy towards Qatar was realized, Khattab said. "If I faced off against Qatar (in the runoff), I would have won," she exclaimed.

Indicating suspicious activities during the election, Khattab said that French media channels reported the presence of "Qatari political money" during the election race: "There were temptations and they were stronger than us. Egypt didn't resort to such methods.”

"When I called for investigation into violations that took place during the election, security guards were put on the doors of the three candidates' rooms, and I recognized weird movements", Khattab added.

French UNESCO Candidate Audrey Azoulay chats with Egyptian Candidate Moushira Khattab after first run-off that concludes in Egypt officially out of the race - Photo by Egypt Today

Khattab said that after she was set to face off with France's candidate Audrey Azoulay in the fourth round, a country among those who voted for Egypt withdrew. "Naming the country wouldn't help," she said. "We went into a battle; we didn't win, neither did we lose".

10/17/2017 9:25:54 AM
<![CDATA[Fashion Forward Dubai season 10 in numbers ]]>
Five of these are international designers who will be making their first appearance in Dubai on the FFWD runway.

Many past designers will be returning to the FFWD runway such as Amato, Anaya,Arwa Al Banawi, Hussein Bazaza, Lara Khoury, Madiyah Al Sharqi, Masheal AlRajhi, Sadeem, Roni Helou, Royaled by RH, Varoin Marwah, and Zareena.

Arwa Al Banawi has recently launched a capsule collection in collaboration with Adidas, which has made waves all over the region.

The 10 new comers to FFWD are Amine Bendriouich, Asya Krasnaya, Atelier Zuhra, Behnoode, Mohanad Kojak, Sara Altwaim, Uniti by BabakVosoughi, and Utruj.

Egypt’s very own and Project Runway Alum Mohanad Kojak will be showcasing his fusing of both haute couture and ready-to-wear, combining staple pieces of both styles, like tracksuits mixed with dresses.Kojak will also be reintegrating his signature Romeo and Juliette goblin fabric, the apholestery fabric he introduced to the fashion scene when he first started his brand.

Kojak is known for his sense of taste and bold fashion. He has dressed many Egyptian celebrities, such as Nahed El-Sebai, Dorra, Hana Shiha and many more.

“I see Fashion Forward Dubai as the first step to get recognized regionally and
internationally,” Kojak said. “It puts you, so to say, on a different track where you get
to meet the movers and shakers of the fashion industry regionally and internationally.”

LOOKBOOK SS/17 #KojakInHauteHeaven

A post shared by Mohanad Kojak (@kojakstudio) on

Also the MINI Fashion Beyond Native will present three designers Dress Addict, Wael and Zaid Farouki.

The main event will be when five international designers. Anna K, Eudon Choi, JoãoRolo, Nabil Nayal and Sid Neigum will be making their first appearance in Dubai on the FFWD runway, due to the high demand from designers around the globe looking to break into the Middle Eastern market.

The dates of FFWD 10th edition are set for October 26-28, 2017. It is set to be a three-day fashion extravaganza and will be located at none other than the other D3Dubai Design District, the capital of fashion design and creativity in the region.

FFWD is the main fashion event in Dubai and the Middle East, where for the past 5 years


has been pushing the careers of emerging fashion designers both internationally and regionally, while positioning Dubai as the next fashion capital in the global fashion scene.

10/17/2017 9:22:22 AM
<![CDATA[Qatar re-elected to UNHRC despite crackdown on opposition]]>
Qatar has reportedly frozen all assets belonging to two of the most prominent ruling family members, Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani and Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, as punishment for their opposition to the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, on the background of the ongoing Gulf crisis involving Doha.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali is the second son of the late Emir Ali bin Abdullah Al-Thani, the grandson of the Emir of Qatar, Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani, and the brother of Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani, who was overthrown by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani, grandfather of Prince Tamim bin Hamad on February 22, 1972.

In August, Sheikh Abdullah met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to mediate on reopening a land border to allow Qatari pilgrims to perform the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. A move that made Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim feels his reign is in danger. It was the first public high-level encounter between the two nations since the diplomatic crisis erupted.

The other opposition figure is Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani who slammed Tamim bin Hamad’s regime in a speech he gave in September from the French capital of Paris, over the current diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors. As a result, Qatari authorities stormed on Thursday Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani’s palace in Doha and seized all his assets in the emirate.

Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise.”

On 5 June, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions, accusing it of funding terrorism, a claim Qatar rejects. They also closed their airspace and seaports for Qatari transportation.

The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha, then shortened to six principles, including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting a Turkish military base.
10/17/2017 9:18:47 AM
<![CDATA[North Korea likely behind Taiwan SWIFT cyber heist]]>
"The likely culprit is Lazarus," BAE cyber-intelligence chief Adrian Nish told Reuters by telephone.

The British firm has previously linked Lazarus to last year's $81 million cyber heist at Bangladesh's central bank, as have other cyber firms including Russia's Kaspersky Lab and California-based Symantec Corp.

BAE's claim that Lazarus is likely responsible for the hack on Taiwan's Far Eastern International Bank demonstrates that North Korea continues to seek to generate cash through hacking.

Nish said he expects the group to continue to target banks.

"They are not just going to go away. They’ve built the tools. They are going to keep going back," he said.

Still, he noted that the group appears to have had difficulty in pulling funds out of the banking system, after the massive Bangladesh heist, which prompted SWIFT and banks to boost security controls.

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported last week that while hackers sought to steal some $60 million from Far Eastern Bank, all but $500,000 had been recovered by the bank.

BAE previously disclosed that Lazarus attempted to steal money from banks in Mexico and Poland, though there is no evidence the effort succeeded.

A security executive with SWIFT, a Belgium-based co-operative owned by banks, last week told Reuters that hackers have continued to target the message system this year, though many attempts have been thwarted by the new security controls.

SWIFT declined comment on the findings, which BAE detailed in a report on its website: https://baesystemsai.blogspot.ca/2017/10/taiwan-heist-lazarus-tools.html

The report provides technical details on malware samples that BAE believes were likely used to target the Taiwan bank.]]>
10/17/2017 9:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Shinzō Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni shrine for war dead]]>
Abe was expected to refrain from visiting the shrine during the festival, which will last until Friday, the Nikkei business daily and Kyodo news agency reported.

Past visits to Yasukuni by Japanese leaders have outraged Beijing and Seoul because it honours 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals, along with Japan's war dead.

Abe has only visited the shrine in person once, in December 2013, since becoming premier the previous year.]]>
10/17/2017 8:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Culture is bridge linking Egyptians and Sudanese: Minister]]>
Namnam made the remarks during a reception held by Egypt’s ambassador to Sudan ahead of the minister’s participation in the Khartoum International Book Fair.

He called for not giving the chance to powers seeking to undermine the historical relations between the two countries.

Namnam is scheduled to deliver a speech at the opening session of the fair on Tuesday.

During his several days’ visit, he will also meet with a number of Sudanese officials to discuss means of boosting cultural relations between the two countries.]]>
10/17/2017 7:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Key U.S. Republican says Trump must work with Europe on Iran]]>
"This is something that can only work if the administration exercises tremendous diplomacy with our European allies," Corker told reporters as the Senate returned to the Capitol for the first time since Trump announced his Iran policy.

Trump defied both allies and adversaries on Friday by refusing to certify that Iran is complying with an international agreement on its nuclear program, and threatened that he might ultimately terminate the accord.

Corker is leading an effort in Congress to write legislation setting new conditions for the U.S. role in the pact, such as automatically reimposing sanctions if Iran is deemed to be within one year of developing a nuclear weapon.

Details have not been finalized, but the plan's outline raised concerns that it might cause Washington - not Tehran - to violate the deal reached with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Iran and the European Union.

Corker said Democratic senators told him that Washington must work with Europe.

Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate and House of Representatives, but their Senate majority is so narrow that most legislation needs Democratic votes to pass.

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday reaffirmed their support for the nuclear pact and said failure to uphold it could have serious consequences for regional peace, and undermine efforts to check North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Corker said he had tried to convince European officials that the news on Iran was not all bad.

"I ... shared with them that, look, if I were them, I'd look at this as 'the glass is half full,' he didn't withdraw from the JCPOA (the nuclear deal), and that's step one," Corker said.

He described efforts under way in Washington as a chance to address "deficiencies" in the nuclear pact, in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Every Republican in Congress, as well as some Democrats, opposed the accord when it was reached by former Democratic Barack Obama's administration in 2015.

Corker and Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who worked with him on the legislation, met later on Monday on Iran with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.]]>
10/17/2017 7:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Petition signatories urge Sisi to run for second term]]>
Beheira Governor Nadia Saleh was among those who signed the petition.

The petition has been launched by the "To Build It" campaign.

"We received a large turnout of different categories of the Egyptian people in all Egyptian governorates and abroad to sign the petition", said a spokesman for the campaign.]]>
10/17/2017 7:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Jenas: Lallana should be in the starting line-up instead of Salah]]>
The Egypt international has been a standout player for Liverpool this season following a summer move from Roma. He has scored 6 goals and registered 2 assists in his first 12 games with the Merseyside club.

“If I think about Liverpool’s best team, he’s in it. I’d leave Salah out,” Jenas told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Lallana was able to help his team return to the Champions League after scoring nine goals and making eight assists in the Premier League last season.

“There were games where Lallana dragged Liverpool through games and got important points. They saw their best of Adam Lallana last year. The only problem is he doesn’t stay fit long enough,” he added.

Liverpool currently sits sixth in the league table with 13 points, and their next game will be against NK Maribor in the Champions League on Tuesday.]]>
10/17/2017 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trump declares Obamacare 'dead']]>
"It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer - you shouldn’t even mention. It’s gone," Trump said of former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature 2010 healthcare law that Republicans have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said: "I think we’ll have a short-term fix with Republicans and Democrats getting together."

Trump also said he would work to lower prescription drug prices, which he said were "out of control." He did not provide details.

Last week, the Republican president said he would stop Obamacare's federal subsidy payments to insurers, which are designed to help lower-income people afford health insurance.

Trump said that in stopping the subsidies, he was cutting off the "gravy train" for insurers.

But Democrats and some Republicans said Trump's move to cancel the payments would hurt poor and middle-class people and cause premiums to soar.

Democratic attorneys general from 18 states as well as Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit in federal court in California on Friday to preserve the payments.

Trump vowed during his 2016 presidential campaign to kill Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, but his fellow Republicans in Congress have been unable to pass legislation to replace it with a more limited healthcare program.

Republicans call Obamacare intrusive and ineffective. Democrats defend the law, saying it extended health insurance to millions of Americans.


Trump said his goal was to make healthcare more affordable and "that's what we are doing" by encouraging a bipartisan short-term fix followed by a Republican-only long-term program to be enacted during the first part of next year.

It was not yet clear whether the Republican-controlled Congress would agree to help shore up Obamacare and reinstate the subsidies.

Congress is already grappling with a crowded agenda that includes tax reform and paying for relief efforts for California's wildfires and hurricanes that hit Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he was hopeful that a deal was near to stabilize Obamacare.

"If he's (Trump) now supportive of an agreement that stabilizes and improves the existing system under the Affordable Care Act, we certainly welcome that change of heart," Schumer said in a statement.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray have been trying to craft a bipartisan deal aimed at helping stabilize health insurance markets under Obamacare.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Alexander said: "I hope we can get a result," but added that any deal he crafted with Murray would have to win the support of rank-and-file senators.

He said he and Murray were trying to strike a deal that "extends cost-sharing payments for two years and gives states meaningful flexibility" in administering Obamacare.]]>
10/17/2017 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Wall St inches up with financials; earnings in focus]]>
JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America led gains in bank stocks, tracking a climb in U.S. Treasury yields, which benefits banks. JPMorgan was up 2.1 percent, while Bank of America was up 1.6 percent.

The S&P 500 financial index rose 0.6 percent after three days of losses. Shares of banks mostly slipped last week after they reported results.

Netflix gained 1.6 percent during the session and rose another 2 percent after the bell following the release of its results. Apple shares gained 1.8 percent following a bullish brokerage call on the iPhone maker.

The reporting period heats up this week, and with the S&P 500 already up 14 percent so far this year, investors are hoping results and guidance will justify the relatively high valuation of stocks.

"Big companies are going to start reporting earnings, and I think that's going to drive the direction of the market for the next two or three weeks. There's a lot of optimism built in, and hopefully it will be reflected in the earnings," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"You saw decent numbers from the banks but quirks here and there. But for the bigger tech companies, people have high hopes."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 85.24 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 22,956.96, the S&P 500 gained 4.47 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,557.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 18.20 points, or 0.28 percent, to 6,624.01.

All three hit record closing highs, adding to recent records.

Investors will keep a close eye on the Senate, which is trying this week to pass a partisan budget blueprint that would help guide federal spending.

The Republicans want to use the "budget resolution" to pave the way for the party later this year or next year to pass a major tax-cut bill without any Democratic support.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working on a short-term fix for healthcare insurance markets after he last week scrapped subsidies to insurers.

S&P healthcare stocks were among the biggest laggards, with the index falling 0.4 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.02-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 5.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data. ]]>
10/17/2017 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spanish judge jails two Catalonia independence leaders]]>
An ongoing legal investigation claims Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the leader of the ANC movement, and Cuixart, who heads the Omnium Cultural association, were heavily involved in organizing a massive protest aimed at hindering a Guardia Civil investigation in Barcelona into the build-up for the 1 October illegal referendum, The Independent said.

Members of the Guardia Civil were trapped in Catalan government offices on 20 September as a result of thousands of protesters encircling the building, in what has been described as a “siege” and during which three police vehicles were destroyed.

Both Cuixart and Sanchez, who are now set to spend the night in a prison near Madrid, earlier refused to answer questions from the judge overseeing the investigation. Summoned to court twice on Monday, on entering they gave clenched fists victory salutes to a small group of supporters.

The chief of the Catalan police, Josep Lluis Trapero, was also questioned in the same courtroom on Monday for a second time in ten days, on possible charges of sedition over the regional police force’s allegedly overly passive role during the build-up to the 1 October referendum.

Trapero, who prosecutors had also asked to be detained, was finally released without bail, although his passport was confiscated.

The imprisonment of two of their best-known local leaders has provoked outrage amongst the separatist movement, further raising tension on an already exceptionally fraught day in Spain’s prolonged political crisis in Catalonia.]]>
10/17/2017 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Montazah Palace is sightseeing twist between past and present]]>
Victorian Bridge – Best Places Of Egypt Face Book Page

Al-Montazah Palace – Best Places of Egypt Face Book Pagfe

Al-Montazah Palace is surrounded by lush gardens with a Victorian bridge that takes you to a sandy cove and to a small island of Pylons.

Luxury hotel at Al-Montazah Palace – Best Places of Egypt Face Book Page

Semi-private beach of Al-Montazah Palace – Best Places of Egypt Face Book Page

The slamalek phase of the palace, where male guests were traditionally received, was turned into a luxury hotel with several restaurants and picnic places, along with semi-private beaches.

Al-Montazah Palace – Best Places of Egypt Face Book Page

In the past, this palace was constructed to serve the royal family, but now it is available for all. ]]>
10/17/2017 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Wildfires kill at least 39 in Portugal and Spain]]>
Firefighters were battling 50 blazes in Portugal and a similar number in Spain. Portugal's government asked for international help and declared a state of emergency in territory north of the Tagus river - about half of its landmass.

Flames ripped across Iberian countryside left tinder-dry by an unusually hot summer and early autumn, fanned by strong winds as remnants of ex-Hurricane Ophelia brushed coastal areas.

Television footage showed abandoned villages with many houses in embers and charred vehicles left on the roads.

Portuguese opposition parties and the media harshly criticised the government for failing to prevent a new wave of deadly fires after the country's worst ever forest fire in June that killed 64 people.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa, however, refused to sack his interior minister and defended his government's attempts to reform the troubled forestry management system.

"It's a structural problem that we are facing... This is not a time for resignations, but for solutions. Everything has to be transformed into reforms, to provide responses that the country needs so that nothing stays the way it was after this year," he told reporters after a television address to the nation.

"We are aware that the country wants results from us and we're running against time after decades of negligence," Costa told reporters after his address.


At the heart of the problem is poor land management in Portugal, where traditional small plots have become fire hazards after being abandoned by successive generations of landholders who moved to the cities.

Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa said climate change was also to blame. "We are facing new (weather) conditions ... In an era of climate change, such disasters are becoming reality all over the world," she said, citing the wildfires burning in California.

The weekend fires also injured 63 people in Portugal, civil protection service spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said. The toll could still increase as seven people were unaccounted for.

Water-spraying planes could not be deployed against most fires due to gigantic plumes of smoke that reduced visibility.

But Gaspar said rains expected late on Monday and on Tuesday in the north of Portugal were likely to bring some relief.

The Lisbon government has been criticised for a slow, inefficient response and a lack of fire-prevention policies, leaving Portugal with Europe's largest expanse of woodland burned by wildfires.

Portugal's fires have burned over 40 percent of the total in all of the European Union this year. With just 2.1 percent of the EU's landmass, Portugal suffered the biggest fires during 2008-16 as well, with an average of 36 percent of the total.

Three people died in Spain's northwestern Galicia region - two of them women found inside a burnt-out car, the third a man in his 70s killed as he tried to save his farm animals, according to local media.

Most of the fires in Galicia were started deliberately, said Alberto Nunez Feijoo, head of the regional government.

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said some of those responsible had already been identified. They could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted. At least two persons were arrested in Portugal for allegedly starting fires.]]>
10/17/2017 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Four SRCS volunteers among Mogadishu attack casualties]]>
In a statement, The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) mourned the loss of life of the volunteers.

"This figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing", the statement read.

"As we continue to assess the situation on the ground, the toll remains unclear in the chaos following the blast", it added.]]>
10/17/2017 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[EasyJet, Lufthansa make offers for parts of Alitalia]]>
The news will spark disappointment in Italy, which wants to sell Alitalia in one package to avoid mass job losses.

The Lufthansa Group said it was after "only parts" of the global traffic network and European and domestic point-to-point business of the national carrier, which it would use to establish a "NewAlitalia".

EasyJet said it too was interested "in certain assets of a restructured Alitalia", without providing details.

The budget airline said there was no certainty that any transaction would proceed.?

The struggling Italian carrier received a boost Friday when Rome said it would add 300 million euros ($355 million) to a bridging loan package and extend its deadline for finding a buyer.

But the Lufthansa and easyJet offers left trade unions cold.

"Today was supposed to be a decisive day for Alitalia's future," the UGL union's secretary Paolo Capone said.

"However as one could expect, in a market of sharks, the offers made are underbids which will have a negative impact on the future employment of its workers," he added.

Alitalia, struggling to compete with low-cost rivals, went into administration at the start of May after staff rejected job and salary cuts as part of a two-billion-euro rescue plan.

In May, Rome said it would provide a 600-million-euro loan to keep the carrier's planes in the air for around six months, staving off liquidation of the flagship airline.

Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair expressed early interest but two weeks ago said it was dropping the idea as it struggles with the fallout from thousands of cancellations of its own flights owing to a pilots' shortage.

If no Alitalia buyer ultimately materialises, the administrators will wind up the airline.]]>
10/17/2017 2:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Cuba has duty to prevent attacks on US envoys: Trump]]>
Asked by reporters whether he agreed that the Cuban government is capable of halting the mystery attacks, Trump said: "I do believe Cuba is responsible.

"I do believe that and it's a very unusual attack, but I do believe Cuba is responsible. Yes," Trump told reporters.

In a Twitter exchange with an AFP reporter, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's chief public affairs adviser R.C. Hammond confirmed that Trump means that Cuba has a "responsibility to prevent attacks, protect diplomats."

US officials have not accused the Cuban government of ordering the attacks, but have become increasingly frustrated at their failure to identify and catch those responsible.

The mysterious attacks, which US officials initially suggested could have been carried out with some sort of covert acoustic device, have affected at least 22 US embassy staff in Havana.

The last instance occurred in August.

Those affected have exhibited physical symptoms including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping.

In response, the US has withdrawn more than half the personnel from the US embassy in Cuba and ordered the expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats in the United States.

US relations with Havana were only fully restored in 2015 -- after a half-century Cold War breakdown -- and have deteriorated since Trump took office in January.]]>
10/17/2017 1:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[DFLP condemns Sinai terror attack]]>
In a statement issued by the DFLP office in Amman, the front said the attack was a desperate terrorist attempt to harm Egypt's national and regional role, especially following Cairo's effective action to put and end to the Palestinian division.

It affirmed confidence the terrorism and its sponsors would be defeated by the will and steadfastness of the Egyptian people, army and leadership. ]]>
10/17/2017 1:29:56 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. Senate confirms Gingrich as ambassador to the Vatican]]>
Gingrich, 51, an author, documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, is the wife of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, a vocal Trump ally.

Her nomination was approved on a 70-23 vote.]]>
10/17/2017 1:26:40 AM
<![CDATA[Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist]]>
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta's capital Valletta, when the bomb exploded, sending the vehicle's wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field.

Muscat says her death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also assaulted freedom of expression. He described the slain journalist as "was one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level," as he denounced the attack as "unacceptable" violence.

Caruana Galizia was named by Politico as among the 28 Europeans who are "shaping, shaking and stirring" Europe. She had exposed that Muscat's wife, Michelle, as well as Muscat's energy minister and the government's chief-of-staff, held companies in Panama by looking into the 2016 document leak. Muscat and his wife deny they held such companies.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia called the killing a "political murder."

Caruana Galizia had been sued for libel because of various articles she wrote on her blog "Running Commentary," and she had filed a report with the police two weeks ago that she was receiving threats.

Monday evening's Parliament session was scrapped, except for briefings about the bombing scheduled to be given by Muscat and Delia, the opposition leader.

In June, Muscat was sworn in for a second term as prime minister following snap elections he had called to reinforce his government as the Panama Papers' leak indicated his wife owned an offshore company. The couple deny wrongdoing.

The leak exposed the identities of the rich and powerful around the world with offshore holdings in Panama.]]>
10/17/2017 1:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[King Salman phones al-Abadi over situation in Kirkuk]]>
According to a statement released by the Iraqi government, King Salman stressed his support to the unity of Iraq, noting that Saudi Arabia follows with interest the situation in Kirkuk.

Iraq began a military campaign on Monday to seize the vital city of Kirkuk and surrounding oil fields, ousting the Kurdish forces that had controlled the region for three years in their effort to build an independent nation in the northern region of Iraq.

The Kurds voted overwhelmingly in a referendum three weeks ago for independence from Iraq. The United States, Baghdad and most countries in the region condemned the vote, fearing it would fuel ethnic division across the region.

Al-Abadi appreciated the Saudi kingdom’s support to his country, expressing Iraq’s keenness to boost the bilateral relations between the two countries. An Iraqi government delegation is scheduled to visit Riyadh next week to sign a cooperation deal in different sectors.]]>
10/17/2017 1:08:36 AM
<![CDATA[IMF Managing Director praises economic reform in Egypt]]>
Lagarde added that she appreciates the determination of the Egyptian administration to sustain constructive steps of reform.

This came on the sidelines of the meeting of the Middle East’s and North African countries’ prime ministers, including the Egyptian Minister of Finance, Amr El-Garhy.

El-Garhy delivered the opening speech, in which he displayed the strategy of the economic reform program to achieve sustainable and comprehensive growth.

El-Garhy added that the Egyptian government works on five main axes spearheaded by increasing the growth rate and employment to reform the Egyptian economy, which has suffered in the last few years.

The government seeks also to increase spending on health, education and public services, indicating that woman empowerment is on top of the agenda of the government, added El-Garhy.

El-Garhy further said that Egypt is working on increasing the ability of social protection programs to target the neediest people and highlighted that they pay attention to small and medium-sized enterprises.]]>
10/17/2017 1:03:58 AM
<![CDATA[International conference for Ifta kicks off Tuesday in Cairo ]]>
The conference will be held from Oct. 17 to 19 in Cairo, and will be titled "Fatwa Role in Maintaining Societies' Stability."

The platform promotes the culture of understanding, coexistence and dialogue, the mufti said in statements to MENA.

He added that courses and symposiums will be offered during the conference along with maximizing the benefit from latest technologies to serve the goals of Dar al ifta.

The platform comprises a set of lectures as well as training, educational, cultural and behavioral programs, mufti Allam pointed out.

Dar al Ifta-affiliate the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide will host the third international conference with the participation of delegations representing 60 countries.

The move came as part of the continuous coordination between the Foreign Ministry and Dar Al-Ifta; seeking to highlight Egypt’s efforts in denouncing extremist discourses. ]]>
10/17/2017 1:01:56 AM
<![CDATA[Guardiola refuses to compare De Bruyne with Messi ]]>
“The best is just one. I wouldn't help him (De Bruyne) comparing to Messi. Messi is apart. He is a guy who scored 60 goals a season," Guardiola told press on Monday ahead of Man City’s game against Napoli in the UEFA Champions League.

Guardiola coached Lionel Messi in Barcelona for four years from 2009 to 2012.

Guardiola praised Kevin De Bruyne, saying, “He is an amazing player; a humble guy. All his teammates love him. He wants to play every game and fight until the end.”

Guardiola added, “If you want Kevin to be considered one of the best, he has to win titles. We are here to help him achieve that.”

Kevin De Bruyne scored a goal and provided five assists to lead Manchester City to top the Premier League with 22 points after eight games. ]]>
10/17/2017 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Lion bite rugby player Baldwin feared he could lose his hand]]>
The 28-year-old -- who was described as 'stupid' by his Ospreys coach Steve Tandy following the biting incident at a game reserve prior to their Pro14 match with the Cheetahs -- was told by a doctor treating him his hand might have to come off because it had been infected.

"The infection was the major issue," he told the BBC on Monday.

"The next day it started tracking up my arm. The surgeon said there was a chance I could lose my hand.

"The bite went straight through the other side of the hand, but I was really lucky it didn't hit any tendons or ligaments.

"The surgeon said it was like winning the lottery, he said it was the best possible outcome considering I had been bitten by a lion."

Baldwin, who became a social media sensation when video of the incident surfaced, underwent two operations before being allowed to fly back to Wales.

"The first day our doctor cleaned it out and stitched it up," he said.

"But the following day we went to the hospital after it had become infected.

"I had my first operation on the Thursday, second operation on the Friday, and then I was allowed to fly home Saturday on the understanding I had an IV drip and went straight to hospital when I got back.

"I was transferred to Morrison hospital in Swansea to see a plastic surgeon, and he cleaned it out once more.

"Because they had packed it with all stuff to stop the infection, my skin was so loose he didn't have to take a skin graft, so I was really fortunate there."

Baldwin, who has been with Ospreys since 2009 and has won 34 caps, says he hopes he could be back in action even this weekend in their Champions Cup clash with two-time champions Saracens.

"I've had the stitches out, and hopefully will be back in training sometime in the coming week," he said..

"I'm hoping to be available for this week, if all things go well. But that's my thought process, I don't know about the coaches and medical teams, but that's what I've got in my head.

"Steve Tandy has said we just need to get past it now. It is what it is, we just need to move on now."]]>
10/17/2017 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Baghdad strain on Kurds to curb independence attempts]]>
Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani has arrived in Iraq's Kurdistan region for talks about the escalating crisis between the Kurdish authorities and the Iraqi government following the Kurdish independence referendum, a Kurdish official said.

Kurdish leaders who met to discuss the crisis in the Kurdish town of Dokan renewed their offer to "resolve peacefully" the crisis with Baghdad, Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani's aide, Hemin Hawrami, said on Twitter.

Iraq's Kurdish leadership rejected the Iraqi government demand that it cancels the outcome of an independence referendum as a precondition for talks to resolve the dispute.

The Iraqi government accused Kurdish authorities of bringing fighters from Turkey's separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and said it considered the move a "declaration of war."

"At the request of the Iraqi government, the Islamic Republic of Iran closed the border crossings with the Kurdistan region of Iraq,'' the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement in Baghdad.

Iran shut its border crossings with Iraq's Kurdistan in support of measures taken by the Iraqi government to isolate the Kurdish region, the Iraqi foreign ministry said.

Iraqi forces began moving at midnight towards oil fields and an important air base held by Kurdish forces near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraqi and Kurdish officials said.
The object of the advance was taking control of the K1 airbase, west of Kirkuk, Lieutenant Colonel Salah el-Kinani of the Iraqi army's 9th armoured division told Reuters.

"Iraqi forces and Popular Mobilisation are now advancing from Taza, south of Kirkuk, in a major operation; their intention is to enter the city and take over (the) K1 base and oil fields,'' said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Security Council.

A convoy of elite Iraqi military forces took control of the governorate building in central Kirkuk, meeting no opposition from Kurdish forces deployed in the city, security sources and residents said.

Iraqi forces removed the Kurdish flag that was hoisted on the governorate building in April next to an Iraqi flag, said residents, adding that only the Iraqi flag was flying.
Oil and natural gas production from the Kirkuk region is proceeding normally on Monday despite an Iraqi military operation to seize the region form Kurdish forces, an Iraqi Oil Ministry official told Reuters.

U.S. Senator John McCain, the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Iraq's government of "severe consequences" over any further misuse U.S.-provided weaponry against Kurdish forces.

"The United States provided equipment and training to the government of Iraq to fight (Islamic State) and secure itself from external threats — not to attack elements of one of its own regional governments, which is a longstanding and valuable partner of the United States," McCain said.

The United States sought to avoid openly taking sides in an Iraqi-Kurdish dispute, as Iraq's capture of the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk raised the risk of an open conflict between U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State.

U.S. President Donald Trump expressed disappointment the two sides were fighting.
"We don't like the fact that they're clashing. We're not taking sides," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The Head of Iraqi Counterterrorism Service in Kurdistan Lahore Sheikh Zinki attacked the region’s leader Masoud Barzani saying, “While we were busy protecting the Kurdish people, Masoud Barzani was busy robbing oil and strengthening his power.”

Zinki added in statements to El Hurra channel, “We will not send our children to their death to preserve Barzani’s seat of power.”

The Pentagon urged Iraqi and Kurdish forces to "avoid escalatory actions" and to turn to dialogue to defuse tensions and resolve their differences. ]]>
10/16/2017 10:55:47 PM
<![CDATA[Scientists detect gravitational waves from star collision]]>
The waves, caused by the collision of two neutron stars some 130 million years ago, were first detected in August in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories, known as LIGO, in Washington state and Louisiana as well as at a third detector, named Virgo in Italy.

Two seconds later, observatories on earth and in space detected a burst of light in the form of gamma rays from the same path of the southern sky, which analysis showed likely to be from the same source.

Less than two years have passed since scientists working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology first detected gravitational waves coming off two black holes.

The gravitational waves had been predicted by Einstein in 1916, as an outgrowth of his groundbreaking general theory of relativity, which depicted gravity as a distortion of space and time triggered by the presence of matter.

Three U.S. scientists who made that discovery were awarded the Nobel prize in physics earlier this month.

The findings published on Monday help confirm Einstein's theory, said the researchers, whose work was published in Physical Review Letters.

"From informing detailed models of the inner workings of neutron stars and the emissions they produce, to more fundamental physics such as general relativity, this event is just so rich," said MIT senior research scientist David Shoemaker. "It is a gift that will keep on giving."

The LIGO instruments work in unison and use lasers to detect remarkably small vibrations from gravitational waves as they pass through the earth.

Previously, scientists could only study space by observing electromagnetic waves such as radio waves, visible light, infrared light, X-rays and gamma rays. Those waves encounter interference as they travel across the universe, but gravitational waves do not, meaning they offer a wealth of additional information.

The colliding neutron stars were smaller than the black holes that LIGO previously detected.

Black holes are so dense that not even photons of light can escape their gravity. Neutron stars are relatively small, about the size of a city, the compact remains of a larger star that died.

The National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government, provided about $1.1 billion in funding for the LIGO research over 40 years.]]>
10/16/2017 10:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Why is Napoli the hardest test for Guardiola?]]>
The match is awaited by many, as the two teams are examples of fast attacking football, with a team that scored 26 goals in Seria A and the other reached a number that has not been achieved for more than 120 years with 29 goals in the English territory.

Manchester City has become more sophisticated and more reflective of their coach's ideas than last season. Gradually, Mauricio Sari has reaped the fruits of years of working with the poor of the south to get his fans to think about the Diego Maradona age again.

But it may be the most important station for Pep Guardiola at this stage of the season, the station that will put his ideas on a real test from a team that offers ideas that are closely related to his ideas; a test that could give a bigger push forward towards the Champions League title.

The Spanish coach acknowledges the difficulty of the match and explains that the difference in the style between English teams he has encountered in the league and the style of the Partenopei is the real reason for his fear of this confrontation.

“We have to adapt to Napoli style; they have a style of play that is different from what we see in the English Premier League. Napoli does a lot of things, and they do it perfectly,” he said.

“Napoli is able to put pressure on our goalkeeper; they can kill you with high pressure,” he said in a previous statement.

This leads us to a quick comparison between the two sides in terms of numbers. Both teams have an accurate pass rate, which reached 90 percent with Napoli and almost the same with Manchester City, which reached 89 percent.

On the possession side, Guardiola's men are up to 63 percent, and Napoli is 4 percent less. But in terms of opportunities, Napoli made 122 chances against 117 chances for Manchester City.

Numbers are close between the two teams and the difference is not great.

The other fact is that the defense of both teams is solid and has quality. Four goals were received by goalkeeper Ederson and five goals received by Pepe Reina, but the most important fact is that Man City has not faced such a quick and strong team as Napoli.

Despite the strong performances of Manchester City in the English Premier League, no one can ignore the fact that Guardiola has not faced a team that put high pressure on his defense yet.

When Man City played against Chelsea, Antonio Conte was forced back to defend and depended on the counterattack, as was his habit, and he scored six points from Man City last season.

Liverpool’s match, despite a five-goal win, cannot be ignored, because the game was a contest between the two sides until the 37th minute, when Sadio Mane got a red card and things turned upside down. Another fact is that Liverpool's defense, which received 12 goals, is not as strong as the defense of Sarri sons.

And even the only team - Shakhtar Donetsk - which Guardiola sees that their play is in a manner similar to Napoli, City achieved a hard victory over Shakhtar with two goals, and the second goal scored in the last seconds of the match, which saw the goalkeeper Ederson Moraes shining on more than one occasion.

Despite Guardiola's fear, he expressed confidence in his players, saying, “I will show Napoli how well my players are.”]]>
10/16/2017 10:30:39 PM
<![CDATA[Guterres wants UN to help tackle Sahel violence]]>
In a report to the Security Council obtained by AFP, Guterres said the United Nations and other donors should shore up a regional force set up by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The situation in the Sahel is "extremely concerning," Guterres said in the report released just days before Security Council ambassadors travel to the region for talks on the security crisis.

"The international community remains confronted with a continuous downward spiral into another cycle of widespread violence despite important efforts," he said.

Guterres warned that without urgent action "the stability of the entire region, and beyond, is in jeopardy, leaving millions of people at risk of violence," a development he described as a "disastrous scenario."

The vast Sahel region has turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness since chaos engulfed Libya in 2011, the Islamist takeover of northern Mali in 2012 and the rise of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.

Four US soldiers were killed this month in an ambush while on a joint patrol with Nigerien troops near the Mali border, an attack thought to be carried out by a regional affiliate of the Islamic State group.

- UN options -

The UN chief put forward four options to back the force, including setting up a United Nations support office in the Sahel and sharing resources from the 13,000-strong peacekeeping mission in Mali.

The report will undoubtedly be welcomed by France, which has been lobbying hard for UN backing for the Sahel force, but the United States has resisted calls for funding.

The estimated budget for the force's first year of operations was estimated at 423 million euros ($499 million), but so far only 108 million euros have been raised.

The G5 countries have pledged 10 million euros each, the European Union is giving 50 million and France eight million euros. A donors' conference will be held in December in Brussels.

Guterres said the risks of not supporting the Sahel force "vastly outweigh the risks of supporting it, given the magnitude of the challenges facing the Sahel region."

The UN chief stressed that there was a risk of human rights abuses during the counter-terror operations because many of the armed groups in Mali are entrenched in the population.

A UN presence, he argued, could help reduce harm to civilians.

UN Security Council ambassadors will travel to Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania from Thursday to meet with leaders and discuss plans for the deployment of the force.

The council is expected to discuss the report during a meeting on peace and security in Africa on October 30.]]>
10/16/2017 10:28:19 PM
<![CDATA[Qatari Security forces storm Suhaim’s palace]]>
The authorities confiscated more than 137 personal suitcases and several files belong to the late Qatari Foreign Minister Suhaim Al Thani – Sheikh Sultan’s father-, which document the history of the tiny Emirate from the Sixties until Suhaim’s death in 1985.

Qatari authorities also arrested all the palace’s domestic servants, including the Sudanese housekeeper, seizing during the raid all the personal photos of Suhaim’s widow Mona Al-Dousari.

Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani slammed Tamim bin Hamad’s regime in a speech he gave last September in the French capital of Paris, over the current diplomatic crisis between Qatar and four Arab states including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab of Emirates and Bahrain.

Earlier this week, the Qatari authorities froze the bank accounts of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani after his efforts to contain the crisis between the tiny emirate and four Arab States.

Since June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have cut their relation with Qatar and announced a complete boycott of the emirate for its support and sponsorship of terrorism.

10/16/2017 10:24:40 PM
<![CDATA[Rice straw turned from waste into product: Minister of Environment]]>
In a press conference, Fahmy said that the government also adopted measures to encourage gathering the rice straw to put into effect an agro-waste system introduced by the ministry instead of burning it.

The new system has been implemented in Sharqiya and is planned to be carried out in Beheira, he said. The system involves newly-invented machines, he further noted.

Fahmy stressed that the new measures have led to a decline in burning the rice straw, the main cause of what is known as "the black cloud".]]>
10/16/2017 10:23:25 PM
<![CDATA[Four nations meet to resume stalled Afghan peace talks in Oman]]>
It was not clear whether any Afghan Taliban had joined the talks, which have so far failed to restart a tentative process that collapsed in 2015.

Taliban sources had previously said they would stay away from the discussions in Muscat, casting doubt on prospects for reviving the long-stalled negotiations.

The Pakistani officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information, said the talks had resumed on Pakistan's initiative. The Pakistani team was led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

In Washington, a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the meeting took place, but declined to provide any details. There was no immediate comment from China or Afghanistan about the talks resuming.

The four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QGC), which last met in Islamabad early last year, has been trying to ease the path to direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, with little success.

Amin Waqad, a close aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and a senior member of the High Peace Council (HPC), said last week his country would participate in the Muscat meeting, and that the Taliban representatives would also be there.

The Taliban denied that they had received any invitation.

Efforts to kick-start negotiations have failed due to the Taliban's refusal to attend after their last leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last year.

The United States wants Pakistan, which it accuses of harboring Afghan Taliban commanders, to exert more influence on the group to bring them to the negotiating table.

Pakistani officials deny sheltering Taliban militants and say their influence on the group has waned.]]>
10/16/2017 10:15:27 PM
<![CDATA[150K citizens sign for ‘To Build It’ in Fayoum ]]>
The Mostaqbal Watan (Homeland Future) political party printed one million application forms for the residents of Fayoum governorate and collected 150,000 signatures up to date.

The campaign received a large turnout from the citizens of Fayoum in the first days, and more signatures will be collected from all villages, cities and centers of Fayoum.

Photo of members of the campaign photo file
Collecting signatures will keep going on as presidential elections are approaching, as they are set to be held as soon as May. However, no single potential candidate announced she/he would run for office.

The main reasons behind supporting President Sisi for another term boils down to the continuation of the mega projects, development of the country’s infrastructure, preservation of the national security, enhancement of educational systems and counterterrorism, businessman and parliamentarian Mohamed Shaaban told Egypt Today.

Photo of members of the campaign photo file
Campaign member Hazem Tawfik, Ph.D, said that negative responses stem only from the hike in prices of goods and services due to the ongoing economic reform measures, and that volunteers can only remind and explain such citizens that “we all have to pay the price to achieve development through mega and infrastructure projects.” ]]>
10/16/2017 10:05:34 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish Court remands in custody two Catalan separatist leaders]]>
Prosecutors have alleged that Jordi Sanchez, the head of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and Jordi Cuixart, head of Omnium Cultural, were key to planning an Oct. 1 referendum on independence that the Spanish government considered illegal.]]>
10/16/2017 10:02:30 PM
<![CDATA[Military court sentences 21 MB members to 7 years ]]>
The decision was made because they were found guilty of participating in burning police stations and other governmental buildings in Malawy and Der Mewas.

The Public Prosecution referred the case to the military court in Assuit.

The case includes 23 Brotherhood defendants, whereby 15 of them were sentenced to seven years imprisonment and five others to five years, while the other three were acquitted.

During the past period, several terrorist attacks targeted churches in Egypt and caused several human casualties. On May 26, an armed group opened fire on a bus carrying more than 50 Christians in Minya, killing 29 and injuring many others, including children.]]>
10/16/2017 9:51:16 PM
<![CDATA[Busy IPO season beckons for Cairo as reforms yield results - Bloomberg]]>
Share trading has almost doubled, averaging 1.1 billion pounds a day in the 12 months ended Oct. 10, compared with 540 million pounds a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. And foreigners have returned, their net buying of stocks tripling to $497.3 million in the fiscal year to June 30, the report read.

The prospects for further IPOs look promising, said Mohamed Farid, the chairman of the Egyptian Exchange. "We have plenty of requests from various companies of various sizes to list and partially float. Also there is plenty of traction when it comes to companies asking for listing requirements and trying to comply with them."

Two of the six IPOs planned for the coming months involve state-owned businesses: Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries and Banque Du Caire SAE.

They're part of a government plan announced last year to raise as much as $10 billion from share offerings. Better progress on that plan would attract bigger companies to market, generating greater foreign interest and higher trading volumes, Salah Shamma, Franklin Templeton Investments' head of Middle East and North African equities, said in an interview.

"Egypt is one of the busier markets in the region," EFG-Hermes' Strategist Simon Kitchen. "Appetite for broader emerging market IPOs should remain robust in 2018, with Egypt in line for a bigger piece of the pie following the currency float."]]>
10/16/2017 9:48:38 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly destroys El Raja before Etoile clash ]]>
Al Ahly entered the game well, as Ahmed Fathi scored the first goal after six minutes with a great strike from outside the area.

Al Ahly waited 14 minutes to score the second goal by Moamen Zakaria, while the third goal came from Junior Ajayi after a great assist from Walid Azaro to end the first half 3-0.

Ahmed Said scored El Raja’s only goal in the game in the 54th minute, but Saad Samir scored the fourth goal for Al Ahly only five minutes later.

Al Ahly captain Hossam Ahour got substituted after a muscle injury during the game, which could rule him out of the Etoile clash.

Al Ahly plays against Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel on Sunday, October 22 at Borg El Arab Stadium in the CAF Champions League semi-finals second leg. Al Ahly lost the first leg in Tunisia 2-1.]]>
10/16/2017 9:42:45 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Crown Prince meets with Pakistani army's Chief of Staff]]>
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, particularly the military cooperation, said the Saudi Press Agency.

They also discussed issues of common interest. The meeting was attended by a number of officials.]]>
10/16/2017 9:41:12 PM
<![CDATA[Italian amb. discusses Egypt's national project of silos]]>
They agreed to amend the standards of silos included in the funding program for the establishment of silos which worth 128 million pounds. They also agreed to finalize the feasibility study of the project.

A joint meeting is expected be held by next week to approve such amendments.

They discussed completing the dept exchanging program through the projects implemented by the internal trade ministry.

During the meeting, they followed up projects that the General Committee for Foreign Aid monitors their implementation.

Moselhy commended the deep relations binding both countries, pointing out to Italy's contribution to a number of Egyptian development projects.

The Italian ambassador expressed happiness over working in Egypt, affirming that his country is keen to expand fields of joint cooperation with Egypt.]]>
10/16/2017 9:37:34 PM
<![CDATA[Only heroes challenge life for love]]>
Egypt's champions getting engaged

Their love story began during their joint 35 days of training to join the World Federation competition.

Mahmoud, 22-years-old, is a bronze, silver and gold medalist swimmer from the El Maadi Club. He has received 85 medals. He also works at a private university in Cairo. His fiancée, Dina, is a swimmer at Smouha Club in Alexandria.

Egypt's champions getting engaged

Dina’s dream has come true. She met her prince charming one day after participating in a fashion show wearing a white dress.

Mahmoud and Dina are a couple with Down Syndrome. They received a medical approval and approval from El Sharia for their marriage because they are in an advanced condition. This couple decided to challenge real life. Mahmoud always said that Dina taught him the meaning of happiness.

Egypt's champions getting engaged

They had been the biggest motivation for each other during the championship, in which Mahmoud managed to achieve 50 meters in 35 seconds, while Dina scored 50 meters in 59 seconds.

10/16/2017 9:22:53 PM
<![CDATA[China data boosts world stocks and copper; oil jumps]]>
Asian shares rallied to a decade high after figures showed China's producer prices beat market expectations to rise 6.9 percent in September from a year earlier.

Wall Street indexes rose as U.S. banking stocks recovered after slipping last week and technology stocks rallied, driven by a 1.6 percent increase in Apple Inc.

Wall Street's rise comes ahead of a barrage of quarterly earnings reports this week.

"The market is going higher despite all the news flow of geopolitical events," said Jeff Zipper, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve in Palm Beach, Florida. "There is optimism on earnings, economic indicators and hopes of budget resolution."

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed up 0.57 percent at its highest level since late 2007.

Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.47 percent to a level not seen since November 1996. Australian shares extended their winning streak to a fourth straight session, rising 0.6 percent, while South Korea's stock index set a record.

The upbeat data from China came before the Communist Party Congress on Wednesday and third-quarter economic data on Thursday.

"What has helped risk appetite this morning is that the Chinese inflation data suggests the world's second biggest economy is doing much better than people expected this time a year ago for 2017," said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.57 points, or 0.26 percent, to 22,932.29, the S&P 500 gained 2.75 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,555.92, and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.32 points, or 0.16 percent, to 6,616.13.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.04 percent, and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.08 percent. Emerging market stocks rose 0.51 percent.

Copper jumped 3.7 percent to $7,134 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange, after touching the July 2014 high of $7,177 a tonne, driven by economic data from China, the world's top copper consumer.

Prices are up about 29 percent year to date, on track for the biggest annual gain since 2010.

Prices of iron ore and coke, key ingredients in steel-making, jumped with Dalian iron ore futures.

Oil prices rose as Iraqi forces entered the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and briefly cutting some output from OPEC's second-biggest producer.

U.S. crude oil futures settled at $51.87 per barrel, up 42 cents or 0.82 percent, while Brent settled at $57.82, up 1.2 percent on the day.

The euro weakened after the Austrian election put conservative Sebastian Kurz on track to become the next leader. He is seen as likely to seek a coalition with the resurgent far right because his party is far short of a majority.

The euro slumped 0.2 percent to $1.1798, while the dollar index rose 0.16 percent as investors repositioned following disappointing inflation data on Friday that sent the greenback lower.

Spanish stocks lagged Europe after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to clarify whether he had declared independence from Spain last week, possibly paving the way for the central government to take control of the wealthy region.

Spain's country index IBEX fell 0.75 percent.]]>
10/16/2017 9:16:23 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey releases relatives of U.S. consulate worker - Anadolu]]>
Authorities summoned the worker last week for questioning over his relatives' alleged links to last year's failed coup attempt, days after the arrest of another consulate employee triggered a mutual suspension of visa services.

Anadolu said the wife and daughter were barred from leaving the country and had to report to the nearest police station once a week as part of the terms of their release.

Their relative, identified only as N.M.C., has still not himself reported for questioning, Anadolu said, having been summoned after the wife and daughter were detained in the Black Sea city of Amasya.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused U.S. officials of sheltering him in their consulate in Istanbul.

The man's wife and daughter were detained over alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, Anadolu said, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the abortive putsch.

Last Sunday, the U.S. mission in Turkey and the Turkish mission in Washington cut back visa services after another U.S. consulate employee, Metin Topuz, was arrested. Washington said charges linking him to Gulen were baseless.

The prosecutor's office had said earlier that testimony from Topuz pointed to the wife and daughter being high-ranking members of Gulen's network.

Gulen has denied any role in the failed coup.]]>
10/16/2017 9:06:54 PM
<![CDATA[Germany, USA qualify to FIFA U-17 WC quarter-finals]]>
Germany started the game well, and Jann-Fiete Arp scored the first goal for Germany six minutes from the start after a fatal mistake from the Colombian goalkeeper.

Yann Aurel Bisseck scored the second goal for Germany with a header in the 39th minute to end the first half 2-0 for Germany.

John Yeboah scored the third for Germany in the 48th minute, while the fourth goal came from Jann-Fiete Arp in the 64th minute.

The USA team destroyed Paraguay 5-0 after a great performance from their winger, Timothy Weah.

Weah opened the scoring for USA in the 18th minute, and he scored the second goal from a great shot in the 53th minute.

USA’s third goal in the game came from Andrew Carleton, while Josh Sargent scored the fourth goal, before Weah ended the game by scoring the fifth goal for USA in the game.

India hosts the FIFA U-17 World Cup from October 6-28. ]]>
10/16/2017 9:05:30 PM
<![CDATA[British tourism, media delegation visits Egypt]]>
The team, comprising the chairman of Abercrombie and Kent UK and the heads of other British tour operators, will visit Luxor and Aswan.

They will inspect touristic destinations in order to deliver a positive message about Egypt to the British people.

Their trip is organized in cooperation with Abercrombie and Kent Egypt.

The UK Embassy in Cairo organized a meeting for the delegation to promote British tourism to Egypt.

10/16/2017 8:59:55 PM
<![CDATA[London to remain global financial center after Brexit - UK's Hammond]]>
"EU business is only a fraction of London's total business, and we're very confident that the UK, London, will remain a global financial center," Hammond said in an interview with CNBC during a visit to the United States.]]>
10/16/2017 8:57:23 PM
<![CDATA[N.Korea warns states: Don't join any U.S. action and you're safe]]>
The caution was contained in a copy of North Korean Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong's prepared remarks for a discussion on nuclear weapons by a U.N. General Assembly committee. However, Kim did not read that section out loud.

"As long as one does not take part in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK (North Korea), we have no intention to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any other country," according to Kim's prepared remarks.

"The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range and if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe," the statement read.

Tensions have soared between the United States and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006.

North Korean Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim did tell the U.N. General Assembly committee on Monday: "Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiation table under any circumstance." ]]>
10/16/2017 8:56:23 PM
<![CDATA[3 killed as Hurricane Ophelia lashes Ireland]]>
One man in his 30s died in a chainsaw accident while trying to clear a fallen tree in County Tipperary.

A woman in her 50s in County Waterford and a man in County Louth were killed after trees fell on their cars.

All schools in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic will remain closed on Tuesday.

Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar has warned people to stay indoors, as severe winds cause transport disruption, uproot trees and cut power supplies.

A red weather alert is in place across the Republic of Ireland, meaning there is a danger to life.

Some 365,000 customers are without power in the Republic and it could be 10 days before normal service resumes. Emergency crews are coming from Northern Ireland and the UK to help restore the supply, said the Irish PM.

About 18,500 homes have no electricity in Northern Ireland.
In addition to schools closing, many businesses did not open or closed early to enable staff to get home before the worst of the storm hit.

A number of roads in Northern Ireland have been closed or blocked by fallen trees, and public transport came to a virtual standstill from late afternoon on Monday.]]>
10/16/2017 8:52:30 PM
<![CDATA[Catalan police chief walks free after sedition hearing]]>
Spanish state prosecutors had demanded he be remanded in custody pending trial on accusations that he failed to stop Catalonia's banned independence referendum from going ahead on October 1.

Trapero, who became a popular figure in Catalonia for his handling of the August jihadist attacks in Barcelona and nearby Cambrils, faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of sedition.

The head of the Mossos d'Esquadra regional force is also accused of failing to contain protests that followed arrests and searches in Catalonia last month by national police as part of a crackdown on the outlawed independence vote.

The Guardia Civil national police force accused Catalan police of disobeying orders.

The Mossos defended themselves, saying they stopped voting at 446 polling stations and that a more aggressive intervention would have been counterproductive.

Monday's appearance at Madrid's National Court was Trapero's second in 10 days.

It came as the region's separatist leader Carles Puigdemont -- who counts Trapero as a close ally -- failed to clarify Monday whether he intended to follow through with his threat to declare independence in Catalonia, despite a government deadline.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy responded by giving Puigdemont a fresh deadline of 0800 GMT on Thursday to "return to legality".]]>
10/16/2017 8:50:10 PM
<![CDATA[Drone strikes target IS training camps in Yemen]]>
Witnesses said villagers were prevented by tribal leaders from approaching the area and retrieving the dead and wounded for fear of additional strikes.

Locals said the camps, both in Bayda province, were named after prominent IS figures: Yemen chief Abu Bilal al-Harbi and former global spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, killed last summer in a US air strike.

This is the first time security sources loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized government have announced raids against IS footholds.

IS and its jihadist rival Al-Qaeda have taken advantage of a conflict between the government and Shiite Huthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, to bolster their presence across much of the south.

The US is the only force known to operate armed drones over Yemen, but previous known strikes have exclusively targeted Al-Qaeda.

IS, however, has risen to prominence in the country's civil war targeting both army recruits of the government and Shiites, which it considers heretics.

It entered the war in March 2015 with a series of attacks on Shiite mosques in the capital, leaving more than 140 people dead.

The group's last major attack was a suicide bombing in the government stronghold of Aden last December, which killed 48 soldiers.

Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from IS attacks, claiming that it seeks to avoid "the shedding of any Muslim blood" while focusing on fighting the "Americans and their allies."

The Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to roll back Huthi rebel gains, has also turned its firepower on Sunni jihadists and backed forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Yemen war has killed 8,673 people and wounded 58,636 -- among them many civilians, according to the UN.]]>
10/16/2017 8:48:50 PM
<![CDATA[How Arab attitudes vary toward Trump’s new Iran strategy]]>
Egypt and Kuwait follow with “concern”
Egypt and Kuwait did not explicitly support Trump's strategy toward Iran, as the two countries insisted they were "interested” about the new strategy’s details.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement that "Egypt is following with concern the details of Trump's new strategy, and we are deeply concerned about Iran's policies, which lead to regional instability and which affect Arab national and regional security, both of which are an integral part of Egypt's national security."

Egypt's firm stance calls for the necessity of freeing the Middle East region from nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction and of respecting the principles of good neighborhood, as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries that would consequently enhance the stability of the Middle East, Abu Zeid added.

In a similar vein, the Kuwait News Agency quoted an official source at the Foreign Ministry as saying that "Kuwait has followed with great concern what has come in U.S. President Donald Trump’s last speech about the new strategy to deal with Iran." The source added that Kuwait has already welcomed the Iranian Nuclear Agreement because of its "concern for regional security and stability and for the necessity of achieving commitment to reach a free zone from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East."

The official called on Iran to work to "build confidence in the region by adopting policies based on the principles of the U.N. Charter and the rules of international law, particularly respecting the sovereignty of states, not interfering in their internal affairs, and maintaining good neighborly relations."

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain bolster and welcome Trump’s new strategy toward Iran
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced their support of the Trump administration’s new strategy toward Tehran. Saudi Arabia stressed its full support of the announced strategy, pledging to work with U.S. and its allies in the region to confront shared challenges, particularly “Iran’s aggressive policies and maneuvers,” the official Saudi News Agency quoted the Saudi Foreign Ministry’s statement as saying.

"Iran took advantage of the lifting of sanctions and used it to continue to destabilize the region, especially through its ballistic missile development program and its support of terrorism in the region, including Hezbollah and Houthi militias," the Saudi statement said.

“Iran had transferred these capabilities and expertise to its affiliated militias, including the Houthi militia, which used those missiles to target the Kingdom,” it added.

The UAE's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “the Iranian regime seeks to spread turmoil and destabilization in the region,” as the UAE announced its “strong support for the new U.S. strategy toward Iran” and stressed on the commitment by the UAE to work with U.S. allies in the region to curb Iranian policies that bolster terrorism in the region and the world.

In the same course, Bahrain has supported Trump’s new stance toward Iran, which it described as “an appropriate policy to curb the prevalence of turmoil and face attempts to spread terrorism by Iran.”

Syrian regime denounces Trump’s recent attitude toward Iran
The Syrian Foreign Ministry defended its Iranian ally and condemned what it described as "aggressive policies of the American administration against the interests of the world’s peoples, which would increase the atmosphere of tensions in the region and the world," the official Syrian news agency reported.

An official source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that "the U.S. administration's coup on the Iranian Nuclear Agreement and its use of threatening language is unacceptable and breaks international norms and conventions, though Iran has strictly complied with the agreement."

He added that "the threat of the U.S. administration to cancel the Nuclear Agreement with Iran and imposition of new coercive sanctions on Iran clearly shows lack of respect by the department for the Charters and their obligations under international treaties and conventions, as well as a lack of confidence in the stance of this administration toward international security and stability."]]>
10/16/2017 8:47:17 PM
<![CDATA[Al Azhar condemns attack on NBE branch in Arish]]>
In a statement, Al Azhar hailed steadfastness and heroism shown by the martyrs and their comrades.

Al Azhar condoled with the interior ministry and the families of the victims, the statement added.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Interior said the that three policemen and two civilians were killed while trying to abort the terrorist attack.]]>
10/16/2017 8:46:41 PM
<![CDATA[In depth look at World Food Day ]]>
The FAO has an ambitious goal to that is to reach zero hunger by 2030, however, is this even a realistic goal to aspire to reach, when we see what is happening in the world around us.

This year, the international day falls under the theme of migration and the need to invest in food security and rural development.

Due to the current global situation, the ongoing wars and political conflicts that cause the residents of developing countries to migrate for the need of human safety. While those wars also cause pollution where the changes in the climate are also the reason for the ongoing natural disasters hurricanes, forest fires and droughts. Also, worldwide financial crises have affected Europe, Middle East and the West, resulting in increased poverty and hunger around the world.

The value of the World Food Program (WFP) food aid offered monthly to the Syrian refugees “will definitely be cut because the fund is insufficient,” Abeer Etefa, director of the WFP office in Cairo, told Egypt Today on Wednesday.

“The deduction amount, expected to be around 30 percent, will be finalized next Sunday,” she said, adding that the Program needs U.S. $ 32 million weekly to aid Syrian refugees in neighboring countries along with the displaced people within Syria.

Since 2011, the WFP has distributed food aid vouchers among Syrian refugees. The vouchers provide the basic commodities, including rice, butter, sesame, sugar and milk to be obtained from the certain hypermarket. However, some of the Syrian refugees in Egypt voiced their concern over the deduction of the WFP’s vouchers, which is worth 200 EGP ($28) per person per month, describing it as “catastrophe.”

“If the aid value was cut, it will be a catastrophe. Now, it is good but not sufficient to survive till the end of the month,” said Ahmed Omar Rehan, a Syrian refugee in Egypt, where more than 90,000 registered Syrian refugees live and depend on the monthly aid vouchers. “Most of Syrian people here depend on the aid to purchase the milk for their kids,” added Rehan, who works a taxi driver.

Food vouchers are distributed through a number of WFP headquarters in several Egyptian cities of a high number of refugees, including Obour city north of Cairo, 6 October City south of Giza, Alexandria, Damietta, Mansoura and Marsa Matrouh.

According to the World Food Program, the world faces an unprecedented catastrophe unless urgent funding is provided NOW, not later, to assist some 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria living on the brink of famine. We also need access to the most vulnerable communities. It is estimated that some 600,000 children will die in upcoming months unless they receive treatment and care.

According to the UNHCR, the total number of Syrian refugees exceeds five million, while 13.5 million people are in need in Syria, 6.3 million are internally displaced persons and 4.5 million people are in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.

10/16/2017 8:40:25 PM
<![CDATA[Trump upbeat on bipartisan U.S. healthcare fix]]>
Trump, speaking to reporters at the start of a meeting with his Cabinet, said he believes congressional Republicans will agree to a long-term fix for healthcare by early next year, but said he does not expect Democrats to support that effort.

He did not provide details on what might be included.

"I think we'll have a short-term fix and then we'll have a long-term fix, and that will take place probably in March or April," Trump said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that he was hopeful that an agreement was near to stabilize Obamacare.

"If he's (Trump) now supportive of an agreement that stabilizes and improves the existing system under the Affordable Care Act, we certainly welcome that change of heart," Schumer said.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray have been trying to craft a bipartisan deal aimed at helping stabilize health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The two senators have been meeting privately for months on a possible bipartisan deal. Republicans repeatedly have failed to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare with their own, more limited healthcare program.

It was not clear whether Trump was specifically referring to the Alexander-Murray effort in his remarks.

Despite the two senators' months of work, Trump said Republicans and Democrats in Congress were meeting "because of what I did with the CSRs – because I cut off the gravy train. If I didn’t cut the CSRs ... they’d be having lunch and enjoying themselves."

CSRs are cost-sharing reduction payments from the federal government to insurers aimed at lowering premiums for lower-income people who want to participate in Obamacare.

Two Senate Democratic aides familiar with the negotiations said on Monday that the two senators were nearing a deal.

Republican aides were not immediately available for comment.

Congressional aides have said that such a deal could include two years of funding to continue the subsidies that Trump has revoked, coupled with new flexibility for states on their handling of some Obamacare provisions.

The Obamacare subsidies cost $7 billion this year and were estimated at $10 billion for 2018, according to congressional analysts.

Trump criticized the subsidies as "a disgrace" and "a total gift" to insurers, while Democrats said Trump's move to cancel the payments would hurt poor and middle-class people and drive up premiums significantly.

In August, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that some premiums could shoot up 20 percent next year if the federal subsidies were discontinued.

Trump also said his administration would take steps to bring down prescription drug prices, which he said are "out of control."]]>
10/16/2017 8:35:37 PM
<![CDATA[Supreme Court to hear US-Microsoft digital privacy case]]>
It will examine whether US law enforcement should be allowed to access evidence held on servers overseas during an investigation.

It comes after Microsoft refused to hand over emails during a US drug trafficking investigation on the basis the police's warrant did not extend to Ireland, where the messages were stored.

US authorities strongly criticized Microsoft's refusal, arguing "hundreds if not thousands of investigations... will be hampered."

The legal battle, launched in 2013, has already endured two rounds -- with a judge initially ordering Microsoft to hand over all related emails in 2014.

Microsoft released all of the information stored in the United States, but refused to do the same for emails hosted in Ireland.

It then got its revenge in July 2016 -- as federal appeals court judges in New York acknowledged allowing US law enforcement to demand evidence stored abroad would open the door for foreign governments to demand data held in the US.

The Supreme Court hearing is set to begin in early 2018, with a ruling expected by the end of June.]]>
10/16/2017 8:33:59 PM
<![CDATA[Culture minister arrives in Sudan for Khartoum Int'l Book Fair]]>
Egypt has been selected as the guest of honor in this year’s edition which will kick off on Tuesday.

Namnam will deliver a speech at the opening session of the fair.

During his several days' visit, he will also meet with a number of Sudanese officials to discuss means of boosting cultural relations between the two countries.]]>
10/16/2017 8:32:27 PM
<![CDATA[Benzema, the man behind Diaz's transfer to Lyon]]>
The Spanish-born Dominican, Diaz has a great start with Lyon this season as the player scored 7 goals in 9 games with Lyon to be the club’s top goal scorer.

Diaz, 24, played alongside Benzema in 2017 in Real Madrid but the French performance affected Diaz participation with the team and he decided to leave the club to join Lyon.

“Mariano is great and I am thankful for the person [Benzema] who suggested that he'd be the ideal player for us,” Lyon’s President, Jean-Michel Aulas told the press on Monday.

Benzema, born in Lyon, is a die-hard Lyon fan. He joined the club when he was 9 years old and got promoted through the youth rankings till he represented the first team in 2004 and played there for 5 years before joining Real Madrid in 2009.]]>
10/16/2017 8:30:45 PM
<![CDATA[Pochettino urges Kane to become Tottenham's Totti]]>
Former Italy forward Totti spent 24 years in Roma's first team, making his debut in 1993 and retiring last May aged 40. He played 786 games and scored 307 goals for the Serie A side and was reduced to tears after an emotional 3-2 win over Genoa in his final game at the Olympic Stadium.

Kane, 24, has scored 13 times in his last nine matches for club and country and has been the focus of media attention before Tuesday's blockbuster clash in the Champions League between Spurs and Real Madrid, and was featured on the cover of newspaper Marca on Monday.

Speaking at a news conference, Pochettino was asked if one day Kane could be tempted to move to 12-time European champions Real, but the coach instead urged the player to remain a one-club man.

"He (Kane) was really emotional when he watched Totti's last game with Roma and maybe it could inspire him. Maybe Harry could have the same type of career with Tottenham," Pochettino said.

"The most important thing is that he is happy in Tottenham, who knows what will happen tomorrow, but he's identified with the club where he grew up, he's a player who loves scoring goals he loves putting on the shirt."

Pochettino likened going to Real's Santiago Bernabeu as a footballing baptism and Tuesday will be the first time Kane plays at the famous stadium.

The England striker also received high praise from Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

"He is a fundamental player for Tottenham, he is very good in every aspect, but the best thing about him is that he's always got the goal on his mind," said Zidane, who has won the Champions League as a player and twice as a manager with Real.

"He's a very complete player even though he does not look it, but he always turns up when he needs to."

Kane's Spanish teammate Fernando Llorente meanwhile said the striker "turns everything he touches into a goal".


As well as encouraging Kane to remain at Spurs, Pochettino said he himself would be happy to extend his stay at the club, whose fortunes he has radically transformed since taking over in 2014, helped by Kane's explosive rise from the academy.

Asked if he could one day be tempted to succeed Zidane and take charge of Real Madrid, he added: "I'm very happy here. Daniel Levy (Tottenham chairman) has said he'd be happy to offer me a 15-year contract here. If he did, I'd be ready to sign it."]]>
10/16/2017 8:29:15 PM
<![CDATA[Ronaldinho reveals real reason behind his departure from Barcelona]]>
The press reports indicated that Ronaldinho had left Barcelona in 2008 and joined AC Milan because of Guardiola's decision then to dispense with the Brazilian star alongside Deco and Samuel Eto'o.

But in Ronaldinho's interview with the Catalan channel “TV3”, he said, “My departure from Barcelona was my personal decision, because I achieved everything with the team and I was looking for a new challenge.”

He added, “I have a good relationship with Pep Guardiola, because my brother was working with him at Nike.”

“It was clear to everyone that I wanted to take on a new challenge somewhere else, and Barcelona would always be my favorite place,” he said.

“When he joined the first team he was very young and I loved him very much, and now we are friends, and I was happy after I assisted his first goal,” he said when asked about assisting the first goal for Lionel Messi.

When he asked about his former coach Rijkaard, he said, “He was the best coach I've ever worked with. He was calm, and everyone did not feel the timing of his presence as coach.”

“I reject the comparison between Rijkaard and Guardiola,” he said, adding, “In both cases, Barcelona won titles and was at good form.”

It is noteworthy that Ronaldinho participated with Barcelona in 207 appearances, and he scored 94 goals.]]>
10/16/2017 8:26:47 PM
<![CDATA[Red Sky at Night, Sheppard’s Delight ]]>
Reminiscent of a biblical apocalyptic scene, the sky above appeared to be in a sandstorm with a deep red sun piercing through, stopping people in their tracks to wonder in amazement.

Some areas of the country have been forced to turn on street lights and issue warnings as dust particles partially blocked out the sun and caused confusion through the country.

But what cause this strange, yet impressive phenomenon?

The answer? Storm Ophelia.

According to the Met Office, the red sun is caused by winds pulling up dust from the Sahara.

Sand and dust was carried over from southern Europe and Africa by peculiar weather recently, and swirled through the sky high up in the atmosphere.

As the sun’s rays travel through the dust, the light is reflected and refracted in longer wavelengths, which is part of the red part of the spectrum, thus giving the sky the impressive red glow.

Captivating Red Sky Over London
The huge forest fires, which have swept across Central Portugal and West Central Spain have filled the sky with ash and smoke, giving the sky the a unique smell.

However, Met Office has stated that this poses no health risk as the particles are high up in the atmosphere.]]>
10/16/2017 8:24:42 PM
<![CDATA[Critic of Rwanda's president asks for freedom in court]]>
Diane Shima Rwigara, who was barred from running against Kagame in August elections, moved to comfort her mother Adeline and sister Anne as they cried during the hearing.

"I request the president release me and my family,” she said. She told court she was "being victimized ... because I have political ambitions".

The 35-year-old accountant is accused of faking the registration papers she filed to stand in the election that Kagame went on to win with 98.8 percent of the vote.

Rwigara has regularly said Kagame stifles dissent and has criticized the Rwandan Patriotic Front's (RPF) tight grip on power since it fought its way to power to end a genocide in 1994.

In court, Rwigara said the government had threatened and attempted to silence her family and supporters since she announced her plan to contest the presidency in May.

"Some of the supporters were told that they would be accused of working with terror groups. Some were tortured," Rwigara said. Prosecutor Michel Nshimiyimana told the court that he had 70 witnesses who would prove that Rwigara faked their signatures. He said some of the signatures belonged to dead people.

"Diane said she was being prosecuted because of her political ambitions but we have 70 witnesses. They said they didn't sign for her nor did they know her," he told the court.

Rwigara's mother and sister are also charged with inciting insurrection. The prosecution on Monday played audio clips and videos that it said recorded the mother talking to relatives abroad and accusing the Rwandan government of killing its people.

The family's defense attorney said the conversations were private and did not constitute crimes.

Last week Rwigara's mother and sister told the court all three of them had been tortured and deprived of food as they were held in jail awaiting trial. They said they were "handcuffed day and night" and kept in solitary confinement.

Their lawyer Buhuru Pierre Celestin told the court then that their confinement violated international conventions, while prosecutors said that the defendants' rights were respected.

The trial will resume on Wednesday.]]>
10/16/2017 8:07:03 PM
<![CDATA[Haniya calls Arab League Head to discuss applying reconciliation]]>
This came through a phone call between Haniya and Aboul-Gheit, where they talked about the agreement made in Egypt and the challenges facing the implementation of the reconciliation.

During the call, Haniya confirmed the need to overcome all potential challenges that may arise to achieve the Palestinian national unity and put an end to the 10-year division between the Palestinian factions.

For his part, the Arab League secretary general praised the reconciliation and the Egypt’s mediation for its success, stressing that we all support the Palestinian issue and that reconciliation is a great step to achieve unity.

Palestinians have one big goal, which is establishment of a Palestinian state and obtaining national independence, indicating what they must do to achieve that, added Aboul-Gheit.

Aboul-Gheit pointed out that the Arab League supports reconciliation and hails to host Haniya in its headquarter to discuss many Palestinian issues.

Earlier, Abbas extended the Palestinian people’s appreciation of President Sisi for his administration’s efforts in signing the reconciliation agreement in Cairo, according to the Palestine News Agency (WAFA).

“What was agreed upon strengthens and accelerates the steps to end the division and restore the unity of the Palestinian people, land and institutions,” said Abbas.

The two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, signed an Egypt-brokered reconciliation deal in Cairo, in a key step towards ending a decade-long rift between the two movements.

The deal will see administrative control of the Gaza Strip handed to a Fatah-backed unity government.]]>
10/16/2017 8:04:07 PM
<![CDATA[On this day - Al Ahly crowned sixth African Champions League title]]>
Al Ahly played the game on November 16, 2008 at Stade Omnisport de Garoua, Cameroon, in the second leg of the African Champions League final, after winning the first leg 2-0.

The match saw Al Ahly advance through Ahmed Hassan’s goal in the 38th minute of the first half, before Coton equalized with a goal by Lasana Abdalkarim in the 45th minute.

The cotton players managed to score the second goal in the 63rd minute through Ousmaila Baba, before Shady Mohammed scored the equalizer through a penalty in the 89th minute.

Al Ahly played the game with legendary midfielders, with the presence of Mohammed Aboutrika next to Mohammed Barakat and Ahmed Hassan behind the striker Flávio Amado.]]>
10/16/2017 8:02:20 PM
<![CDATA[Ahly, Zamalek to Tunisia for African Handball Champions League ]]>
Zamalek plays in Group B along with Red Star from Ivory Coast, Widad Smara from Morocco, Al-Ittihad from Libya, and Phoenix from Gabon.

Zamalek manager, Magdi Abo El Magd’s chosen squad for the tournament consists of Hassan Yousri, Ahmed Al-Ahmar, Mohamed Abdel Salam, Hisham El-Sobki, Mustafa Tamer, Mostafa El Sayed, Karim Ayman, Ali Hisham, Mohamed Ali Abdel Muttalib, Yehia Khaled, Ali Hazem, Mohamed Ramadan, Alaa Emad, Mohamed Alaa, Mahmoud Khalil, Akram Yusri, Wissam Samy and Massoud Barkos.

Al-Ahly plays in Group C alongside Al Ahly Tripoli from Libya, HC OKA from Congo, FANZ HB from Cameroon and the host team, AS Hammamet.

Ahly manager, Assem Hammad’s chosen squad for the tournament consists of Hadi Refaat, El Sayed Mohamed, Mohamed Essam, Mohamed Abdel Wareth, Mohamed Ibrahim, Omar Haggag, Mostafa Khalil, Mamdouh Taha, Amr El Kalioubi, Mahmoud Zaki, Mahmoud Fayez, Omar El Wakil, Mahmoud Assem, Ahmed Hossam, Ibrahim El Masry, Islam Hassan, Ahmed Abdel Rahman and Abdel Hamid El Sayed.]]>
10/16/2017 7:59:33 PM
<![CDATA[Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale]]>
"As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future," the club said in a statement.

"To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale."

The club said they were willing to listen to offers that would be capable of "delivering sustained investment" towards achieving their ambitions in the top flight.

Newcastle have been relegated twice since Ashley took charge in 2007. After winning promotion to the Premier League last season, Rafa Benitez's side are ninth in the standings with 11 points from eight games.]]>
10/16/2017 7:55:43 PM
<![CDATA[No KRG, only the KDP and the PUK]]>
There has been many debates over whether there was a presence of Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) forces in Kirkuk. Although also ethnically Kurdish, the PKK are categorized as terrorists by the U.S. and Europe as a result of their actions during the fight for autonomy against the Turkish government.

Yesterday, the Iraqi government accused Kurdish authorities accepting PKK fighters to the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and said it considered the move a “declaration of war.” Although Barzani’s government in Erbil categorically denied the presence of PKK fighters in Kirkuk, this statement helped provide legitimacy and authority to the mission of the Iraqi Security Forces.

It is the Patriot Union of Kurdustan (PUK) who has grabbed the greatest attention.

Existing alongside the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) as the second major party in Iraqi Kurdistan, they have long been an opponent to the KDP in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

One prevalent theory blames the PUK for the collapse of the Peshmerga in Kirkuk and the yielding of the city with hardly a round fired.

Signs of internal conflict arose with the death of Jalal Talabani, who served as Iraq's president in Baghdad from 2003-2014, and passed away just two weeks ago. Pockets of the PUK-allied Peshmerga forces are not favourbale to Kurdish independence, and instead favour ties with Iran.

Peshmerga fighters hold a position on a river bank across from Iraqi forces on October 14, 2017, on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP
“Sadly, some PUK officials were supportive of the conspiracy against the Kurdistan nation [in Kirkuk], they intended [a] big and historical betrayal against Kurdistan and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Kurdistan under the flag of PUK,” a Peshmerga statement read today.

Kurdish sources repeatedly claimed that Peshmerga forces had fortified their positions, however would not fight unless provoked and attacked first by forces from the south. The Peshmerga were attacked, but did not fight.

One thing is certain; this will go down as a dire day in Kurdish history. Not only have they lost Kirkuk, a financially strategic city and a symbol of Iraqi Kurdish strength; no, it has also shown that other factors behind the scenes have dictated the play.

It appears everyone was played. Worst of all however, is the citizens on the ground. The independence referendum was a moment of Kurdish jubilation, yet the past 24 hours have shown the average citizen that the Peshmerga were unable to protect the land they fought so vehemently to maintain in the battle of word against Baghdad.

It has shown how the Kurdish hierarchy was unable to unite in the face of Baghdad and Iranian-backed Shiite militia.

Now I appreciate that the Kurds do not make up the majority of the population in Kirkuk, but this is beside the point. The city of Kirkuk voted to separate from Iraq in the recent referendum, and thus put their faith, their trust and their support in the forces who had promised to defend them.

If Kurdistan fell because of a coordinated retreat, as part of a deal with Baghdad, there is a chance this might be understood by the population. However, if Kirkuk fell as a result of a military incapability then the Kurds have a big problem, and the entire campaign for independence may be at risk.

Members of the Iraqi forces stand next to a convoy heading to Kurdish positions on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk on Oct. 15. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP/Getty Images
Regardless, we cannot begin to understand the full situation yet; it is still ongoing. However, what has become apparent is that the KDP and PUK accuse each other of not fighting. We have to hope that this lack of coordination and respect has not ripped an irreparable hole between the Kurds. Rarely in history has such an important, symbolic city fallen with such ease and little to no resistance.

Cleary there is no KRG, only the KDP and the PUK. Both have different agendas and different loyalties, and both failed the people of Kirkuk. I’m not advocating war or bloodshed of any kind, but when you fail to put words into action you lose respect, trust and love.

The people of Kirkuk went to sleep with faith in their security forces, yet they woke up to Shiite militias roaming deserted streets.


Joseph Colonna

10/16/2017 7:52:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Government 'We Eliminated 98% of mosquitoes causing Dengue Fever' ]]>
In a press conference at the premises of the Egyptian Cabinet, Abdullah pointed out that the number of cases hospitalized in the Red Sea governorate until Sunday have only reached 5 cases.

Earlier last week, the Red Sea governorate set up preventive measures to curb the spread of mosquito-borne dengue virus in cities of Al-Quseir, Safaga and Hurghada.

For further intensified anti-Dengue mosquito measures, the governor of the Red Sea briefed concerned water and sanitation companies on the importance of constantly cleaning water reservoirs and water-holding containers, giving strict directives to the hospitals to rise of its staff’s awareness on dealing with any potential infected cases.
10/16/2017 7:22:00 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. military, in Iraq, urges Iraqis, Kurds to avoid escalation]]>
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning declined to speculate on whether the United States might cut off military aid and training to Iraqi forces in the event a major conflict, saying: "I'm not going to speculate on that but I will tell you that we're looking at all options for planning considerations ... We encourage dialogue."

10/16/2017 7:11:30 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey extends state of emergency for fifth time]]>
The emergency was extended by another three months as part of the country's fight against terror organisations, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

Bozdag told reporters in Ankara after a cabinet meeting that the decision was taken to protect the country's "democracy, rule of law and rights and freedoms of our citizens".

The extension was a formality after the National Security Council (MGK) meeting chaired by Erdogan at his presidential palace in Ankara recommended the move.

The decision will now go to parliament to be formally ratified.

The emergency first came into force less than a week after the attempted overthrow of Erdogan on July 15, 2016 and has been used to crack down on those suspected of links to the group blamed for the coup bid, but also outlawed Kurdish militants.

Critics say the emergency has also been used to target government opponents including critical journalists as well as pro-Kurdish critics.

Four extensions -- in October 2016, and January, April and July this year -- have all been for a period of three months. The previous extension was due to end on Thursday.

The emergency gives broad powers to the executive, allowing the Turkish president and his cabinet to rule by decree.

More than 50,000 people have been arrested over suspected links to the movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by the government of ordering the failed coup.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, strongly denies Ankara's claims.

Meanwhile, at least 140,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the public sector including teachers, judges and civil servants through emergency decrees published in the Official Gazette.]]>
10/16/2017 6:56:09 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly to play every 2 days if it wins CAF Champions League ]]>
“We allowed every team to add 30 players to their list to be able to play in different competitions,” Hussein told Egypt Today.

Hussein added, “We have to end all domestic competitions by May 20 to afford Egypt’s national team proper time to prepare for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”

Al Ahly plays against Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel on Sunday, October 22 at Borg El Arab Stadium in the CAF Champions League semi-finals second leg. Al Ahly lost the first leg in Tunisia 2-1.

Al Ahly, if it qualifies to the CAF Champions League final, would play the final in November, and if the team won the title, it would participate in the FIFA Club World Cup in UAE from December 6-16.]]>
10/16/2017 6:52:39 PM
<![CDATA[‘Talat Dakkat’ – Song for every mood ]]>

The song for every mood, “Talat Dakkat”, which gathered super stars of different generations, came on top of every playlist and a source of happiness to its listeners.

It all began and ended in Gouna, when Mohamed Abou El-Enien, known as Abou, met with the talented script writer Tamer Habib – coincidentally earlier in Gouna – and Abou introduced the idea to him. Four hours later, lyrics were ready to be composed.

Yousra’s participation in the song was Abou’s wish, and when Tamer Habib called her, she didn’t express excitement. But as soon as she heard the lyrics, she fell in love, as she described herself, saying, “I have a youthful heart.”

When Naguib Sawiris heard the song, he insisted on shooting a video clip for it in its birthplace of El Gouna, advising people in different moods to listen to the song.

Abou described the atmosphere that they worked in with “A Loving Overflow”, saying that this explains why people feel love when they listen to it.

Meanwhile, Shereen Reda expressed on Instagram how pleased she is with the song, as she published a photo with Tamer Habib, Yousra and Abou under the caption “One of the best art pieces that I’ve worked on.”

من احلي الحاجات اللي صورتها فيديو كليب ٣ دقات... ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Shereen Reda (@shereenredaofficial) on

Abou explained the secret behind his name, which confused the audience, saying that this has been his nickname since he was seven years old.

In this song, Abou is the singer, lyricist and composer, while Mariam Abou Ouf is the director. “Talat Dakkat” remarks the launching of Abou’s artistic path, as well as getting Yousra back to singing. ]]>
10/16/2017 6:48:20 PM
<![CDATA[Cuper was not EFA’S first choice to manage national team]]>
Allam was EFA president when they appointed Hector Cuper to replace Shawky Gharieb as Egypt manager in 2015.

“The French manager, Alain Giresse, was our first choice, and Hassan Shehata was the second choice, but at the end we appointed Cuper,” Allam told El Hadaf Radio program.

Allam added, “Cuper’s lawyer arrived in Cairo to negotiate with us. He asked for €120,000 ($141,727) a month, but at the end we agreed on $65,000 a month.”

Cuper, 61, managed to lead Egypt’s national team to the 2017 African Cup of Nations final, when Egypt lost to Cameroon 2-1.

Cuper’s biggest achievement with the Pharaohs is leading them to the 2018 World Cup in Russia after 28 years of absence, as Egypt’s national team last played in the World Cup in 1990 in Italy.]]>
10/16/2017 6:44:24 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi to attend Cyprus Trilateral Summit next month]]>
In 2015, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus agreed to speed up talks to demarcate sea boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of efforts to turn the region into an offshore natural gas hub, according to Reuters.

The Mediterranean’s largest gas field, Zohr, is now 91 percent complete, as work is proceeding on schedule, Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla said Sunday.

The second phase of the project is scheduled to start after the first phase begins production by the end of 2017, Molla added.

A set of practical experiments are expected to be conducted at Zohr before the end of October to produce an estimated 350 million cubic feet (MMCF) of gas per day and to be increased up to 1,000 MMCF by the end of 2017.

Zohr is the largest natural gas field found in the Mediterranean and was discovered in 2015 by Italy’s Eni. The field has an area of 100 square meters at a depth of 1,450 meters.
Investing around $10 billion in the project, Eni is estimating total output of the field to be approximately 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The field will start production in three phases. The first phase will see an output of one billion cubic feet per day. When all seven fields are complete by 2019, this amount will increase to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.

The field is expected to secure Egypt’s domestic needs of gas after it has become a net importer of gas following a cut in production after the January revolution.]]>
10/16/2017 6:34:09 PM
<![CDATA[Protocol signed to implement ‘Story of a Place’ project]]>
This protocol is between three sectors of the Ministry of Culture, which are interested in heritage, said Al-Namnam, referring that the project will achieve a kind of cooperation between three sectors.

This project aims to safeguard the oral heritage of Egypt that tells the history of buildings, prominent characters and important events, said Al-Namnam.

It also preserves the memory of the nation and the humanitarian part of Egypt’s heritage, besides helping researchers and those who are interested in heritage to know more about the country’s history, he added.

The National Organization for Urban Harmony preserves buildings of architectural heritage in Cairo and all governorates of the republic, while the Cultural Development Fund safeguards the traditional handicrafts. The General Organization of Books and National Documents preserves Egypt's written history.]]>
10/16/2017 6:32:25 PM
<![CDATA[Supreme Council of Culture to host Farida Osman ]]>
Osman (The Golden Fish) will talk about her swimming journey and how she manages her time between training and studying.

She also will speak about training and her victories in sports.

This year, Osman managed to get the first medal in swimming competitions for Egypt in the history.

Fragmented from a promotional material [Photo: Event Official Facebook page]
The lecture is a part of the second season of “Al-Molhem” (The Important).

“Al-Molhem” is a collaboration cultural project between the Supreme Council of Culture and Tahrir Lounge.

“Al-Molhem” project aims to host a number of Egyptian and German authors, thinkers and scientists to enhance young people's creativity and critical thinking. ]]>
10/16/2017 6:19:34 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemns terrorist attacks in Sinai ]]>
“These attacks once again demonstrate the depravity of the terrorists, in stark contrast to officers and civilians who are giving their lives to serve and protect fellow citizens,” the statement read.

The Embassy also expressed condolences for those killed and injured by these recent attacks.

“The United States stands firmly with Egypt, and will continue to stand with Egypt and the Egyptian government and people as they battle terrorism,” the statement added.

On Sunday, six army troops were killed during a terrorist attack in North Sinai.

The army spokesperson Tamer El-Refai said in statement that the armed forces foiled the terrorist’s attack to target al-Qawadis check point, with 24 militants were killed and one injured.

On Monday, the Interior Ministry said in statement that a number of terrorist elements targeted security check points near al-Arish police station as police forces clashed with them. Meanwhile, another group of terrorists stormed al-Arish National Bank branch in the same district near the police station.

Three police officers were killed due to the terrorist attacks, along with one of the bank security members and a civilian woman. Other civilians near the terrorist attacks were reported to be injured. ]]>
10/16/2017 6:13:39 PM
<![CDATA[American film about marginalized groups to screen at Cimatheque ]]>
It is considered to be a dystopian art film.

The film shows the story of lonely residents of a tornado-stricken Ohio town.

They are a combination of marginalized and unstable characters.

Teen friends Tummler and Solomon navigate the ruins of the city and try to understand the residents of it.

The aim of the film is to show the perverted and disturbed characters.

It deeply reflects the status of many marginalized groups in the American society.

“Gummo” is written and directed by Harmony Korine, and it stars Jacob Reynolds, Nick Sutton, Jacob Sewell and Chloë Sevigny.

It won the KNF Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 1997, as well as the FIPRESCI Prize in the Venice Film Festival in 1997. ]]>
10/16/2017 6:01:09 PM
<![CDATA[We seek to ease Palestinian suffering: Hamas spokesman]]>
Qanou added that Hamas is committed to implementing the assigned timetable of the reconciliation last Thursday, stressing that the punishment measures posed by president Mahmoud Abbas must be undone.

“Our people look forward to putting an end to these punishment measures especially after dissolving the administrative committee one month ago,” stated Qanou.

He added that all ministries, bodies and authorities of the Gaza strip are now under the control of Hamadallah government, with all doors opened and paved to take over the strip.

Qanou further stated that the Palestinian Authority Director-General for Border Crossings Department Nazmi Muhanna arrived on Monday as part of the reconciliation agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah.

Head of the Civil Affairs Authority Hussein el-Sheikh said a governmental delegation of the crossings' crew will begin implementing the items of the agreement whereby the national reconciliation government will oversee management of the enclave crossings.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing Mofeed al Hasaynah announced that the Italian government agreed on building a new housing district in northern Gaza to compensate the owners of houses that have been demolished during the Israeli aggression.

Deputy Chief of Fatah Movement Mahmoud al-Aloul said his movement is closely following up with measures to empower the reconciliation government in Gaza.

He also said that the upcoming days would witness a meeting of the specialized committees and security officials to follow-up on the implementation of a deal which has been recently reached between the two Palestinian factions in Cairo under the auspices of Egypt.]]>
10/16/2017 5:57:54 PM
<![CDATA[Exclusive: “To Build It” members reveal goals, plans]]>
Amid that ambiguity, a number of parliamentarians and politicians launched a campaign titled “To Build It”, demanding the re-election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The main reasons behind supporting President Sisi for another term boils down to continuation of the mega projects, development of the country’s infrastructure, preservation of the national security, enhancement of education systems and counterterrorism, businessman and parliamentarian Mohamed Shaaban told Egypt Today.

Parliamentarian Karim Salem, Ph.D, who serves as the campaign spokesperson, stated that the campaign got very positive responses and that it targets all social sectors, saying “our main focus is developing a good team and mechanisms to gather the signatures.”

The campaign's spokesperson MP Karim Salem - Hussein Talal
Shaaban said that the campaign leaders do not instruct volunteers to not go to “certain areas”, but they merely warn them against pressuring anyone who rejects signing the application. That is because some niche areas are dominated by supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Campaign member Hazem Tawfik, Ph.D, said that negative responses stem only from the hike in prices of goods and services due to the ongoing economic reform measures and that volunteers can only remind and explain such citizens that “we all have to pay the price to achieve development through mega and infrastructure projects.”

Shaaban said that some citizens may not be able to identify the reasons behind the current economic situation, so the campaign has been a good channel to explain.

What’s more, Karim perceived the president’s tendency to take hard decisions that may have affected his popularity as an ultimate patriot from his part.

“People talk about subsidized goods, but talk less about free housing provided for people, who used to dwell in slum areas, like the social housing project of Asmarat,” Shaaban added.

“We dreamt of only 27 headquarters in each governorate. We got 67. People allocated some places to the campaign for free,” Shaaban said. Karim added that they have not set a target number of signatures. “Our current timeline extends till the candidacy door opens. By that time, the president may take the decision to run for office,” he added.

“We will print out and distribute pamphlets containing statistics and achievements. These pamphlets do not have to include all projects all over the country. The residents of each governorate are interested in the projects in their respective areas,” Salem added.

The campaign succeeded in collecting a big number of signatures from public figures, politicians and parliamentarians, who constitute a big portion of the campaign members, totaling up to hundreds.

Campaign member MP Mohamed Shaaban - Hussein Talal
These are facilitating the promotion of the campaign as they have knowledge to address the people, Shaaban added. Some parliamentarians have started to contact Egyptian expat groups who already knew about the campaign through the Facebook page, where they can print out a pro-Sisi petition, he said.

Shaaban added that the organizers are also trying to make an e-application solely for expats. “We also have young volunteers who put on certain T-shirts to collect signatures from people in the streets,” he continued, adding, “We don't speak in the name of the president. We are essentially members of parliament, so we are a political backup of the people. Political parties are not the only political backup in the country.”

The campaign will not collect cash donations, but people can later on help with devices to print out the pamphlets, Shaaban commented.

The Hob al Watan coalition (Homeland Love) joined the campaign, as well as many political parties and hundreds of parliamentarians, said academic Hazem Tawfiq, one of the campaign organizers. ]]>
10/16/2017 5:53:43 PM
<![CDATA[Interior Ministry releases al-Arish terrorist attack details ]]>
In an official statement, the ministry said that the number of militants targeting security checkpoints near al-Arish police station as the police forces clashed with them.

Meanwhile, another group of terrorists stormed the al-Arish National Bank branch located in the same district near the police station.

Three police officers were killed due to the terrorist attacks, along with one of the bank security members and a civilian woman.

Other civilians near the terrorist attacks were reported to be injured. The terrorists also stole an unknown amount of money from the bank before escaping.

Excessive security measures were imposed in the district in order to capture the terrorists.]]>
10/16/2017 5:47:12 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE16.8bn, all indexes fall back]]>
The market capital lost LE16.8 billion to reach LE759.1 billion, after transactions hit LE1.7 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark index went back by 2.74 percent to close at 13,525.25 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading smaller and mid cap enterprises (SME) decreased 1.57 percent to 807.95 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index went back 1.85 percent to close at 1,784.76 points.

10/16/2017 5:44:10 PM
<![CDATA[Remains of King Rameses II Temple unearthed ]]>
Dr. Mohammed Meguahed, deputy head of the mission, announced that the area where the remains of the temple were found is 32 meters high and 51 meters wide.

The area had mud brick foundations forming the main open-air hall of the temple. It also had a hall of columns, remains of a number of walls decorated with blue colors, and remains of stairs.

Remains of King Ramesses II Temple [Photo: Ministry of Antiquities Official Facebook page]

Dr. Miroslav Barta, the head of the Czech mission, explained that the mission discovered the name of King Ramses and inscriptions referring to the gods Ra and Amun.

He stressed that the temple is clear evidence that Ra and Amun’s worship continued in the modern age of the Ancient Egyptian history.

Ramesses II is one of the greatest and most celebrated Ancient Egyptian kings.

Remains of King Ramesses II Temple [Photo: Ministry of Antiquities Official Facebook page]

He constructed many buildings and temples such as the Abu Simble Temple, and led numerous military campaigns. He reasserted Egypt’s control over Canaan.

Remains of King Ramesses II Temple [Photo: Ministry of Antiquities Official Facebook page]

Libya, Nuba, and Syria were the main destinations of Rameses’ military campaigns.

Agreeing to the first Peace Treaty in history is one of Rameses’ greatest achievements. ]]>
10/16/2017 5:42:29 PM
<![CDATA["Eve and the Music of Color" to be held at Al Kahila gallery]]>
Iraqi artist Taha Abdullal’s paintings will be exhibited. Women, in his eyes, are a blend of shapes and colors. He provided 23 works, away from abstraction and distortion, with the use of different raw materials to enrich the photographic surface by adding folk symbols of Iraqi heritage like the crescent, horse, fish, and Expressionist music reflecting femininity and beauty.

Al Kahila Art gallery was established in 2007, aiming to inspire art lovers all over the world and show magnificent artwork that touches peoples’ lives.

10/16/2017 5:38:51 PM
<![CDATA[We won’t forfeit our children for Barzani: Iraqi official]]>
Zinki added in statements to El Hurra channel, “We will not send our children to their death to preserve Barzani’s seat of power.”

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, police forces and the army’s ninth brigade regained control of a vast territory in Kirkuk including the oil well, Baba Gurgur, without clashing with the Peshmerga forces located in Kirkuk.

The multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, home to one of Iraq's largest oil fields, was taken over by Kurdish Peshmerga forces in July 2014 after Iraqi government troops left the city ahead of a possible attack by radical Islamic State insurgents who have already seized two major Iraqi cities.]]>
10/16/2017 5:37:16 PM
<![CDATA[Britain and France to work to enforce Iran nuclear deal]]>
May and Macron discussed U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to not recertify the deal and said that France and Britain would work together to "push back on Iran's destabilising activity in the region," May's office said in a statement after the phonecall.

10/16/2017 5:35:55 PM
<![CDATA[Mamish: Western part of Suez Canal's floating bridge installed]]>
The bridge is linking between Ismailia city and the island between the old and the new Suez canals.

In a press release, Mamish said the bridge comes within a plan to build five bridges after directives from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to alleviate the suffering of citizens moving between the eastern and western areas of the Suez Canal as well as linking Sinai peninsula with Egypt’s other governorates.

The bridge is planned to be inaugurated in December, he further said, adding that the authority is currently building the eastern part of the bridge.
10/16/2017 5:34:30 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk from Kurds in bold advance]]>
A convoy of armoured vehicles from Iraq's elite U.S.-trained Counter-Terrorism Force seized the city's provincial government headquarters on Monday afternoon, less than a day after the operation began, a Reuters reporter in Kirkuk said.

A dozen armoured vehicles arrived at the building and took up positions nearby, alongside local police. They pulled down the Kurdish flag and left the Iraqi flag flying.

Neither side gave a casualty toll for the operation. But an aid organisation working in Kirkuk said several Peshmerga and members of the Iraqi forces had been killed in an overnight clash south of Kirkuk - the only serious fighting reported.

Some Kurdish civilians were fleeing the city of 1 million people in fear of reprisals. Crowds of ethnic Turkmen who opposed Kurdish control of the city were celebrating. Some drove in convoys with Iraqi flags and fired shots in the air.

"This day should become a holiday, we're so happy to have gotten rid of Barzani's party," said a man celebrating on a motorbike, waving the blue-and-white flag of Iraq's Turkmen, referring to the Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered that the Iraqi flag be hoisted over Kirkuk and other disputed areas claimed by both the central government and the Kurds, who defied Baghdad to hold a vote for independence on Sept. 25.

Baghdad described the advance as largely unopposed, and urged the Kurdish security forces known as Peshmerga to cooperate in keeping the peace. The Peshmerga said Baghdad would be made to pay "a heavy price" for triggering "war on the Kurdistan people".

Washington called for calm on both sides, seeking to avert an all-out conflict between Baghdad and the Kurds that would open a whole new front in Iraq's 14-year-old civil war and potentially draw in regional powers such as Turkey and Iran.

The overnight advance was the most decisive step Baghdad has taken yet to block the independence bid of the Kurds, who have governed an autonomous part of northern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and voted three weeks ago to secede.

Kirkuk, one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in Iraq, is located just outside the autonomous Kurdish zone. Kurds consider it the heart of their homeland; they say it was cleansed of Kurds and settled with Arabs under Saddam to secure control of the oil that was the source of Iraq's wealth.

State TV said Iraqi forces had also entered Tuz Khurmato, a flashpoint town where there had been clashes between Kurds and mainly Shi'ite Muslims of Turkmen ethnicity.

The "government of Abadi bears the main responsibility for triggering war on the Kurdistan people, and will be made to pay a heavy price", the Peshmerga command said in a statement, cited by Kurdish leader Barzani's assistant Hemin Hawrami.

A Kurdish father of four who was driving out of Kirkuk towards the Kurdish regional capital Erbil said: "We no longer feel safe. We hope to return to our home but right now we feel it's dangerous for us to stay."

Washington, which arms and trains both Iraqi federal forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga to fight Islamic State militants, called on "all parties to immediately cease military action and restore calm", according to a U.S. Embassy statement.

"ISIS (Islamic State) remains the true enemy of Iraq, and we urge all parties to remain focused on finishing the liberation of their country from this menace."

The military action in Kirkuk helped spur a jump in world oil prices on Monday.

Oilfields near Kirkuk halted production, but Baghdad said it would be quickly restarted.

"We've got confirmation from military commanders that it's a matter of a very short time," a senior Baghdad oil official told Reuters. "Our brave forces will regain control of all Kirkuk oilfields and then we will restart production immediately."


Baghdad considers last month's Kurdish independence vote illegal, especially as it was held not just in the autonomous region but in Kirkuk and other neighbouring areas the Kurdish Peshmerga occupied after driving out Islamic State.

The Kurdish secession bid was strongly opposed by neighbours Iran and Turkey. Washington, allied with the Kurds for decades, pleaded vainly for them to halt a vote that could break up Iraq.

There were signs of internal conflict among the Kurds, who have been divided for decades into two main factions, the KDP of regional government leader Barzani and the PUK of his longtime rival Jalal Talabani, who served as Iraq's ceremonial president in Baghdad from 2003-2014 and died two weeks ago.

Both Kurdish parties control their own Peshmerga units. While Barzani's KDP strongly supported the independence referendum, some PUK figures were more circumspect.

Monday's Peshmerga statement accused a group within the PUK of "treason" for assisting Baghdad's advance. "We regret that some PUK officials helped in this plot," it said.

Although Iraqi officials portrayed the Kurds as retreating without a fight, Kurdish officials said Peshmerga had clashed with the "Popular Mobilisation" - Shi'ite Muslim forces trained and armed by Iran that operate alongside regular Iraqi troops.


The status of Kirkuk and fate of the Kurds were left unsettled 14 years ago when a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam.

During the years of U.S. occupation that ensued, Washington leaned on its Kurdish allies to keep their ambitions in check to avoid triggering another war amid an insurgency by Sunni Muslim Arabs.

After Islamic State swept across a third of Iraq in 2014 and were subsequently driven out, the Kurds found themselves in their strongest position on the ground for generations.

Their leader Barzani said the time had come for an independence referendum. But the vote angered neighbours and put pressure on Abadi to act.

Turkey, which had developed a good working relationship with the Iraqi Kurds and let the landlocked region export oil through its pipes, has swung behind Baghdad, furious at a secession move that might ignite similar demands from its own Kurds.

In a statement, the Turkish government said it would stand by Baghdad to provide peace and stability in the region. ]]>
10/16/2017 5:31:49 PM
<![CDATA[US embassy condemns Sinai attacks on Armed Forces, police, civilians]]>
These attacks once again demonstrate the depravity of the terrorists, in stark contrast to officers and civilians who are giving their lives to serve and protect fellow citizens.

The US Embassy expresses its deep sympathies and condolences for those killed and injured by these recent attacks, and we wish a quick recovery for those injured.

The United States stands firmly with Egypt, and will continue to stand with Egypt and the Egyptian government and people as they battle terrorism.

10/16/2017 5:29:51 PM
<![CDATA['Revolutionary' Nowitzki suits up for 20th season with Mavericks]]>
Nowitzki brought a new quality to the NBA two decades ago -- a big man as comfortable hitting an outside jump shot as banging the boards -- and in doing so forced other teams to adjust the way they defended.

“He’s revolutionary,” Chuck Cooperstein, the Mavericks' play-by-play radio announcer, said in a telephone interview.

“The concept of the stretch forward did not exist until Dirk appeared. Until then you wanted your seven-footers to be close to the basket, posting up and drawing fouls.

“This is a credit to Don Nelson, Dirk’s first coach here in Dallas.

Don saw a particular skill, that singular ability to shoot the ball that really could change the geometry of the floor.”

The 7-foot (2.13 metres) Nowitzki, who won league most valuable player honors in 2007, is one of very few tall players with a career shooting percentage approaching 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the foul line.

He is the highest non-American scorer in NBA history, ranked sixth overall with 30,260 points during the regular season at an average of 21.7 per game.

And Nowitzki has done it all with the Mavericks. When he starts the new season on Wednesday, he will become only the second player after Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) to play 20 seasons with the same team.

It has been quite a journey for Nowitzki, who played tennis and handball as a youngster before switching to basketball, a sport compatible with his height.

He was the ninth overall pick in the 1999 draft, taken by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately dealt to Dallas.

The architect of the Mavericks’ only NBA championship in 2011, he signed a one-year guaranteed $5 million deal that had some observers saying he was too nice a guy for not maximizing his value.

"Dirk has been criticized in some quarters for not holding a billionaire (owner Mark Cuban) over a barrel,” Cooperstein said.

“Dirk has never used a super agent. He’s never been part of that culture. He’s left a lot of money on the table to allow the Mavericks the ultimate flexibility to do whatever they want.”

Not that Nowitzki will have to worry about bouncing a check any time soon.

“The man has still made over $240 million over his career,” said Cooperstein. “He’s not going hungry.”

Nowitzki’s down-to-earth personality in a league full of large egos has been well documented, and Cooperstein has seen it first hand, including the time he saw the player help the team’s equipment personnel unload luggage from the team bus at 2 a.m. during a road trip.

Why has Nowitzki remained so grounded?

“I think it’s his background,” said Cooperstein. “Coming from Germany, which did not have a huge basketball culture, he didn’t grow up in the (American college) pipeline, being told from the age of 13 he’d be the next big thing.

“He gets it on every imaginable level. He’s never sold shoes, appeared in commercials, because that’s never been his thing but he’s adored by the players.

“The stars around the league have a tremendous respect for how he plays and for his contribution to the game.”]]>
10/16/2017 5:21:56 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. Embassy in Cairo restarts registration for Green Card Lottery]]>
The embassy published on its official Facebook page, “Due to technical issues, the registration period for the DV-2019 is being restarted. Based on our current information, the new registration period for the Diversity Visa 2019 application will open on October 18, 2017 at 6 p.m. Cairo time, and will close on November 22, 2017.

10/16/2017 5:08:54 PM
<![CDATA[On solutions for women debtors’ plight in Egypt]]>
The majority of these women have debts of not more than $1,000, commonly after falling behind on repayments for domestic items, such as fridges or furniture. Each debt is given a separate penalty by the court, so they could be imprisoned for more than 30 years.

“Women debtors in Egypt… Solutions outside the walls” is the tile of the conference held by the Children of Female Prisoners Association (CFPA), in attendance of many humanitarians and non-governmental organizations, with the aim of solving the growing crisis of these illiterate and unemployed women.

Journalist Nawal Mostafa, head of CFPA, stated that the association is working to amend Clause 341 of the Criminal Law, which stipulates that “the crime is registered as 'Betrayal to Municipality', which could be explained as a receipt given out without the amount available to pay.”

She also called for substituting the imprisonment punishment of the debtors with civil service, pointing out that the cost of maintenance of the lives of these women debtors inside the prison is high, particularly with the increasing number of prisoners.

She also indicated that the period of the sentence may turn into a training period for the prisoner through public service works, such as cleaning, public hospital services or handicrafts, which will benefit the convicted after the term of the sentence.

She stressed that many governmental and civil institutions, parliamentarians and intellectuals stand with the objectives of the association and its aim, which will protect thousands of female debtors in Egypt from the danger of entering the prison, entailing heavy losses to their families.

Some Egyptian women are naive and spend a huge amount of money on furniture and domestic items, professor of Theology at al-Azhar University Dr. Amna Nosseir said, calling them to tighten their spending.

Humanitarians express their hope to end this crisis, which turns Egyptian women to criminals when they would otherwise be innocent.
10/16/2017 4:58:06 PM
<![CDATA[Antekat to perform concert at Cairo Opera House]]>
Rega Cairo was founded in 2007 by Yasser Anwar, performing a variety of oriental and Western music.

It started at the time with the name of “Rasail Sayed Darwish” (Messages of Sayed Darwish), relying on presenting different forms of Eastern and Western music in several famous theaters in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Born in 1882 in Alexandria, Sayed Darwish is one of the most iconic Arabic musicians. He composed a large number of plays and many folk songs, including “Oom Ya Masry”.

The current Egyptian anthem “Belady, Belady” was composed by Darwish. He managed to develop Egyptian music and pave the way for many singers, such as Mounira El Mahdeya.

Underground musicians are more commonly fusing traditional Egyptian folk music with rock and jazz.]]>
10/16/2017 4:56:08 PM
<![CDATA[French delegation makes tour at Cairo's metro]]>
Pepy led a delegation comprising French transportation experts.

The French delegation made an inspection tour of the second and third lines of Cairo's metro.

French Ambassador in Cairo Stephane Roumtier joined the delegation while taking the train from al Sadat station to the third line of al Ataba station to inspect the control center. They resumed the journey heading for the ministry of transportation to meet Transport Minister Hisham Arafat.

10/16/2017 4:53:14 PM
<![CDATA[Death toll from Somalia bomb attacks tops 300]]>
The death toll has steadily risen since Saturday, when the blasts struck at two busy junctions in the heart of the capital city. One truck bomb detonated near a fuel truck, creating an enormous fireball.

The bomb attacks were the deadliest since Islamist militant group al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007. Al Shabaab has not claimed responsibility, but the method and type of attack - a large truck bomb - is increasingly used by the al Qaeda-linked organisation.

"We have confirmed 300 people died in the blast. The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of the city's ambulance service, told Reuters.

Aden Nur, a doctor at the city's Madina hospital, said they had recorded 258 deaths and that 160 of the bodies could not be recognised.

"(They)were buried by the government yesterday. The others were buried by their relatives. Over a hundred injured were also brought here," he told Reuters at the hospital.

Some of the injured were being evacuated by air to Turkey for treatment, officials said.

Locals visiting their injured relatives or collecting their bodies filled every available space in Madina hospital.

"My last time to speak with my brother was some minutes before the blast occurred," Halima Nur, a local mother, told Reuters.

"I am afraid he was among the unrecognized charred bodies that were buried yesterday. I have no hope of getting him alive or dead. But I cannot go home."

Abdullahi Aden, 56, said five of his cousins had died.

"The shop completely collapsed on them. I could not help them. I could not hear their screams and the nearby buildings were burning," he said. He was still searching for two other relatives.


Al Shabaab stages regular attacks in the capital and other parts of the country. Although the group claims it targets the government and security forces, it has detonated large bombs in crowded public areas before.

It has sometimes not claimed responsibility for bombings that provoked a big public backlash, like the 2009 suicide bombing of a graduation ceremony for medical students.

The group is waging an insurgency against Somalia's U.N.-backed government and its African Union allies in a bid to impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory.

But Al Shabaab retains the capacity to mount large bomb attacks. Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs.

In 2016, 723 Somalis were killed in 395 bomb attacks, according to Nairobi-based thinktank Sahan Research, up from 193 deaths in 265 attacks in 2015.

Some of those seriously injured in Saturday's bombing were moved by ambulance to the airport on Monday morning to be flown to Turkey for further treatment.

Workers unloaded boxes of medicine and other medical supplies from a Turkish military plane and Turkish medical teams attended to the injured moved from the hospital for evacuation. ]]>
10/16/2017 4:50:28 PM
<![CDATA[Saafan hails performance of Egyptian workers]]>
Such performances enable the Egyptian employer to be the best worldwide only if good potentials were provided for him, he said.

Saafan noted that the performance of Egyptian employers abroad and their abilities to assume their responsibilities can result in providing more opportunities to other employers and make Egyptian ones known for their good qualifications worldwide.

The remarks were made by the minister during handing over of employment contracts to 114 Egyptian employers at a construction company in a Gulf country.

He directed the traveling workers to contact with the labor consultant at the Egyptian embassy in the country they will work in, affirming that the main objective of the labor representative office is to serve and protect interests of Egyptian labor.

Saafan pointed out that such opportunities are provided by the ministry through its labor representative offices abroad within the framework of its strategy to reduce unemployment. ]]>
10/16/2017 4:46:36 PM
<![CDATA[French amb. visits tourist sites in Assuit]]>
Director of the regional authority for tourism promotion Osman al Husseini along with other tourist officials in Assiut accompanied the minister during the tour.

Assiut Governor Yasser el Disoky said that the governorate possesses several archeological and tourist sites that represent various civilizations topped by Virgin Mary Monastery of Mount Assiut which is included within the path of the holy family journey in Egypt.

The French ambassador met on Wednesday with Assiut governor to tackle investment opportunities in it as well as reviewing a number of national projects.
10/16/2017 4:44:23 PM
<![CDATA[Kurdistan orders to resume full oil production after brief stoppage]]>
Earlier on Monday, trading sources and an official at the Iraqi oil ministry in Baghdad said Erbil had stopped works at the two fields, resulting in an immediate production loss of 350,000 barrels per day.

10/16/2017 4:40:58 PM
<![CDATA[Abul Gheit calls for Arab, international support for Somalis's security institutions]]>
Arab League spokesman Mahmoud Afifi said in press statements Monday that Abul Gheit expressed solidarity with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo and his government in this crucial stage

He expressed support for the efforts exerted by the Somali government to defeat Al Shabab organization and other terrorist groups, pointing out that Abul Gheit called for intensifying Arab and international support for Somalis's security institutions.

The spokesman welcomed the statement issued by the Security Council which condemned the bombing and backed efforts exerted to achieve security and stability in the African country.

The death toll from the explosions rose to more than 231 as the attack was one of the deadliest in the recent history of the country beset by insurgency.

The first blast happened near the Safari Hotel, close to Somalia’s Foreign Ministry, police said.

The second explosion hit the city’s Madina district hours later, according to police. ]]>
10/16/2017 4:37:24 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi forces remove Kurdish flag from Kirkuk governorate building]]>
A U.S.-trained Iraqi elite unit took control of the governorate building earlier in the day, meeting no opposition from Kurdish forces deployed in the city.

They were welcomed by cheering crowds of Turkmen residents of the city who drove around in convoy firing, sometimes burst of gunfire into the air to celebrate the Iraqi military operation launched in the early hours of Monday to take control of Kurdish-held positions in the oil-rich region.

10/16/2017 4:35:23 PM
<![CDATA[Russia's Putin signs decree imposing restrictions on North Korea]]>
The resolution, about special economic measures, was a response to Pyongyang's missiles tests in late 2016.

10/16/2017 4:33:10 PM
<![CDATA[First Arab caricature summit held in Luxor]]>
The forum is under the sponsorship of the General Authority for Cultural Palaces in cooperation with the Egyptian Caricature Association.

There are more than 75 caricatures drawn by 75 artists from 15 Arab states, including Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Bahrain and Jordan.

On the sidelines of the forum, the cartoonist Mohamed Omar will be honored for his works, and there will also be workshops.

Luxor, chosen by UNESCO as this year's “Capital of Arabic Culture”, has gone well underway in providing a variety of musical and other performances this July.

A different Middle Eastern city gains the title each year as part of an initiative from the Arab League, in collaboration with UNESCO’s Cultural Capital program.

The initiative aims to promote Arab Culture internationally.]]>
10/16/2017 4:31:53 PM
<![CDATA[U.N. coordinator follows up on reconciliation with Palestinian PM ]]>
This came as part of the U.N. role to support the reconciliation sponsored by Egypt, which played the most important role in the Palestinian reconciliation.

Mladenov pointed out that the agreement stipulates the return of Gaza crossings to the Palestinian Authority by November 1, indicating that this will empower the national government in the Gaza Strip effectively.

Mladenov confirmed that the U.N. continues its efforts to coordinate and support the national Palestinian government, which is considered decisive step to achieve stability in the whole region.

The national reconciliation and Palestinian national unity will be the main impetus for restoring the Palestinian cause to its natural state, as a national issue for all Palestinian people.

He continued to call for unifying all Palestinian efforts and energies, expressing his hope that the positive aspects of the reconciliation will be reflected on all Palestinian issues.

Earlier, Abbas extended the Palestinian people’s appreciation to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for his administration’s efforts in signing the reconciliation agreement in Cairo, according to the Palestine News Agency (WAFA).

“What was agreed upon strengthens and accelerates the steps to end the division and restore the unity of the Palestinian people, land and institutions,” said Abbas.

The two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, signed an Egypt-brokered reconciliation deal in Cairo, in a key step towards ending a decade-long rift between the two movements.

The deal will see administrative control of the Gaza Strip handed to a Fatah-backed unity government.]]>
10/16/2017 4:29:48 PM
<![CDATA[Peshmerga to withdraw from Dilaya governorate]]>
Dahlaki told Iraqi media outlets that “the Peshmerga forces are expected to leave Village of Nye and Kifri villages located within the administrative area of the Diyala governorate.”

“The withdrawal will take place within a common understanding between Baghdad and Erbil without bloodshed in any of the villages mentioned above,” he added.

He praised the military operation in progress now upon orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi, adding that Abadi reacted “wisely” with Kurdistan.

Kurdish sources revealed to Iraqi media outlets Monday that Kurdish parties have evacuated their headquarters in Diyala.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave instructions that the Iraqi flag be hoisted on Kirkuk and other territories claimed by both the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Iraq's Kurdish security forces said Baghdad would pay a "heavy price" for launching an advance on the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk.

In a statement, the Peshmerga also accused a faction from one of the two main Iraqi Kurdish political parties of "treason" for assisting Baghdad with the advance.

In a statement issued on Monday, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abadi said that “we tried to dissuade those in the [Kurdistan] region from holding it [referendum] and not violating the Constitution and to focus instead on the fight against Daesh [Islamic State], but they did not listen to our appeals. We demanded from them to cancel the results which also went unheeded.”

Abadi accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of ignoring the magnitude of the danger that Iraq and its people will be exposed to if the independence of Kurdistan takes place.
10/16/2017 4:28:46 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering Omar El Hariri ]]>
To celebrate his life and legacy, Egypt Today presents a profile about his career in cinema, theater and TV.

Hariri was born in 1926 and graduated from the High Institute of Theater in 1947. As a child, he participated in the well-known film “Salama fy Kher.”

Straight out of school, Hariri continued his career on the stage of the National Theater and Youssef Wahby’s theater. The play “El Gheerah” [Jealousy] (1948) was his first stage role.

Omar El Hariri [Photo: Youtube]
Hariri also performed a number of successful shows, such as “Enahom Yaqtelon El Hemeer” [They are Killing Donkeys] and “Masraa’ Cleopatra” [Cleopatra’s Death].
In 1950, he acted in his first major cinema role in “Avokato Madeha” [Madeha, the Lawyer].

Hariri travelled to Libya and established the National Theater there in 1968. After lecturing about theater and arts in Libya until 1976, Hariri returned to Egypt and enriched Egyptian cinema and TV with a number of remarkable roles.

El Hariri performed in 180 films, 85 TV series, and 32 plays.

“El Wad Sayed El Shaghal” [Sayed, the Servant Boy], “Sokkar Hanem” [Lady Sokkar], “Saken Osady” [My Neighbor], “El Banat” [The Girls], “Omar El Mokhtar” and “Maweed Maa’ El Hayah” [Appointments with Life] are some of his most beloved works.

Hariri passed away in 2011 at the age of 86.

Omar El Hariri [Photo: Archive] ]]>
10/16/2017 4:27:47 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish prosecutor asks for Catalan police chief to be held in custody]]>
A judge is due to decide on this later on Monday, the source said.

10/16/2017 4:23:40 PM
<![CDATA['The Beguiled' to screen at Balcon Heliopolis ]]>
The movie, directed by Sofia Coppola and written by Thomas Cullinan, Albert Maltz and Irene Kamp was first released in 2017.

It revolves around the dilapidated mansion of Miss Martha Farnsworth's Seminary for Young Ladies that, despite the American Civil War in 1864, is still running, occupied by a teacher and five students. However, when a young student stumbles upon Corporal John McBurney, a wounded Union deserter on the verge of death, the already frail balance of the mansion’s system will be disrupted, as the hesitant headmistress decides to take him while he heals from his injury.

The film’s heroes are portrayed by Colin Farrell (Corporal McBurney), Nicole Kidman (Miss Martha), Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, and Addison Riecke.

“The Beguiled” won the Best Director award in Cannes Film Festival and Halfway Award in the International Online Cinema Awards.

It was also nominated for Palme d'Or, ICP Award, The Wilf Family Foundation Award, ARRI/OSRAM Award, and Sydney Film Prize.]]>
10/16/2017 4:23:16 PM
<![CDATA[5 branches of Canadian university to be included in New Capital]]>
The Canadian universities will begin receiving the first batch of Egyptian and foreign students by the end of 2018.

Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar asserted the strength of the Egyptian- Canadian relations, especially in education fields, pointing out that Canada was one of the top countries establishing a university complex in the New Administrative Capital.

Constructions of Canadian Universities in New Administrative Capital - photo by Amr Moustafa
He expressed his happiness over the steps implemented in the project and urged it to be completed as soon as possible.

Abdel Ghaffar illustrated that this new educational complex will be built on 50 acres with a total cost of LE 1.7 billion ($9.63 million). It consists of eight buildings; seven of them were allocated for educational purposes, and the eighth building will be allocated for scientific research and development.

Abdel Ghaffar further elaborated that the establishment of a science city in the New Administrative Capital comes within the framework of fruitful and constructive relations between Egypt and various countries, in addition to the Egyptian state's keenness to promote the system of higher education and scientific research.

This project will be the nucleus of the Science City, which is expected to include branches of the most important foreign universities (American, British, Austrian, Hungarian and German) and also expected to include new scientific programs that meet the needs of the labor market, he added.

Some 51 percent of the New Administrative Capital Company are owned by the Armed Forces and 49 percent are owned by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).

The paid-up capital of the company amounts to LE 20 billion; including contributions from the Armed Forces and NUCA, with authorized capital that amounts to LE 204 billion.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi laid the first stone of the New Administrative Capital in East Cairo on Wednesday.
Constructions of Canadian Universities in New Administrative Capital - photo by Amr Moustafa
With an area of 170,000 feddans, the new capital will include 20 residential areas expected to accommodate 6.5 million people and a road network 650 kilometers long.

The capital will include an international airport and an electric train to link it with the 10th of Ramadan and El-Salam cities.

It will feature 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and a park that is projected to be the world’s largest.
The flag of Canda in construction site- photo by Amr Moustafa
The New Administrative Capital is located in the area between the Cairo-Suez and Cairo-Ain Sokhna roads, east of the regional ring road. This is roughly 60 kilometers from the cities of Suez and Ain Sokhna.]]>
10/16/2017 4:21:25 PM
<![CDATA[North Korea rejects direct talks with South Korea in Russia]]>
Moscow had called on the two countries, who are both represented at a parliamentary forum in Russia, to use the opportunity to hold direct talks to try to narrow their differences over Pyongyang's missile programme.

But, RIA, citing the head of the North Korean delegation, said Pyongyang had rejected the idea.

10/16/2017 4:17:50 PM
<![CDATA[Goodbye Master of Comedy Sean Hughes]]>
John Hughes, known as Sean Hughes who was best known as a team captain on BBC’s “Never Mind the Buzzcocks,” was the youngest winner of the Edinburgh comedy award.

Hughes, 51, won the Perrier Comedy Award in 1990 for his show “A One Night Stand,” which was a huge indication of Hughes’ talent in terms of writing and acting as well as a standup comedian.

In addition to his TV shows, Hughes wrote five books of which, “The Detainees” (1998) and “It’s What He Would Have Wanted” (2000) are the top two.
10/16/2017 4:09:48 PM
<![CDATA[ Egypt retains 30th place in October FIFA ranking]]>
Despite retaining the 30th rank, Egypt lost the top rank in the list of the Arab and African teams in the monthly classification published Monday by the International Federation of Football Association "FIFA." Egypt is expected to be in the third classification in the draw of the 2018 World Cup, held on December 1 at the Russian capital, Moscow.

Egypt beat Congo Brazzaville 2-1 on October 8 in Group E of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, securing its seat at the World Cup after a 28-year absence before the final round of the qualifiers.

Tunisia jumped three places to be the 28th in the world ranking, and to top the list of Arab and African teams, while Senegal comes in the 32nd place in the world ranking and occupies the third place in the African teams list.

As usual the World Cup consists of eight groups, each group includes four teams from each classification, and Egypt is now in the third classification and will be in a group with a first, second and fourth classification teams. Let’s review the qualified teams in their classifications:

First classification: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Poland, Belgium, France.

Second classification: Spain, Peru, Switzerland 'in case of qualifying', England, Colombia, Italy (if it qualifies), Mexico, Uruguay.

Third classification: Egypt, Tunisia (if it qualifies), Costa Rica, Iceland, Croatia (if it qualifies), Denmark (if it qualifies).

Fourth classification: Senegal (if it qualifies), Iran, Nigeria, Serbia, Australia (if it qualifies), Japan, Morocco (if it qualifies), Saudi Arabia.

fifa ranking.
10/16/2017 4:08:16 PM
<![CDATA[Israel’s reaction to Palestinian reconciliation raises doubts of their intentions]]>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preferred to follow the “wait and see” strategy since the beginning of the reconciliation, which was strongly condemned by several ministers of his government including Minister of Education Naftali Bennett.

Bennett demanded that the PM cut all diplomatic relations with the Palestinian authorities once a deal between Fatah and Hamas was announced. He also called on the Israeli government to refrain from giving the Palestinian authorities the taxes that Israel collects on their behalf, Sputnik reported on October 3. Bennett added that his call was not basically because of the reconciliation itself, but was because “the Palestinian president is cooperating now with an organization labeled as ‘terrorist’.”

Moreover, in a statement released October 3, Netanyahu broke his silence and put three conditions for accepting and recognizing the reconciliation between the Palestinian parties.

These conditions include, the “dissolution of the military wing of Hamas, cutting all diplomatic relations with Iran, and recognizing Israel as a state.” “We will not accept any false reconciliation based over our interests,” Netanyahu said in his statement.

On the other hand, the Palestinian authorities blocked all attempts from Israel's side in interfering in the reconciliation. “Palestinians will not accept any Israeli attempts to interfere in their internal affairs,” Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said in statements Sunday.

He added that the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will continue as agreed. “We heard about the Israeli conditions [that were put as prerequisites] to recognize our reconciliation; however, we will continue with our plan as it is,” Malki added.

Who welcomed the reconciliation?

Most foreign governments widely welcomed the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, including France, the United States, China and Oman.

In an official statement, the French Foreign Ministry has lauded the role of the Egyptian authorities to conclude that the deal will "enable the Palestinian Authority to practice full powers in the Gaza Strip."

The U.S. State Department also hailed efforts exerted by the Palestinian Authority to assume its full responsibilities in the Gaza Strip after the Palestinian rivals (Fatah and Hamas) signed the reconciliation accord in Cairo.

"We see that as a potentially important step into getting humanitarian aid in to the people who live there," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said according to Al-Hurra channel.

Nauert added that the U.S. is going to watch those developments very closely.
China also welcomed the reconciliation deal signed, expressing appreciation for Egypt's efforts in promoting Palestinian unity.

The Chinese officially voiced confidence that ending the division and accomplishing the Egypt-brokered reconciliation will lead to resuming the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, achieving Palestine's independence, and reaching peaceful coexistence between the two countries.
The Omani Foreign Ministry also said in an official statement that Muscat welcomed the final reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian factions which would unify the Palestinian ranks, end the division, and support national unity in obtaining all its legitimate rights. The reconciliation will aid the establishment of the Palestinian State on the borders of June 4, 1967 with Al-Quds as its capital.

Thursday, October 12, Hamas and Fatah, announced signing the final deal in Cairo regarding the reconciliation, officially ending the decade-long national split.

Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister of the National Consensus Government formed in 2014, Rami Hamdallah, held his first cabinet meeting in Gaza after Hamas announced handing over the administration of the Gaza Strip to the unity government; a major step towards Palestinian reconciliation.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip remained politically and administratively divided since June 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip following days of street fighting.
10/16/2017 3:51:24 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi forces take control of Kirkuk governorate building unopposed]]>
A dozen Humvees from the U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) arrived at the governorate building and took position in the vicinity alongside the local city police, they said. They drove to the centre of the city from airport which they had captured earlier in the day from Kurdish forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave instructions that the Iraqi flag be hoisted on Kirkuk and other territories claimed by both the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government

10/16/2017 3:49:01 PM
<![CDATA[53 MPs sign "To Build It" petition for Sisi 2nd term: political party]]>
As many as 53 MPs signed the petition during the official launching ceremony of the campaign in which a big number of MPs, public figures and politicians have attended, Nour stated.

Last week, The Nation's Future party announced it officially joins To Build It Campaign, and decided to open its premises nation wide to receive the citizens who want to sign the petition.

Gathering 1
Citizens who signed the petition

Gathering 2
A seminar organized by the campaign

The party said that the decision came due to their “belief in national participation that unites the nations’ people around one goal…which is preserving nation… and to complement the path led by the leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.”

In the statement, the party said that its 58 headquarters will be opened to receive all those who want to fill the campaign forms across the governorates. It also allocated phone numbers available for inquiries about the campaign, in addition to allocating a central operation room to coordinate with volunteers.

“Alashan Tbneeha” (To Build It), a public campaign that kicked off in September to demand President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run for a second term as President of Egypt witnessed a remarkable turnout by citizens and renowned figures of the Egyptian society as the signatures phase of the campaign was launched.

Veteran actor Hussein Fahmy

Actor Hany Salama

Wafaa Amer
Actress Wafaa Amer

Renowned actor Tarek Lotfy
Actor Tarek Lotfy
10/16/2017 3:46:20 PM
<![CDATA[British PM heads to Brussels to unblock Brexit talks]]>
They will be joined by British Brexit minister David Davis and his EU counterpart, chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, May's spokesman told reporters.

Juncker declined to answer questions about the content of the meeting ahead of time, telling reporters in Brussels: "I will meet Mrs May this evening, we will talk and you will see the autopsy."

With criticism of her Brexit strategy building up at home from both moderates and hardliners within her own Conservative party, May is hoping for a breakthrough that will bolster her position and ease some of the uncertainty around Britain's withdrawal.

EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are due to decide whether or not negotiators can move on to discussing post-Brexit trade ties with Britain if "sufficient progress" has been made in divorce talks.

The indication from the EU side is that they will postpone their decision to a summit in December as the break-up negotiations are currently deadlocked.

But Britain is still hoping for a positive signal that will ease growing concern, including from business leaders who say they will have start shifting some operations to the EU by the end of the year unless there is more certainty on Brexit.

"We've always said we want Britain leaving the EU to be a smooth process and this is part of achieving that," May's spokesman said of the 90-minute dinner which is to start at around 6:30 pm (1630 GMT).

He said the meeting was put in the diary "a number of weeks ago" even though it has not previously been mentioned either by British or EU officials.

The trip takes place as economic storm clouds gather for Britain, with companies reining in spending and foreign direct investment plunging as a result of last year's Brexit vote.

Even the Daily Telegraph newspaper, normally a staunch supporter of the government, on Monday warned it was "a grim time for Brexit optimists" and cited analysts predicting a further devaluation of the pound.

- 'Time to get on' -

On Sunday, May spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the two agreed "on the importance of continued constructive progress in the UK's exit negotiations", according to a statement from her Downing Street office.

She is also due to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar later on Monday, ahead of the dinner in Brussels, her spokesman said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also sought to drum up some goodwill on Sunday by hosting a group of East European foreign ministers for talks on security and light-hearted country walks at his official residence in Kent, southeast England.

"It is time to get on with these negotiations," Johnson said as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday.

"Let's put a tiger in the tank, let's get these conversations going and stop letting the grass grow under our feet."

- Suspend negotiations? -

Ahead of their meeting, commentators pointed to the bad taste left by May's last dinner with Juncker in April.

Details were leaked to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which Juncker reportedly said May was in a "different galaxy".

The British leader responded angrily to the leaks, accusing EU officials of trying to influence the outcome of the June general election with "threats against Britain".

Asked whether she was concerned about leaks this time around, May's spokesman said: "I expect a constructive dinner."

Some Brexit hardliners are meanwhile calling for a tougher approach from the government that could include walking out of the negotiations with no deal.

Former Brexit minister David Jones said Britain should suspend negotiations until the EU was prepared to talk "sensibly about money" and future trade terms.

The fifth round of discussions ended last week with Barnier warning the two sides were at an "extremely disturbing" deadlock over Britain's Brexit bill.

Brussels has insisted on reaching progress on its three priorities -- the exit bill, citizens' rights, and the border with Ireland -- before moving on to talks of a future relationship with London.

10/16/2017 3:41:16 PM
<![CDATA[Dar Al-Ifta organizes conference for fatwa authorities worldwide ]]>
The conference will be held from October 17 to 19, 2017 in Cairo, and will be titled "Fatwa Role in Maintaining Societies' Stability."

The move came as part of the continuous coordination between the Foreign Ministry and Dar Al-Ifta; seeking to highlight Egypt’s efforts in denouncing extremist discourses.

Abu Zeid also stressed the Foreign Ministry's keenness on offering support for the conference, as it reflects the leading role of Egypt's religious institutions in fighting religious extremism and erroneous Fatwas. ]]>
10/16/2017 3:26:36 PM
<![CDATA[Indonesia on track for 2018 Asian Games: OCA]]>
With under a year until the opening ceremony, Indonesia is racing to renovate stadiums and secure major sponsors for the event, which is larger than the Olympics both in terms of the number of sports and competitors.

The cities of Jakarta and Palembang on the island of Sumatra plan to welcome around 10,000 athletes from 45 countries, competing in 40 sports from August 18 to September 2, 2018.

OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said Monday he was pleased with Indonesia's progress.

"We are moving in the right direction for the Games," he told AFP after meeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

"I feel more comfortable that the Games is going in the right way."

Indonesia was awarded the Games in 2014 after the original host Vietnam withdrew due to financial problems, but the late decision meant the Indonesians had four years to prepare instead of the usual six.

When the OCA visited in March it said the country faced huge challenges, raising concerns about a lack of coordination.

Observers also questioned the suitability of the athletes' village and transport to and from venues in a city notorious for traffic congestion.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Sunday there was no issue with preparation.

"The sponsorship from within and outside of Indonesia has been progressing well and therefore we hope the event will go well," he said at a press conference.

Indonesia last hosted the Asian Games in 1962 in Jakarta and for many Indonesians the Games will be a chance to showcase the country's sporting and economic success.

10/16/2017 3:25:11 PM
<![CDATA[Palestine condemns Israeli expansion of settlement policy]]>
In a statement, the ministry slammed the decision by the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu to resume operations to expand Israeli settlements that were suspended during the term of US Former President Barack Obama.

The ministry said that such move hinders any chance to establish the Palestinian state with al Quds (occupied east Jerusalem) as its capital and diminishes political solutions based on the two state solution.

Occupation authorities started implementing a massive expansion scheme in Givat Hamatos settlement in al Quds by announcing its plan to build about 2600 new settlements that had been approved in 2014, the ministry said adding that it will lead to the separation of the south of al Quds (Jerusalem) from its Palestinian extension, enabling occupation forces to isolate and surround a number of neighborhoods in al Quds.

The ministry added that the silence of the international community on Israeli settlements and violation of the international law and legitimate international resolutions represented a cover that encourages Israel to continue its destruction of the opportunities to revive peace negotiations.
10/16/2017 3:23:47 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr says Egypt always looking forward to developing ties with SFD]]>
This comes in light of the historic ties between both sides, she said.

The current cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the SFD reached $ 2.5 billion involving 23 projects.

This came during Nasr's meeting with Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the SFD Yousef Ibrahim al Bassam on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Bank in Washington.

Both sides discussed the SFD's funding to the entrepreneurship program in Egypt that aims at supporting the emerging companies.

Nasr also conferred with Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury on coordination between both countries and the Arab states to support joint projects especially those that work on empowering women.

Fakhoury asserted Jordanian support to Egypt, asserting that there will be no stability in the Arab world unless there is stability in Egypt.

10/16/2017 3:17:39 PM
<![CDATA[Iraq's Kurdistan shuts 350,000 bpd of oil output due to security]]>
One trading source said he was informed by Kurdish operators that civilian workers at both fields were released following a build up of Iraqi military forces around the fields.

The operations were stopped and civilian employees will be able to return and operations will restart only when the intentions of Iraqi security forces are clear, the source added.

He added that the flows of oil from North Oil Co's Kirkuk oil field, which are under control of the central government, were continuing normally at an export rate of 90,000 bpd.

Iraq earlier warned Kurdish officials against shutting down Kirkuk oil flows.

10/16/2017 3:16:07 PM
<![CDATA[Motorcycling-Dovizioso holds off Marquez in Japanese thriller]]>
In a white-knuckle battle in appalling conditions at the Twin Ring circuit, Dovizioso snatched the lead from championship leader Marquez in a dramatic last lap after the swashbuckling Spaniard made a rare mistake when rounding a corner.

The Italian's nerve-jangling win by 0.249 seconds trimmed the Honda rider's lead to 11 points with three races left in the season.

Danilo Petrucci finished third on a non-works Ducati, his fourth podium for the season, while Maverick Vinales' faint title hopes were all but extinguished after a disappointing ninth for Yamaha.

Spaniard Vinales heads to Phillip Island in Australia 41 points adrift of three-times MotoGP champion Marquez, who improved to 244 points in the title race.

The dogged Dovizioso was beaming, however, having completed a brilliant race from ninth on the grid and fended off the series' most fearsome competitor.

Defending champion Marquez looked to have it won after he burned past Dovizioso with three laps left but he gave up precious momentum on the final lap with a slide at turn eight.

Thrown from his seat and all but crashing, Marquez did well to regain control but the error allowed Dovizioso enough ground to mount a final daring raid.

"The rear tyre was completely gone," Dovizioso said track-side after grabbing his fifth win of the season.

"But he did a mistake so I was able to catch him and I did a perfect corner at turn 10."

Marquez all but brushed Dovizioso's rear wheel as he attacked at the last corner but could find no way through.

"It was an amazing race, I mean the two guys that are fighting for the championship are fighting to the last corner," said Marquez without a trace of disappointment.

"I did a few mistakes especially at turn eight, I lose a lot."

Suzuki savoured an encouraging weekend, with Andrew Iannone and Alex Rins finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Three-times MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo fought to the front briefly in the early laps but faded to sixth for Ducati, while Italian great Valentino Rossi's forgettable weekend ended mid-race with a fall.

Alex Marquez won the Moto2 category for Kalex, with Honda's Romano Fenati claiming the Moto3.]]>
10/16/2017 3:14:22 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly faces El Raja in week 3]]>
The champions of the previous version of the Egyptian Premier League, Al Ahly, are going to meet El Raja, the team that recently joined the Premier League from the second division, in a delayed match from the third week of the Egyptian League.

Al Ahly has played only two matches in the local league because of the national breaks, as the league stops during the African qualifiers to the World Cup, in addition to Al Ahly’s matches in the African Champions League. Al Ahly is now in 13th place with four points.

Meanwhile, El Raja is in last place, as the team has no points from the four games it had played. The team was expected to have good results with the start of the competition because of its coach Emad El Nahas, who had great results with Aswan SC when he had managed the team.

Hossam El Badry, Al Ahly’s head coach, has chosen 20 players for the game: Mohamed Al Shenawy, Ahmed Adel, Ali Maloul, Ramy Rabiea, Saad Samir, Moamed Hany, Ahmed Fathy, Hossam Ashour, Mo’men Zakaria, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azarou, Ahmed Hamoudy, Ahmed El Sheikh, Mohamed Naguib, Karim Walid, Ahmed Yasser Rayan, Amr Al Soulaya, Mohamed Gaber, Hussein El Sayed, Saleh Gomaa and Akram Tawfiq, according to Youm7.

Egypt Today chose the eleven most expected to represent the red shirts of Al Ahly as follows:

Goalkeeper: Mohamed Al Shenawy.

Defenders: Ali Maloul, Ramy Rabiea, Saad Samir, Moamed Hany.

Midfielders: Amr Al Soulaya, Hossam Ashour, Saleh Gomaa.

Forwards: Ahmed Hamoudy, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azarou.
10/16/2017 3:07:15 PM
<![CDATA[Tourist visas are not for employment in UAE: Foreign Ministry ]]>
Travelers who seek jobs using these kinds of visa will be fined and prohibited from entering the UAE again, Rezq stressed.

Egyptian citizens planning to travel to the UAE are prohibited from using tourist or visitor visas for seeking employment there, a statement issued Monday by the Foreign Ministry explained.
10/16/2017 3:05:42 PM
<![CDATA[In Pictures: Iraqi Flags flapping on oil facilities in Kirkuk ]]>

Iraqi Army Forces in Kirkuk

The Iraqi security forces restored control over Kirkuk city, where they imposed security measures and order, while maintaining the protection and safety of all Iraqis upon orders issued by Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi.

Iraqi Flags in Kirkuk
10/16/2017 3:04:32 PM
<![CDATA[Napoli owner wants top players rested against Man City]]>
Napoli lead Serie A after winning their first eight games and De Laurentiis suggested that Saturday's home league match against second-placed Inter Milan was just as important.

"I think that in this game, the players with more playing time should be rested in order to preserve them," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The Inter match is around the corner and it is just as important. We have to approach the Inter match in a more considered way," he added.

"In Europe, we should only worry about getting to the next stage, not about winning every match."

City lead Group F with six points from two games, followed by Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk who have three each while Feyenoord have lost their opening two matches.

The top two in each group qualify for the last 16.

"I say that we need to evaluate everything and adopt the right strategy," De Laurentiis added. "I'm lucky to have a coach who's a great strategist.”]]>
10/16/2017 3:01:51 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi Kurds say Baghdad will pay heavy price for assault]]>
In a statement, the Peshmerga also accused a faction from one of the two main Iraqi Kurdish political parties of "treason" for assisting Baghdad with the advance.

10/16/2017 2:52:24 PM
<![CDATA[Crossings director arrives in Gaza as part of reconciliation measures]]>
Head of the Civil Affairs Authority Hussein el Sheikh said a governmental delegation of the crossings' crew will start implementing the items of the agreement whereby the national reconciliation government will oversee the management of the enclave crossings.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing Mofeed al Hasaynah announced that the Italian government agreed on the building of a new housing district in northern Gaza to compensate the owners of the houses that have been demolished during the Israeli aggression.

Deputy Chief of Fatah Movement Mahmoud al Aloul said his movement is closely following up the measures to empower the reconciliation government in Gaza.

He also said the coming days would witness a meeting of the specialized committees and security officials to follow up the implement of the deal which has been recently reached between the two Palestinian factions in Cairo under the sponsorship of Egypt.

10/16/2017 2:48:37 PM
<![CDATA[Retrial of Morsi on jailbreak charges delayed]]>
The defendants face charges of attacking police facilities and killing police officers in the wake of the January 25 Revolution in collaboration with the international Muslim Brotherhood organization, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In November 2016, the Cassation Court overruled previous sentences that were handed down against the defendants by Cairo Criminal Court, ordering a retrial.

In June 2015, Cairo Criminal Court had sentenced to death Morsi, supreme guide of the MB group Mohamed Badie, his deputy Rashad el Bayoumi, MB member Mohie Hamed, MB leader Esssam el Eryan and former parliament speaker Mohamed el Katatny.

Twenty other defendants had been sentenced to life in prison in the same case.

10/16/2017 2:46:12 PM
<![CDATA[Gigi Hadid created a makeup kit and it already sold out ]]>

INTRODUCING THE #GIGIxMAYBELLINE JETSETTER PALETTE: I always wanted a palette that I could throw right in my purse or travel bag and know I have everything to do a light-everyday look, quickly and easily. I didn't want to have to open my makeup bag in the car or on a plane and take all the products out and worry about dropping anything or having somewhere to set it while I held my mirror. The Jetsetter Palette includes contour powder/bronzer, blush, powder highlight, concealer, lip gloss, eye shadow, black powder liner, a mini mascara, mini blush/contour and liner/eyeshadow brushes AND a mirror!!! I love mixing it up and using the lip as cheek tint, the eyeshadow to fill my eyebrows, blush on my eyelids, concealer as a nude lip base, etc. It's the most luxurious touch-up ever!!!!!! Can't wait to see how & where you use yours! 🛩☁️💕 COMING SOON TO @ULTABEAUTY 🇺 !!!! OUR EXCLUSIVE UK Jetsetter Palette DROP - @BOOTSUK ONLINE - SOLD OUT IN LESS THAN 90 MINS THIS MORNING!!!! 🇬🇧 THANK YOU SO MUCH! Stay tuned to @maybelline for launch dates for your country!

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

The makeup kit includes: neutral eye shadows, concealer, lip gloss, contouring powder, highlighter, and blusher stripes, as well as miniature mascara. This makeup kit went on sale online and was sold out in 90 minutes, according to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.


A post shared by Maybelline New York (@maybelline) on

Hadid is a Victoria's Secret model; she was born on April 23, 1995. She started her career in modeling at the age of two, but she took a break when she was young to focus on her education. She was the face of Guess clothing in 2012.

Hadid has walked for Versace, Ellie Saab, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. She also hosted the American Music Awards and won the International Model of the Year award at the 2016 Fashion Awards. She is now the face of Tommy Hilfiger, Messika, and Maybelline.
10/16/2017 2:42:41 PM
<![CDATA[In the rough - China closes Wanda golf courses in chilly northeast]]>
Fusong county in China’s cold northeastern Jilin province shut the courses at Wanda’s Changbaishan International Resort, a statement on the local government’s website dated Oct. 13 shows.

China has been cracking down on golf in recent years, amid a sweeping anti-corruption drive under President Xi Jinping, as tales of officials’ high living, including extravagant banquets and expensive rounds on the golf course, stirred public anger.

The Fusong government said it had on Oct. 9 ordered the resort to cease operations at its golf courses. The resort has two courses: an 18-hole course designed by golf star Jack Nicklaus and a 36-hole golf course.

Dalian Wanda declined to comment.

The Changbaishan resort is a 23 billion yuan (£2.6 billion) development near the border of North Korea.

A worker at the resort, who asked not to be named as she was not permitted to speak to the media, said she was unaware of the closure order, but that the courses had closed anyway in October because of the start of the winter season.

In January, China’s state planner said it had ordered the closure of more than 100 golf courses in a multi-year campaign launched in 2011 to tackle illegal development in the sector.

Golf has also been added to a list of Communist Party disciplinary violations, and is often cited in cases of graft.

The Wanda closures come just ahead of a sensitive five-yearly Party Congress in Beijing that starts this week. Xi is looking to consolidate power and to reinforce Party principles within state-owned and private corporations before the meet.

This year, China has been urging local firms to be cautious about offshore deals. Beijing’s crackdown on showy overseas ventures and high-profile empire builders has drawn in several corporations such as Wanda, HNA Group, Anbang Insurance Group [ANBANG.UL]and Fosun International (0656.HK).

Wanda, headed by billionaire magnate Wang Jianlin, has been one of the country’s most prolific dealmakers, controlling or owning stakes in U.S. cinema chain AMC as well as high-flying Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.

But it dialled back some of its ambitions earlier this year, announcing plans to sell most of its tourism projects and hotels in the country to Sunac China (1918.HK) and Guangzhou R&F Properties (2777.HK) for around $9 billion (£6.7 billion).

10/16/2017 2:39:46 PM
<![CDATA[Beijing proudly unveils mega-airport due to open in 2019]]>
Representatives showed off the sprawling skeleton of “Beijing New Airport”, which is made up of 1.6 million cubic metres of concrete, 52,000 tonnes of steel and spans a total 47 sq km, including runways.

It is expected to serve an initial 45 million passengers a year with an eventual capacity of 100 million, putting it on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Lined up together there’s roughly 5km of gates,” said project spokesman Zhu Wenxin. “It’s a shining example of China’s national production capacity.”

Updates on the airport come as the ruling Communist Party is set to open its 19th congress later this week, a twice-a-decade leadership event where Xi will consolidate power and emphasise successful projects and policy from his first five years.

The project, which broke ground in 2014, is one of the region’s largest infrastructure investments under Xi’s rule, which has been plagued by fears of slowing economic growth, offset slightly by a construction spree.

China has sought to boost its profile as both an aviation hub and a manufacturer in recent years. The country’s first home-grown passenger jet, the C919, lifted off on its maiden flight in May, edging into a multibillion-dollar market currently dominated by Boeing Co and Airbus SE.

Situated 67 km south of Beijing, the airport technically falls in neighbouring Hebei province, though it will eventually constitute its own development zone.

It will relieve pressure on Beijing’s existing international airport, to the northeast of Beijing and currently the world’s second largest by passenger volume, which opened a new terminal worth US$3.6 billion in 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics.

The existing airport will continue to operate major international flights, though a third smaller domestic airport in the city’s south will close in coming years.

Two of China’s three major airlines, China Eastern Airlines Corp and China Southern Airlines Co, will relocate to the airport on completion, accounting for roughly four-fifths of the new airport’s total traffic.

The airport will be connected to Beijing by a high-speed train with a top speed of 350 km an hour, as well as an inter-city train and a major expressway.

Original plans for the airport were made by French airports operator Aeroports de Paris, though third-party improvements to the original version make the final design “wholly domestic”, said Zhu.

“It’s like a large flower, but made of steel,” said one construction worker on the site, who declined to share his name because he was not authorised to speak to press.

10/16/2017 2:38:13 PM
<![CDATA[304 Hasm members referred to military trial]]>
Hasm has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Egyptian security personnel in recent months, mostly targeting police checkpoints since the ousting of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, killing many members of the police and army.

Egyptian security forces have arrested and killed dozens of suspected Hasm members in the past few months.

Last February, an Egyptian court of urgent matters designated the militant group Hasm a terrorist organization, banning its activity in the country.

In January, Egypt's High State Security Prosecution referred 304 people to military prosecution for their membership in Hasm, which committed 14 attacks targeting security forces and public figures over the past six months.
10/16/2017 2:35:25 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. calls on all Iraqi parties to cease military action]]>
The calls for peace and cooperation came in a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy on Monday.

The statement continued that “we are very concerned by reports of violence in Kirkuk and deplore any loss of life;” stressing that the United States supports the “peaceful exercise of joint administration by the central and regional governments,” consistent with the Iraqi Constitution, in all disputed areas.

“Islamic State (IS) remains the true enemy of Iraq, and we urge all parties to remain focused on finishing the liberation of their country from this menace,” the statement read.

In light of the security operations launched by the Government of Iraq in the vicinity of Kirkuk City, the U.S. Mission in Iraq is advising citizens located in these areas, who are unable or unwilling to depart, to shelter in place.
10/16/2017 2:32:33 PM
<![CDATA[Kirkuk: Iraqi loyalties change quicker than a British summer]]>
The Iraqi government has threatened the Kurdish region since the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25. The threats finally materialized into a demonstration of military strength as Iraqi media showed a procession of armored vehicles and security forces flooding north in the past week. People began to predict a major confrontation between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi security forces.

The Middle East is often likened to a puzzle; the pieces are mismatched and overlapping. However, the current situation in Kirkuk goes beyond this; it feels like someone has rolled a dice in a game of chess, and then a third player slapped down a straight flush.

Wrap your head around this. Iran, the U.S.’s foremost adversary, is indirectly engaged in violent conflict alongside Iraq, a major U.S. regional ally, against the Kurds. The Kurds being the U.S.’s most significant non-state ally in the fight against the Islamic State, the U.S.’s biggest non-state opponent.

You think that is confusing? What complicates the situation even further for the U.S. is that they provided the vast deal of military hardware and training that are being used in this conflict, to both Iraq and the Kurds. The U.S.-led state-building project in Iraq required the U.S. to bolster Iraqi security services; the same rang true as the Kurds showed their strength and ability in combating the Islamic State’s advances.

To see the most striking evidence of this, one only has to look at the transport being used by all parties. Humvees are a symbol of U.S. military around the world, and their presence on the ‘battlefield’ in and around Kirkuk makes it difficult for the mind to remove the U.S. from the equation.

The enveloping conflict in and around Kirkuk comes as another slap in the face to U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, which welcomes short-term success only and fails to appreciate the intricacies of the country.

More money does not equate to more success.

Iraqi forces drive towards Kurdish Peshmerga positions on Sunday on southern outskirts of Kirkuk. AFP

Many of the PMF militia involved in the Kirkuk campaign pledge allegiance to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and thus we would not expect to see them using American military hardware. But this is the Middle East, so obviously this is not the case. American weaponry is being used by every actor in this conflict as loyalties in Iraq change quicker than the weather in a British summer.

This is the largest conflict between the Iraqi state and the Kurds in the post-Saddam era. One can only wish, pray, lobby – do whatever is necessary – to make the advantages of diplomacy trump those of conflict.

With vast sources of funding and support, it is unlikely that the Iraqi government will adopt this stance. Abadi has frequently been criticized as being a weak leader in the face of adversities, and with elections upcoming in 2018 this could be his one chance to bolster his position in order to remain the head of government and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
10/16/2017 2:31:18 PM
<![CDATA[Lebanon president calls for return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon]]>
Aoun said he wanted the safe return of refugees and was not asking those who have political problems with the Syrian government to go back, the presidential media office said.

Aoun also asked international aid agencies not to "scare" refugees who want to return from doing so.

10/16/2017 2:27:29 PM
<![CDATA[Wildfires kill at least 30 in Portugal and Spain]]>
Authorities said they were still battling 145 blazes in Portugal - still recovering from its deadliest fire on record in June - and another 100 in Spain. Portugal's government asked for international help and declared a state of emergency in territory north of the Tagus river - about half of its landmass.

"We are facing new (weather) conditions... In an era of climate change, such disasters are becoming reality all over the world," Portugal's Interior Minister, Constanca Urbano de Sousa, said citing the fires burning in California.

Flames ripped across countryside left tinder-dry by an unusually hot summer and early autumn, fanned by strong winds as remnants of ex-Hurricane Ophelia brushed the Iberian coast.

Officials in Portugal and Spain said arsonists had started some of the blazes.

The weekend's fires had killed at least 27 people and injured more than 50 in Portugal, civil protection service spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said.

In June, 64 people died in a huge forest fire in central Portugal. The government has been criticised for a slow, inefficient response and a lack of fire-prevention policies.

Three people died in Spain's Galicia region - two of them women found inside a burnt-out car, the third a man in his seventies, killed as he tried to save his farm animals, media reported.

Most of the fires in Galicia were started deliberately, the head of the regional government, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said in a radio interview.

Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said some of those responsible had already been identified. They could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted, police said. At least one person was arrested in Portugal for allegedly starting a fire.

10/16/2017 2:25:27 PM
<![CDATA[Hamas condemns Sinai attack]]>
“This terrorist act aims to undermine Egypt’s stability. We wish security, safety and prosperity for Egypt and its people,” Barhoumy.

Six army troops were killed in a military operation conducted on Sunday in North Sinai against terrorist elements.

During the operation, 24 militants were killed and another one was injured when law enforcement forces thwarted a failed terrorist attempt aimed at targeting checkpoints in al-Qawadis district, North Sinai on Sunday. Two four-by-four vehicles belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed.

Security forces are still combing the area for any further terrorist hotbed.]]>
10/16/2017 2:20:39 PM
<![CDATA[Kinshasa named as worst megacity for get-ahead women in poll]]>
The Thomson Reuters Foundation asked 380 experts on women’s issues in 19 megacities several questions, including if women in their city had access to economic resources such as education, land, and financial services such as bank accounts and loans.

On economic opportunities Kinshasa came out as the worst of the megacities - all of which have populations of more than 10 million - followed by Cairo and Karachi. By contrast London was named as the best, followed by Shanghai.

Experts said most women in Kinshasa work in small, informal businesses or agriculture - sectors often cut off from banking - and many live on the city outskirts without electricity and roads, making it hard to travel to banks.

“These two sectors - small businesses and agriculture - occupy more than 80 percent of women but these are risky activities according to financial institutions,” said Scolastique Mahindo, a representative of U.N. Women in Congo.

Figures from a 2014 World Bank survey found less than a quarter of women in Africa’s second largest country use financial services, compared with four in 10 men.


Girls often miss out on education due to forced marriage, child labour and poverty, with only six in 10 girls completing primary school, compared to eight out of 10 boys, UNICEF says.

Wanet Amba of the National Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises of Congo (FENAPEC) said access to financial services tended to require administrative procedures and legal documents that are out-of-reach for many women in Kinshasa.

But some women, such as Magalie Mbombo, get around this by being part of a local savings and loans association.

Mbombo has worked as a market trader for almost two decades without ever dealing with a bank and her business has thrived.

Common across Africa, such cooperative schemes - which see members put in money and take turns to claim the pot - allow people who cannot obtain credit to finance their projects.

“If I save $1,000 in a bank, I will not even get $100 in interest,” Mbombo said. “I have seen some traders flee the market because they could not afford to pay back their credit.”

Once such schemes reach a certain size, they can attract the eye of microfinance institutions, which give small loans to the poor, along with financial services such as savings accounts, training and peer support, which particularly benefits women.

“We owe our expansion to the women who succeeded in small businesses and have become today’s big traders,” said Mamie Kalonda, head of FINCA Congo, the country’s largest microfinance institution with about 400,000 members, most of them women.

Yet persuading women to invest their hard-earned cash is a challenge as Congo’s deepening economic crisis bites hard, said Rosine Nzumba, manager of a women-run cooperative in Kinshasa.

“The poor financial inclusion of women in Kinshasa is a result of poverty,” said Nzumba.

The government says it is trying to get more women involved in the economy, setting up a microfinance fund in 2013 and recently a financial education program.

Yet with 98 percent of Congo’s money in the hands of individuals rather than in the banking system, such efforts will take time, said central bank governor Déogratias Mutombo.

“It must be corrected by changing (this) behaviour (of hoarding money),” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The survey was conducted online and by phone between June 1 and July 28, with 20 experts questioned in all 19 cities. The results were based on a minimum of 15 experts in each city..

10/16/2017 2:17:55 PM
<![CDATA[Woman dies in Ireland as a result of Storm Ophelia]]>
RTE said the woman was the sole occupant of the car and was pronounced dead at the scene as the storm began to batter Ireland's southern coast. A spokeswoman for the council could not immediately be reached for comment.

10/16/2017 2:15:32 PM
<![CDATA[Explosion in southeast Turkey kills 2 soldiers: CNN Turk ]]>
The bomb was set off as a Turkish army truck drove past it near the Iraqi border, according to Reuters.]]>
10/16/2017 2:12:25 PM
<![CDATA[Mufti calls for intensifying preemptive strikes against terror groups]]>
The Mufti's remarks were made in the wake of the terrorist attack that hit Qawadis neighborhood in Northern Sinai, leaving 24 terrorists and four army personnel killed.

In a statement released on Monday, Allam pressed for the need for intensifying preemptive attacks against terrorist groups which destabilize the country's stability and security.

He asserted that the Army's success to foil the terrorists' attack in al Qawadis reflected the alertness of the army in standing against all devilish schemes drawn up against the country.

The Mufti extended condolences to the families of the martyrs and wished that stability and security to prevail in the country.

10/16/2017 2:08:23 PM
<![CDATA[We are closer than ever to 1930s-style totalitarianism: Atwood]]>
Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, first published in 1985, has shot back up the bestseller lists after being made into an award-winning TV series depicting a totalitarian future in a United States where women are forced into sexual servitude.

Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president has, for some critics, brought that vision closer to reality as he uses social media to browbeat opponents, and lawmakers in a number of states seek to restrict women’s reproductive rights.

“It feels the closest to the 1930s of anything that we have had since that time,” the 77-year-old Atwood told a news conference, drawing parallels with the fascist and communist regimes which then ruled parts of Europe.

Atwood was attending the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, where she receives the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade on Sunday. The award citation praises Atwood’s “political awareness and alertness for developments beneath the surface”.

Past winners include Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, American writer and film-maker Susan Sontag and Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian-born writer and politician.


Atwood, author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays, said it was surprising to many that signs of totalitarianism were manifesting themselves in the United States of today.

It’s a far cry from the Berlin of the Cold War, still surrounded by the wall that divided Germany, where she started writing The Handmaid’s Tale, she recalled.

“People in Europe saw the United States as a beacon of democracy, freedom, openness, and they did not want to believe that anything like that could ever happen there,” she said.

“But now, times have changed, and, unfortunately it becomes more possible to think in those terms.”

Although work on the TV series starring Elisabeth Moss began before last November’s U.S. presidential election, Trump’s victory changed the setting “quite radically”, said Atwood.

“That is one of the reasons that the show has been so popular ... people suddenly feel that it’s a possible reality for them,” she said.

Women’s rights activists clad in the distinctive white bonnets and red gowns worn by handmaids in the fictional theocratic state of Gilead have taken part in recent protests in several U.S. state capitals.

“The book has escaped from the covers, the television show has escaped from being just a show,” said Atwood.

“It’s out in the world.”
10/16/2017 2:06:52 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool's Ox struggling to find his feet]]>
The 24-year-old England international, who signed from Arsenal in August for 35 million pounds ($47 million), has yet to begin a Premier League game for his new team.

Against Manchester United on Saturday he was granted a forgettable 12 minutes, following on from nine at Newcastle United and 12 against Burnley and Leicester City. He came on at halftime against Manchester City when Liverpool were two goals and a man down.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's only start was in the League Cup defeat by Leicester and he has chalked up less than 200 minutes on the field since becoming one of Liverpool's most expensive signings.

Juergen Klopp's decision not to unleash him on United said much about Oxlade-Chamberlain's lack of progress. With Sadio Mane injured, he could have played on the wing but the manager opted to push Philippe Coutinho wide and bring Emre Can into midfield.

Klopp justified his decision by suggesting that Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has 30 England caps and been playing at the top level for seven years, needed more time to adapt to the Liverpool way.

"We play different to Arsenal, that's clear," the German said. "It doesn't mean we play better or worse, just different."


By contrast, Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's other main summer signing, has fitted in seamlessly even though he arrived with much less Premier League experience.

Oxlade-Chamberlain hardly helped himself by missing a close-range chance against Newcastle, but it is not the start he was hoping for after rejecting a new contact at Arsenal and the chance to join Chelsea because he was keen to work under Klopp.

Ironically, part of the problem may lie with his versatility, which is probably what attracted Liverpool in the first place. Since making his debut as a precocious 16-year-old with Southampton, Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled to establish himself in one position.

He said he wanted to become a central midfielder "like Steven Gerrard" at Liverpool but he faces stiff competition for places with England's Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, Germany's Can and Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum vying for two slots alongside Coutinho. Guinean Naby Keita has also been signed for next season.

Klopp's challenge is to harness Oxlade-Chamberlain's raw pace and power and make him a more consistent performer, but former Liverpool winger John Barnes is among those calling for patience.

"We're too quick to judge. When players come in and do well we say they are fantastic. And if they aren't in the team and don't start, we say it's a disaster. It's not," Barnes told the Evening Standard.

"I think he's a fantastic player. He's probably a reflection of the team. He's come to be part of a good team and because the team has been inconsistent, maybe he's been inconsistent."

A place in the starting line-up against Slovenian side Maribor would be a welcome opportunity for Oxlade-Chamberlain to showcase his ability. ]]>
10/16/2017 2:05:07 PM
<![CDATA[Status from sand at Sand City Hurghada ]]>
Sphinx – Official Website

Sand city Hurghada will take you on a journey through different ages. It is a blend between two different concepts named historical art and wonderland art.

Napleon statue – Official Website

Historical art is about 22 sand sculptures and 6 reliefs representing legends and military leaders, while the wonderland art is about 22 sculptures and 11 reliefs of Walt Disney animated characters.

Alexander The Great - Official Website

It is the one and only museum of its kind in Africa and the Middle East.It was built in seven months using 11.00m3 of sand 4000 tone of water.

Spider Man -Official Website

The city has a section for family outing to enjoy shopping square, coffee area, and kid’s playground where they can learn how to sculpture the sand.

walt Disney Character - Official Website

Do not miss an ultimate pleasure in discovering the first open air sand museum in Hurghada.

Cleopatra - Official Website
10/16/2017 2:00:58 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr sets priorities of African Caucus for 2018]]>
Nasr made the statement as she was taking part in the meeting held between World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and governors of African countries.

During the meeting, Nasr invited African governors to attend the Investment for Sustainable Development: Africa 2017 Conference, which will be held from December 7 to 9, 2017 in Sharm El-Sheikh, under the organization of the Ministry and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency.

Earlier this week, Nasr assumed presidency of the African Caucus, announcing that she would focus on youth and on investing in the infrastructure and in the human capital.

Established in 1963, the African Caucus works to strengthen African voices in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to work on development issues in the continent.
10/16/2017 1:52:26 PM
<![CDATA[Bangkok hotels fully booked ahead of funeral of revered Thai king]]>
The funeral of King Bhumibol, who died on October 13 last year after seven decades on the throne, will run for five days next week, with most events centring on the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang, a public square in the historic quarter.

About 250,000 mourners are expected to attend the funeral, which will feature gold-tipped pavilions built for the occasion, and October 26, the day of the cremation, has been declared a national holiday.

“Many Thais wishing to attend the cremation feel it would be more convenient having a place to stay nearby, so most hotels have been booked out already,” Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association, told Reuters.

A Reuters survey of three hotels on the Khao San Road, the main artery of the Banglamphu backpacker area, found no rooms were available.

“We are fully booked during the royal cremation,” said Preechaya Amngeun, 23, a guest services agent at the Ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai, part of French hotel group Accor.

“Around 80 per cent of the guests we have are Thais. The other 20 per cent are foreign tourists.”

Thailand’s tourism industry, which accounts for 12 per cent of GDP, has been a rare bright spot for an economy that has struggled since a 2014 coup. It has weathered political turbulence and a major natural disaster over the past decade.
10/16/2017 1:50:34 PM
<![CDATA[Baghad assigns first Arab governor in Kirkuk since 2003]]>
Iraqi media reported that Jobouri will be the first Arab governor in Kirkuk since 2003.

“According to local elections’ law, the deputy governor of Kirkuk is acting as the city’s new governor succeeding Najmaldin Karim who was dismissed upon a decision taken by the Iraqi parliament late September,” Jafaar asserted to Al-Sumaria.

He added that “Jobouri should remain in charge until a new governor is assigned by the prime minister or a new military ruler takes control of the city upon orders from the federal government in Baghdad.”
10/16/2017 1:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[Russia condemns North Korea nuclear tests:agencies]]>
Valentina Matvienko's comments came at a meeting with a South Korean parliamentary delegation in St Petersburg. Russia has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to persuade the delegations of North and South Korea to hold direct talks.]]>
10/16/2017 1:46:44 PM
<![CDATA[Societal protection program behind success of Egyptian economic reforms]]>
The comprehensive societal protection program aims at improving living standards of citizens, empowering women and youths and securing citizens' needs especially in needy areas, Sahar said in a statement by the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry.

Sahar was speaking in a session on Identification for Development initiative that was held on the sidelines of her participation in the annual meetings of the World Bank in Washington in the presence of representatives of the Administrative Control Authority and top economic aides.

Talks with WB officials, Sahar said, tackled boosting social housing project in Egypt by 550 million dollars and Ta program by 400 million dollars.

The World Bank Group's Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative plays an essential role in helping countries move forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind. Identification provides a foundation for other rights and gives a voice to the voiceless.
10/16/2017 1:44:29 PM
<![CDATA[Today in History: The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened ]]>

Bibliotheca Alexandrina [Photo: Wikipedia]

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the oldest libraries in the world. It was built 23 centuries ago, and it contained more than 700,000 volumes and manuscripts till it was burnt for the first time.

Old Bibliotheca Alexandrina [Photo: Wikipedia]

In 2002, the UNESCO cooperated with Egypt to reconstruct Bibliotheca Alexandrina again.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina [Photo: Wikipedia]

It was the first digital library in the Middle East in the 21st century.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina [Photo: Wikipedia]

Currently, it contains more than 8 million books, six specialized libraries, three

museums, seven research centers and six halls for cultural and artistic events.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina [Photo: Wikipedia]

10/16/2017 1:35:12 PM
<![CDATA[Malaysian Judiciary calls Qatar to pay its QAR 1.181 billion dues]]>
The Malaysian Judiciary is looking at some of the complaints that some Malaysian companies filed against Qatar for not paying their dues.

Sime Darby Company has accused Qatar Petroleum Company of delaying due payments, despite project delivery, according to the judiciary.

Sime Darby stated, “Qatar Petroleum Company refuses to pay its QAR 1 billion after the Malaysian company had implemented the contract between them.”

In addition, three Malaysian Real Estate Companies complained about Qatari companies after constructing QAR 181 million worth of projects in Doha; expressing their frustration regarding their experiences with Qatar.

The companies are forcing Qatar to pay their dues besides carrying all legal costs, fees and damages.

Tamim visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, late Sunday and was welcomed by Malaysia's king, cabinet ministers, and Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Qatar is Malaysia's 40th largest trading partner, with total trade amassing $566 million in 2016, according to New York Times.

This visit comes four months after a diplomatic crisis erupted between Qatar and the Arab countries. The crisis has led to an economic boycott, stopping Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing off the small country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocking its ships from using their ports.

The emir’s visit, which will come to an end on Monday, is his second trip abroad since the boycott. He travelled to Turkey, Germany, France, and the United States in September to garner some foreign support.

The visit to Malaysia will provide Tamim with an opportunity to discuss bilateral issues and exchange views on issues of common interest with the leaders.
10/16/2017 1:28:44 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt calls on Baghdad and Erbil to practice self-restraint ]]>
“Egypt calls on all parties to resort to dialogue and consensual solutions to defuse the crisis which may lead to dangerous consequences and regional and international impacts,” the statement added.

The statement asserted the necessity of protecting the integrity of the Iraqi territory and protecting all Iraqi spectra against mutual challenges.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi directed the Armed Forces to protect all citizens in Kirkuk, following news that a vast territory in Kirkuk Monday will be restored, an official statement by Abadi said on Monday.

The federal forces have restored control of Kirkuk military airport, Al Hurriya Air Base and other vital sites in


upon directives from the Iraqi leadership.

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, police forces and the army’s ninth brigade regained control of a vast territory in Kirkuk including the oil well, Baba Gurgur, without clashing with the Peshmerga forces located in Kirkuk.

The multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, home to one of Iraq's largest oil fields, was taken over by Kurdish Peshmerga forces in July 2014 after Iraqi government troops left the city ahead of a possible attack by radical Islamic State insurgents who have already seized two major Iraqi cities.
10/16/2017 1:26:57 PM
<![CDATA[Red-hot Kane gives Spurs cause for Real optimism - Llorente]]>
England striker Kane leads the scoring charts in Europe's elite competition with five goals in Spurs' games against Borussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kane has also six strikes in the Premier League and has scored 13 times in his last nine matches for club and country, but the acid test will come against Real at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

"We have great players who are capable of playing very good football and we have Harry Kane, who at the moment is turning everything he touches into a goal," Spaniard Llorente said in an interview with Marca newspaper.

"There isn't a great deal of difference among the top teams in Europe and I'd count Tottenham among them."

Real have flattered to deceive in La Liga this season as they bid to defend the Spanish title for the first time since 2008, dropping points in four of their eight games, but like Spurs they have won both Champions League matches, convincingly beating APOEL and Dortmund.

They sit third in the domestic standings, five points behind leaders Barcelona and scraped an unconvincing 2-1 win at Getafe on Saturday thanks to a late strike from Ronaldo.

Llorente, who helped Juventus knock Madrid out of the 2014-15 Champions League semi-finals, recognised that Zidane's side are one of the top teams in the world but he believes Spurs can still find chinks in their armour.

"You have to keep their best players under control, you can't just try and take the ball off them because they are much better in possession now and when they don't have it they are still very dangerous on the counter-attack," added Llorente, who has also played for Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla, Swansea City and the Spanish national team.

"Madrid can kill you off easily because they have more quality and are more effective than most teams, but they always give you a chance.]]>
10/16/2017 1:24:40 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi PM Abadi reaffirms safety of Iraqis in Kirkuk ]]>
In a statement issued on Monday, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abadi said that “we tried to dissuade those in the [Kurdistan] region from holding it [referendum] and not violating the Constitution and to focus on the fight against Daesh [Islamic State], but they did not listen to our appeals. We demanded from them to cancel the results which also went unheeded.”

Abadi accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of ignoring the magnitude of the danger that Iraq will be exposed to and its people if the independence of Kurdistan takes place.

“They [KRG] preferred their personal and partisan interests to those of Iraq, with its Arab and Kurdish people and the rest of its components,” Abadi added.

Abadi assured the safety of the people in Kurdistan and in Kirkuk in particular, manifesting that “we have only acted to fulfill our constitutional duty to extend the federal authority and impose security and protect the national wealth in this city, which we want to remain a city of peaceful coexistence for all Iraqis.”

“We call upon the Peshmerga forces to perform their duty under the federal leadership as part of the Iraqi armed forces,” he said.
10/16/2017 1:19:53 PM
<![CDATA[Storm Ophelia batters Ireland, trees and power lines down]]>
At least 15,000 homes were without electricity and 130 flights were cancelled from Dublin Airport. Schools, hospitals and public transport services were closed and the armed forces were dispatched to bolster flood defences.

The storm, downgraded from a hurricane overnight, made landfall after 0940 GMT, the Irish National Meteorological Service said, with winds as strong as 176 kph (110 mph) hitting the most southerly tip of the country.

"These gusts are life threatening. Do not be out there," the chairman of Ireland's National Emergency Coordination Group Sean Hogan said on state broadcaster RTE.

"Our concern is to avoid a situation where we have fatalities as a result of the extremely destructive and violent gusts that we are expecting," he said.

Hurricane force winds are expected in every part of the country, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, advising people to stay indoors. There were no reports of any injuries, he said.

"While the storm in some parts of the country is not yet that bad, it is coming your way," Varadkar told a news conference.

Britain's meteorological service put an Amber Weather Warning into effect for Northern Ireland from 1400-2100 GMT, saying the storm posed a danger to life and was likely to cause transport cancellations, power cuts and flying debris.

"Impactful weather" is expected in other western and northern parts of the United Kingdom, it said.

British media are comparing Ophelia to the "Great Storm" of 1987, which subjected parts of the United Kingdom to hurricane strength winds 30 years ago to the day.

The centre of the storm was expected to move across Ireland during the day before moving towards western Scotland overnight.

The Irish government said the storm is likely to be the worst since Hurricane Debbie, which killed 11 in Ireland in 1961.

The storm is likely to pass close to a west of Ireland golf course owned by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been planning a wall to protect its greens from coastal erosion.

Similar sized storms in the past have changed the shape of stretches of the Irish coastline, climatologists said.

10/16/2017 1:16:23 PM
<![CDATA[3 policemen killed in attack on bank in central Sinai]]>
According to the Middle East News Agency, a group of terrorists attacked the bank and planted five explosive devices in the precincts of the branch, the source added.

Security services of the bank exchanged fire with the terrorists, leaving three policemen dead. A number of terrorists were also killed in the attack.

On October 15, six army troops were killed in a military operation conducted on Sunday in North Sinai against terrorist elements.

During the operation, 24 militants were killed and another one was injured when law enforcement forces thwarted a failed terrorist attempt aimed at targeting checkpoints in al-Qawadis district, North Sinai on Sunday.

Two four-by-four vehicles related to the terrorists were destroyed.

Security forces are still combing the area for any further terrorist hotbed.
10/16/2017 1:13:28 PM
<![CDATA[Ahmed Hadad reaches hearts “With the Last Breath” ]]>
Hadad has published three poem collections in the colloquial Egyptian language, the most recent one entitled, “Betolou' el-Rooh” (With the Last Breath); which is an Arabic expression meant to convey enormous difficulty.

Translating day-to-day Egyptian is a nearly impossible task, as the spirit of the language is a mix of inherited wisdom originating from social surroundings and modernity. Haddad deals with issues that face young people in today’s society in his poems.

“Betolou’ el-Rooh” is also the title for a short poem in the collection; it reads:

“All the dates that we set
With enormous difficulty
Wouldn’t it have been better if we let it go
If you are hurt
The world unfortunately won’t heal you
Not every laughter in your face… is an open road.”

The words have a funny sound in Arabic and can make good lyrics for a song; like most of the poems of his collection.

Hadad tackles various topics in his poetry such as love, criticizing societal behavior, the increasing population, and scenes from the revolution witnessed by the poet himself.
Other topics include the description of a materialistic girl who prefers money to genuine feelings.

Even in the darkest poems, the reader can still relate to Hadad's words.

Hadad depends on short, simple words that carry deep meanings; his words are always cheerful and reflect a lot of hope even when they express a lack of success.

A small poem that sums Hadad’s philosophy in this collection is entitled “Humans are Evil,” and it reads:

“Animals, food and music
outdo humans
enjoy your lives with your eyes shut
do not feel others
humans are evil
life is wicked
especially if you have kind hearts.”

The colloquial Egyptian words are kinder and funnier than they sound; they tickle the reader and put a smile on one’s face; even when describing the dark side of life.

The poems mentioned in the article are originally in Arabic and have been translated by Osama Fatim.]]>
10/16/2017 1:11:12 PM
<![CDATA[Beethoven’s 9th Symphony live at BA Arts Center ]]>
BA Orchestra, BA Youth Orchestra, and BA Symphonic Choir will cooperate together to introduce Beethoven’s compositions.

The program includes “Egmont Overture in Op. 84,” and the choral part from Symphony No. 9 Op. 125.

The concert will be conducted by Nayer Nagui.

Dina Iskander, Rodica Ocheseanu, Hesham al-Guindy, and Reda al-Wakil are the chosen soloists who will perform with the orchestra.

The concert is a part of the BA Arts Center celebration of the 15th anniversary of the new Bibliotheca Alexandria opening.

Symphony 9, Beethoven, BA Arts Center, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Anniversary, Alexandria, October Events
10/16/2017 1:07:08 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish army destroys sites of PKK in northern Iraq]]>
In a statement, the command said that the Turkish jets destroyed PKK ammunition warehouses in northern Iraq, adding that the shelling targeted camps of the group in al Zab area.
10/16/2017 1:02:37 PM
<![CDATA[Catalonia seeks independence talks with Spain within two months]]>
Spain had set a Monday deadline for Carles Puigdemont to explicitly say whether or not he proclaimed that Catalonia was breaking away from Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had demanded that Puigdemont answer the question, "Have you declared independence in Catalonia?" with a simple "Yes" or "No", and that any ambiguous response would be considered a confirmation that a declaration of independence had been made.

Puigdemont held a banned independence referendum on October 1 and then made an ambiguous declaration of independence last week. He then immediately suspended the declaration to allow more time for talks and mediation.

In Monday's letter, Puigdemont called for two more months of dialogue and requested that Spanish authorities halt "all repression" in Catalonia.

Puigdemont also called for a meeting with Rajoy "as soon as possible".

"Let's not let the situation deteriorate further. With good will, recognising the problem and facing it head on, I am sure we can find the path to a solution," he wrote in the letter to Rajoy.

Spanish news agency Efe cited Spain's Justice Minister Rafael Catala as saying that Puigdemont's response was "not valid".

10/16/2017 12:57:34 PM
<![CDATA[IS Southeast Asia chief killed in Philippines: govt]]>
Isnilon Hapilon'sdeath came during a push to end the four-month siege of Marawi, a battle that has claimed more than 1,000 lives and raised fears that IS was seeking to set up a regional base in the southern Philippines.

Security analysts say Hapilon has been a key figure in the jihadist outfit's drive to establish a caliphate as they suffer battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria.

"(Our troops) were able to get Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. They were both killed," Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters, referring to another fighter who led the attack with Hapilon on Marawi in May.

"Their bodies have been recovered by our operating units."

The US government had offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to Hapilon's arrest, describing the 51-year-old as a senior leader of the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf group, which the US considers a "foreign terrorist organisation".

Lorenzana said Philippine ground forces mounting a final assault on the militants in Marawi killed Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers who lead a militant group allied to Hapilon, early Monday.

DNA tests will be carried out on the two bodies because of the reward offer from the US and Philippine governments, he added.

"The implication of this development is that the Marawi incident is almost over and we may announce the termination of hostilities in a couple of days," Lorenzana said.

Philippine authorities have made several previous announcements on the imminent end of the conflict, but observers believe this time the forecast is likely to be accurate.

Pro-IS gunmen occupied parts of Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23 following a foiled attempt by security forces to arrest Hapilon, authorities said.

The Philippine military says Hapilon joined forces with the Maute group to plan the rampage.

Since then more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400,000 residents displaced.

Defence chiefs last month said other Philippine militant leaders had been killed in the battle for Marawi.

Troops were still pursuing Malaysian militant leader Mahmud Ahmad in the Marawi battle zone, Lorenzana said on Monday.

The insurgents have withstood a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with troops that have left large parts of Marawi in ruins.

Troops identified Hapilon and Maute's location on Sunday based on information from a hostage who had escaped, Lorenzana said.

Hapilon's death signalled rehabilitation of the city would begin soon, the presidential palace said.

"We will put our efforts and energies on the challenging task of rebuilding and rehabilitating Marawi," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

Hapilon is believed to have been involved in 2001 kidnappings of three Americans, two of whom were later killed.

10/16/2017 12:52:17 PM