<![CDATA[rss-News]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[News]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Facebook in fresh controversy over Holocaust denial]]>
The comments by Zuckerberg drew fierce criticism and appeared to undermine Facebook's latest effort to root out hate speech, violence and misinformation on its platform.

In an interview with tech website Recode on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said that while Facebook was dedicated to stopping the spread of fake news, it would not filter out posts just on the basis of being factually wrong -- including from Holocaust deniers and the conspiracy theory website Infowars.

"I'm Jewish, and there's a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened," he said in the interview.

"I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong."

Critics quickly lashed out at Zuckerberg over the comments, saying these kinds of comments can incite hatred and violence.

"Holocaust denial is the quintessential 'fake news,'" said Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a rights group named for a famed Nazi hunter.

"The Nazi Holocaust is the most documented atrocity in history, allowing the canard of Holocaust denial to be posted on Facebook, or any other social media platform cannot be justified in the name of 'free exchange of ideas.'"

Zeynep Tufekci, a University of North Carolina professor who follows social media said on Twitter: "Harder to find a group of people more *intentional* about "denying" an atrocity in order to pave the way for more violence than holocaust-deniers."

Zuckerberg later emailed Recode to clarify his comments, stating that if something is spreading and rated as false by the site's fact checkers, "it would lose the vast majority of its distribution" on user feeds and that "if a post crossed line into advocating for violence or hate against a particular group, it would be removed."

- Distraction from new effort -

The episode was an unwelcome distraction for Facebook after it held a media briefing on the company's new policy to remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.

The new tactic being spread through the global social network was tested in Sri Lanka, which was recently rocked by inter-religious violence over false information posted on the platform.

Jennifer Grygiel, a social media professor at Syracuse University, said that despite Facebook's ramped up efforts it needs far more people to weed out posts that can be harmful on a platform with some two billion users worldwide.

Zuckerberg "needs to figure out content moderation and he can't do it without more people. This has life and death implications" Grygiel told AFP.

"I don't think he understand the decisions he makes has real-world implications for democracy."

Facebook has been blamed for failing to curb incitations to violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and its WhatsApp messaging service has been implicated in lynchings and mob violence in India.

The latest controversy comes with Facebook seeking to repair the damage from misinformation spread on the platform during the 2016 US election campaign and the hijacking of private data by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica as it worked on Donald Trump's campaign.

At the same time, Facebook has been accused by some politicians in Washington of bias in filtering out conservative voices.

Some analysts said Facebook faces a difficult task in seeking to filter out misinformation and calls to violence and conform with regulations on hate speech in various countries while still remaining an open platform that allows free speech.

"Facebook is in over its head but nobody has a full answer," said Tufekci in a tweet.

Fellow North Carolina professor Daniel Kreiss responded by saying "the issues are *really* challenging -- a big problem is that FB never thought about any of the implications of its platform, data, speech policies, or misinformation before 2016, even as many of us were raising concerns."]]>
7/20/2018 12:31:56 AM
<![CDATA[North Korea, Eritrea have world's highest rates of modern slavery ]]>
The Central African nation of Burundi also has a high prevalence of slavery, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index published by the human rights group Walk Free Foundation.

"Each of these three countries has state-sponsored forced labor, where their government puts its own people to work for its own benefit," said Fiona David, research chair of Minderoo Foundation, which led the data collection.

More than 40 million people were enslaved around the world as of 2016, according to an estimate by the Walk Free Foundation and the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO).

India was home to the largest total number with an estimated 8 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population, according to Walk Free's 2018 calculation.

Two years ago, the index showed 18.3 million people living in modern slavery in India. The difference is due to changes in methodology, Walk Free said, reflecting ways of counting people enslaved on any given day or over a longer time period.

China, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria rounded out the top five nations with the largest number of slaves, accounting for about 60 percent of victims globally, according to Walk Free.

But North Korea had the highest percentage of its population enslaved, with one in 10 people are in modern slavery and "the clear majority forced to work by the state", the index said.

Researchers interviewed 50 North Korean defectors who spoke of long hours and inhumane conditions in forced unpaid labor for adults and children in farming, construction and roadbuilding.

"This index makes us visible," said Yeon-Mi Park, a defector who spoke at a news conference at United Nations headquarters.

"These people simply were born in the wrong place, and that's what they are being punished for," she said, describing being trafficked into China where she was sold as a child bride.

Another defector Jang Jin-Sung said North Koreans do not consider themselves slaves.

"They've been indoctrinated all their lives to think that whatever they do for the state is a good thing," he said.

In Eritrea, the report said the government is "a repressive regime that abuses its conscription system to hold its citizens in forced labor for decades".

Burundi's government also imposes forced labor, Walk Free said, while rights groups including Human Rights Watch have implicated its security forces in murders and disappearances.

Other countries with the highest rates of slavery were the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Pakistan.

"Most of these countries are marked by conflict, with breakdowns in rule of law, displacement and a lack of physical security," the report said.

With more than nine million people living in slavery - nearly eight in every 1,000 people - Africa had the highest rate of enslavement of any region, according to the report.

The researchers also warned that consumers in affluent countries may be purchasing billions of dollars worth of products manufactured with slave labor, including computers, mobile phones and clothing.

"Modern slavery is a first-world problem," said Andrew Forrest, a co-founder of Australia-based Walk Free. "We are the consumers. We can fix it," he added.

Slavery is likely more widespread than the research suggests, activists and experts say. The report noted gaps in data from Arab states, as well as a lack of information on organ trafficking and the recruitment of children by armed groups.]]>
7/20/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt army successfully installs AT-4 Spandrel to Fahd APCs]]>
The report highlighted the Egyptian army’s high capability in using Fahd APC, locally manufactured in 1980s based on German technologies, with the roof-mounted Konkurs.

A short clip was released on social media showing a part of Egyptian military drill conducted by Fahd APC in which the Egyptian forces managed to hit targets accurately using AT-4 Konkurs missiles. It is to be noted that Fahd was basically armed with a roof-mounted AT-5 Spandrel.




The Egyptian Fahd is 6 meters long, 2.45 meters wide, 2.25 meters high and weighs over 10 tons. It is equipped with anti-biological, chemical and nuclear weapons system, along with night vision equipments.

Fahd APC is powered by a Mercedes Benz OM 366 LA 4-stroke turbo charged water cooled diesel engine developing 280hp at 2,200rpm. The engine provides a maximum speed of 100km/h on-road and a range of up to 700km. The vehicle has an average off-road speed of 65km/h and a range of 450km.

The roof can be fitted with different types of turrets to mount a variety of weapons, ranging from 7.62mm machine guns to 20mm cannons. The APC variant can be optionally armed with MILAN anti-tank guided missiles to defend against ground based threats. The vehicles fitted with BTM-208 turrets can carry a 12.7mm machine gun and a 7.62mm machine gun.

The vehicle can be armed to fight against battle tanks, armoured vehicles, low flying aircraft, helicopters and armed forces. It can accurately engage the targets from a stationary position, on the move, during day or night.

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Russian-made AT-4 Spandrel Konkurs missile system


Egypt has been struggling for years to contain terrorist activities in Sinai. Many military operations have been carried out by army and police forces, killing hundreds of militants and building a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, so that the Egyptian authorities can curb the flow of militants and weapons infiltrating through underground tunnels.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi authorized the army chief of staff to use “all brute force” against terrorism.

Last February The Egyptian Armed Forces launched a full-scale military operation titled "Sinai 2018" to confront terrorist elements in Sinai and other areas across the country. Military spokesman Colonel Tamer El-Rafei announced a major military operation to purge country from terrorism.

Since the ousting of ex-Muslim brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has seen the rise of extremism in the country, resulting in numerous deadly attacks.

Last December, two militants tried to storm a church in Helwan, southern Cairo. They opened fire, leaving ten civilians, including six Copts, dead and injuring at least five others. In November, a deadly attack hit the main mosque in North Sinai’s Al-Rawdah village, taking the lives of roughly 22 percent of its male residents. The village’s population is just under 2,111 people, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics’ (CAPMAS) 2016 report.

At least 311 people were killed and 121 injured when unidentified militants attacked the crowded mosque during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula, setting off explosives and spraying worshippers with gunfire.

In October 2017, another attack killed 16 security officers in Egypt’s Western Desert and, before that, deadly attacks hit Egypt’s churches last April. In Tanta’s St. George Church, at least 27 people were killed and 78 others were wounded due to an explosive device that was planted under a seat in the main prayer hall.

A suicide bomber attacked St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria where Pope Tawadros II held the Palm Sunday mass. Two police officers guarding the church stopped a man wearing an explosive belt. The police officers, a man and a woman, were killed along with civilians and other police staff.

All of these incidents, among several others, have affected the country for about eight years. Also, Egypt’s economic status has not been at its best.

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The Fahd 240-30 with the 30 mm autocannon BMT-208-30 turret and option of AT-5.
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7/19/2018 11:42:16 PM
<![CDATA[Muslim French footballers embarrass far-right rhetoric: IOD ]]>
In a statement issued Thursday, the IOD contended that the Muslim players led the French squad to win the title of the world’s most prestigious tournament. “Yet, they exposed the double standards of the far-right rhetoric that antagonizes Muslims.”

The French national squad’s Muslim players, who are also of African descent, are: Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibé, Benjamin Mendy, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Nabil Fekir and Ousmane Dembélé.

The statement further read that the above-mentioned fact did not grasp the attention of the French media, which points an accusing finger at the population of 1.8 billion Muslims whenever a terrorist attack takes place.

The statement concluded with confirming that the Muslim players do not possess any kind of advantage over their mates; however, the achievement they contributed in is just a good message to the far-right discourse that conflates Muslims with evil deeds.

France managed to win the 2018 World Cup held in Russia, after the team gave a great performance throughout the stages of the tournament, to be a second well deserved World Cup for Les Bleus.

The French president attended the final game between his national team and Croatia, alongside 14 other world leaders, including Valdimir Putin and Croatia President Kolinda Kitarovic.

In 1998, a group of French players of African descent led the French national team to their first World Cup title at home.

One of the prominent stars back then was Zinedine Zidane, who was born in France in an Algerian family.

Zidane scored two of France’s three goals at the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil and since then he has been considered a beacon of hope for the African/ Muslim immigrants.
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7/19/2018 6:28:06 PM
<![CDATA[Britain's Raab wants to “heat up” Brexit talks]]>
"I am looking forward to with renewed energy, vigor and vim looking at the detail of all of this," Raab said in a brief statement ahead of a meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

"I am looking forward to intensifying, heating up the negotations and making sure we are in the best position to get the best deal," he added.

Brexit campaigner Raab was appointed to the government last week after his predecessor quit.
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7/19/2018 5:32:04 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives in Khartoum, meets with Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir]]>
President Bashir welcomed Sisi at the airport, where the national anthems of the two countries were performed during the welcome ceremonies.

During the two-day visit, Sisi is set to meet with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, where they will discuss several issues regarding boosting bilateral relations between the two countries and cooperation on all levels, as well as tackling other African and regional issues.



The Sudanese-Egyptian summit will review the efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries in various realms, according to the Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim. He added that the two presidents will also review the outcome of the recent bilateral cooperation meetings.

Sudanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Ahmed Bilal Othman described the relation between the two countries as “holly,” and "at its best" as the communication channel is open between Egyptian President Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart, Bashir.

Bashir visited Cairo on March 19 where both leaders discussed the outstanding issues of mutual interest, based on the agreement reached at the recent Addis Ababa tripartite summit.

It has been agreed to “continue implementing the outcomes of the Addis Ababa-held Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian tripartite summit on the Renaissance Dam to carry out the Declaration of the Renaissance Dam Principles Charter that was signed on March 23, 2015 in Khartoum,” said President Sisi in a joint press conference with Bashir.

Egypt has voiced its concern over Ethiopia’s dam construction, as it would affect Egypt’s 55 billion cubic meter share of the Nile water. However, Addis Ababa sees the dam is necessary for its development and would not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).

On the bilateral level, President Sisi emphasized during the conference that his country is keen to “maintain the national security of both countries.”

Egypt’s relations with Sudan were recently strained over the disputed border area of Halaib and Shalateen. On December 23, 2017, Sudan filed a complaint to the United Nations Secretariat to protest a maritime border demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as the deal denotes the territory as Egyptian on maps.

Halaib and Shalateen, or the Halaib Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers located at the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns: Halaib (which became a city in February 2014), Abu Ramad and Shalateen.
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7/19/2018 5:17:30 PM
<![CDATA[Trump says he looks forward to second meeting with Putin]]>
"The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more," he wrote on Twitter.
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7/19/2018 3:59:23 PM
<![CDATA[Parliament speaker heads to Serbia marking 110 yrs of diplomatic relations ]]>
The invitation marks the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to the official statement issued by the Parliament. Abdel-Aal is accompanied by a high-level parliamentary delegation, including Tareq Radwan and Karim Darwish.

Abdel-Aal is expected to give a speech in the Serbian Parliament on Thursday after meeting with Gojković.

In April, Egypt’s ambassador in Belgrade, along with several Arab ambassadors, contributed in launching the first Serbian-Arab Friendship Day during a cultural ceremony in the National Library of Serbia.

It was stated that two opening speeches were delivered in the cultural ceremony; the first was by the Palestinian ambassador on behalf of the secretary general of the Arab League, and the second was delivered by the assistant minister for bilateral affairs on behalf of the Serbian foreign minister.

Ambassador of Egypt in Serbia, Amr al-Jowaily, said that the Arab ambassadors were keen to organize a celebration which included poetry, music and food, in a pioneer collective activity that reflects the demeanors of the Arab culture.

Jowaily noted that the high participation of diplomats and politicians, especially the Serbian national figures, in the cultural ceremony reflects the international interest in Arab culture.

The ambassador of Egypt in Belgrade praised the speech of the secretary general of the Arab League, which highlighted that the first celebration of the Arab Friendship Day in 2018 coincides with the 110th anniversary of the start of relations between an Arab country and Belgrade, when the Kingdom of Serbia established a diplomatic mission in Egypt In January 1908.

The speech also highlighted the Arab countries' appreciation of Serbia's supportive stances toward the Arab issues, most importantly the Palestinian cause.

Jowaily revealed that the Council of Arab Ambassadors agreed to donate 1,000 books to create an Arab pavilion in the Serbian National Library. “We plan to publish a joint book entitled: 'Serbia by Arab Eyes', in a wider series of activities aimed at strengthening relations between Serbia and the Arab world in the coming years."





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7/19/2018 3:18:05 PM
<![CDATA[Britain dismisses news report on Skripal poisoners as “wild speculation”]]>
"I think this story belongs in the 'ill informed and wild speculation folder'" Ben Wallace said on Twitter, in response to the Press Association report.
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7/19/2018 2:59:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany have close cooperation in educational, scientific domains - minister]]>
He highlighted the important role played by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in boosting educational and scientific cooperation between Germany and Egypt.

Abdel Ghaffar was speaking at a closing ceremony of activities marking the German Science Day that was organized by DAAD under the sponsorship of German Ambassador here Julius Georg Luy and DAAD head Roman Luckscheiter.

Egypt and Germany have a deeply-rooted cooperation in jointly financing long and short-term scholarships, he said.

Some 350 Egyptian researchers attended the ceremony to get acquainted with different scholarships at German universities, steps to be taken to get a scholarship and the nature of study at German universities.

Abdel Ghaffar said German universities are favored by Egyptian researchers because they offer many facilities, noting that 112 Egyptian researchers are currently studying in Germany.

Luckscheiter said Germany encourages Egyptian researchers to apply for scholarships to study at its universities, saying the German strategy for science is based on addressing international challenges, including climate change, food security, renewable energy and development in developing nations.

He lauded constructive cooperation between Egypt and the DAAD in fostering cooperation in the scientific and educational domains.

Founded in Heidelberg in 1925 on the initiative of a single student, the DAAD has since become one of the most important funding organisations worldwide for the international exchange of students and researchers. Since it was founded, around two million scholars in Germany and abroad have received DAAD funding. Its activities go far beyond simply awarding grants and scholarships. It supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy.]]>
7/19/2018 2:59:20 PM
<![CDATA[Cleric Sadr backs Iraq protests, calls for delay in government formation]]>
"The winning political parties in the election have to suspend all political dialogues for forming coalitions and until they meet protesters’ rightful demands," Sadr tweeted, in his first public comments on unrest which has swept the south.
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7/19/2018 2:50:24 PM
<![CDATA[FM condoles his Japanese counterpart over flood victims]]>
Some 219 persons were killed in the disastrous floods that rocked Japan last week. Many of the deaths have occurred in three prefectures: Okayama, Hiroshima, and Ehime.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Shoukry expressed the Egyptian government and people's solidarity with Japan in face of this disaster.

He also lauded the deeply-rooted relations between Egypt and Japan, expressing interest in further developing them.

The Japanese top diplomat said he is looking forward to visiting Egypt and meeting President Abdel Fattah El Sisi soon.

He said Japan is keen on enhancing relations with Egypt in all domains through contributing to its mega projects that are currently under construction.

He invited Shoukry to visit Japan to continue talks over furthering bilateral relations in all domains in a way that level up to the distinguished political relations binding the two states. ]]>
7/19/2018 1:22:54 PM
<![CDATA[PLO: With its Jewish Nation-State law, Israel is legalizing apartheid]]>
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement that the Jewish Nation-State law “gives license to apartheid, discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and sectarianism at the expense of the Palestinian people. Such racist and prejudicial legislation is illegal by all standards of international law, democracy, humanity, justice, tolerance, and inclusion.”

Ashrawi said, “Once again, the right-wing government coalition has exposed its true character by demonstrating that it is bent on sustaining an official policy of ethnic purity and supremacy, thereby regulating the indigenous Palestinian citizens to second-class status.”

She added: “This also affirms Israel's willful intent to erase the Palestinian narrative, presence and continuity on the land, while actively eradicating the history, culture and identity of the Palestinian people which predate the creation of the state of Israel.”

The PLO official said “the US administration's blind bias in favor of Israel and its total disdain for international law have emboldened Israel to persist with such unlawful and immoral policies.”

Ashrawi called on all members of the international community and people of conscience “to question such legislation and blatant discriminatory policies and bring Israel to compliance with the norms and standards of civilized behavior.”

She stressed: “Despite all Israeli efforts at eradicating our rights and our identity, the Palestinian people's resilience and determination to attain their freedom and historical validation will prevail."

The Israeli Knesset voted 62 to 55 early Thursday to approve the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law that constitutionally enshrines the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

It guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens.]]>
7/19/2018 1:19:28 PM
<![CDATA[Horrible car crash kills 12 quarry workers in Minya]]>
A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house, according to the Health Ministry on Thursday.

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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo

Khaled Megahed, the ministry’s spokesman said that 18 ambulance vehicles rushed to the scene, adding that the injured people were moved to the Minya University Hospital, the Minya General Hospital, and Minya Insurance Hospital.

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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo

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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo

Earlier in July, a passenger bus collided with a truck in Minya’s Beni Mazar town, causing the death of 13 people and the injury of six others, according to Megahed. In March, six people including two children were also killed in a car crash in Beni Mazar.

Following March’s accident, a number of 15 parliamentarians called on the Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat to take procedures to put an end to the fatal crashes taking place in one of Minya’s roads near Beni Mazar that people call “the death road”.

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

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

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

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

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

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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo
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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo
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A truck loaded with cement hit a workers’ vehicle pulled over in front of a restaurant in Minya, crashing into the restaurant and a house – Press photo
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7/19/2018 12:36:32 PM
<![CDATA[South Sudan's president Kiir says ready to accept peace deal]]>
The deal being negotiated in Sudan would give the country five vice presidents and also covers security and power sharing.

"The people of South Sudan are looking for peace and if that arrangement can bring about peace to the people of South Sudan, I am ready to take it," said Kiir late on Wednesday at a swearing-in ceremony for his foreign minister.

"People talk about exclusivity, nobody is to be left out of the government. I accept it," he said.

South Sudan erupted in conflict in 2013 because of a dispute between Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar. Tens of thousands have been killed, a quarter of the population has fled their homes and the oil-dependent economy has been wrecked.

A 2015 peace deal briefly halted the fighting but it fell apart after Machar returned to the capital the following year.

The conflict has mostly been fought along ethnic lines, pitting Kiir's dominant Dinka tribe and its rival, the ethnic Nuer of Machar.

This week Kiir named Nhial Deng Nhial, ex presidential advisor and also his chief negotiator in the Khartoum talks as his new foreign minister, replacing Deng Alor.
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7/19/2018 12:29:07 PM
<![CDATA[Ethiopia appoints ambassador to Eritrea ]]>
An online report from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa's representative in Asmara.
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7/19/2018 12:21:40 PM
<![CDATA[Syria's Assad set to recover Golan frontier as rebels surrender]]>BEIRUT/AMMAN - 19 July 2018: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is set to recover control of the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after rebel fighters in the area agreed to surrender terms, sources on both sides said on Thursday.

The rebels in al-Quneitra province at the border with the Israeli-controlled territory have agreed either to accept safe passage to the rebel-held province of Idlib in the northwest or to remain in the area on the state's terms, according to details outlined by a Hezbollah-run news outlet and a rebel source.

Lebanon's Hezbollah fights in Syria in support of Assad.

It would mark another major victory for Assad, who has recovered swathes of southwestern Syria over the last month in a Russian-backed offensive that has already forced many rebels to surrender.

The report by the Hezbollah-run military news outlet said the agreement stipulated "the return of the Syrian army, represented in the 90th and the 61st brigades, to the positions that it was in before 2011".

A copy of the deal sent to Reuters by a rebel source included a provision that Russian military police would accompany the same two Syrian army brigades "to the ceasefire line and the demilitarized zone, according to the 1974 agreement".

The Golan Heights demilitarized zone was established in 1974 after the 1973 Middle Eastern war.

The provisions did not elaborate on the implications of the deployment of military units in the zone.

There would be further negotiations on a deadline for handing over medium and heavy weapons, according to the agreement sent by the rebel source.

U.S. President Donald Trump said at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki that both had agreed to work together to help ensure Israel's security.

Putin, Assad's most powerful ally, cited the need to restore the situation along the Golan borders to the state that prevailed before the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011. ]]>
7/19/2018 12:15:01 PM
<![CDATA[Russia pushes back Lavrov's Greece visit after diplomatic row - TASS]]>
Athens said last week it had expelled two Russian diplomats and barred two other people from entering the country for trying to bribe officials and foment demonstrations to thwart a deal to allow Macedonia to join NATO.

Greece last month invited Lavrov to visit in September, but relations have since become strained over the diplomatic row.]]>
7/19/2018 12:08:54 PM
<![CDATA[Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopia border - Eritrean Press]]>
"It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that wrought so much suffering on both people," the agency said.]]>
7/19/2018 12:05:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Greece and Cyprus discuss organizing ‘Nostos 3’]]>
The discussions took place on the sidelines of the Youth Forum for Peacemakers organized by Al-Azhar, in cooperation with the Council of Muslim Sages and the British Canterbury Diocese.

In an official statement issued on Wednesday, Makram said that the huge event's details were discussed during the meeting, affirming that other meetings and discussions between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus' governments are set to take place during the coming period.

A strategy is expected to be established by the three governments to promote for the Joint tripartite event.

In May, Egypt hosted the first edition of the event, which lasted for a week. Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos inaugurated the "Roots Revival Week" in Alexandria city, with the participation of both the Greek and Cypriot communities in Egypt.

Greeks, Cypriots revive roots in Egypt

CAIRO - 30 April 2018: Egypt, Greece and have historical relations that have been documented in music, cinema and literature for several decades. For a whole week, starting Monday, under the title "Roots Revival Week", the three countries are going to recall their memories through several events.




According to Egypt’s Minister of Immigration, Makram, this program aimed to salute everyone who once lived in Egypt and left a positive impact and human heritage that still lasts until now. “Everyone was always welcomed to come and live in Egypt and they still are,” Makram said in statements to media outlets.

In a statement on the occasion of the launch of the first "Roots Revival Week" in Alexandria, Cypriot Ambassador in Cairo Charis Moritsis described Egyptian-Cypriot ties in all fields as "excellent."

Over the past years, relations between the two countries witnessed unprecedented development under the leadership of President Sisi and Cypriot President Anastasiades, Moritsis said.

He further stressed the importance of the program, "Roots Revival Week", saying it sends a message of peace, stability and cooperation for a better future.

Greeks recall their childhood memories in Egypt

CAIRO - 22 June 2018: "I have a lot of memories here. Egypt is the country where I was raised, lived and will be buried when my time comes," Greek national-Philip told Egypt Today, recalling his first days after arriving in Cairo in 1956 as an 8-year old child accompanied by his father who was trying to escape from the scourge of World War II.




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7/19/2018 11:19:22 AM
<![CDATA[Europe hits Google with record $5 bln antitrust fine, appeal ahead]]>
The penalty is nearly double the previous record of 2.4 billion euros which Google was ordered to pay last year after its online shopping search service was deemed to be unfair to competitors.

It represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google parent Alphabet Inc and would scarcely dent the company's cash reserves of $102.9 billion. But it could add to trade tensions between Brussels and Washington.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House next Wednesday in an effort to avert Trump's threatened new tariffs on cars made in the European Union as the president looks to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

Alphabet, which is scheduled to report financial results on Monday, said it would set aside money to pay the fine which would cut its second-quarter profit by about $5 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting $6.8 billion in quarterly profit on average before the fine, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Alphabet shares closed flat on Wednesday after technology analysts said the EU order would do little damage to the company's long-term prospects.

CEMENTING DOMINANCE

Google's Android system, which Google lets device makers use for free, runs about 80 percent of the world's smartphones, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

According to the EU, Google's illegal behaviour dates back to 2011 and includes forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices, paying them to pre-install only Google Search and blocking them from using rival Android systems.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine" over rivals, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told reporters.

Google has 90 days to either halt such anti-competitive practices with smartphone makers and telecoms providers or seek a delay of the order while it appeals. Alphabet risks additional penalties of up to 5 percent of average daily global revenue for non-compliance.

Major Android smartphone makers including Samsung Electronics Co, Sony Corp, Lenovo Group Ltd and TCL Corp declined to comment on the EU case.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai warned that Android may not remain free as a result of the EU ruling or it may shift to a tightly controlled distribution model like rival Apple Inc .

"We are concerned that today's decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favour of proprietary systems over open platforms," Pichai said in a blog.

The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday he would closely review the European decision.

'STABLE DOOR'

Vestager dismissed Google's argument that it had competition from Apple, saying iPhones were not a sufficient check on Google's dominance because they cost more and require users to exert significant effort to adopt.

"What would serve competition is to have more players," she said.

Breaking up Google, a demand made by a number of Google foes, would not address the core problems, she told reporters.

GSMA, the global wireless carriers' trade body, welcomed the ruling, saying services developed by its members can now better compete with software vendors.

Small Google search competitors such as Qwant and DuckDuckGo said they now stand better chance of getting promoted by device makers.

Lobbying group FairSearch, whose 2013 complaint triggered the EU investigation and whose members at the time included competitors like Oracle Corp, Nokia Oyj and Microsoft Corp, also welcomed the ruling, saying it could help restore competition in mobile operating systems and apps.

Industry analysts described the EU order as too late to reshape the industry.

"Any action by the EU is akin to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted," said Geoff Blaber of CCS Insight.

Polar Capital fund manager Ben Rogoff said: "The reality is that as long as they're delivering great utility to their consumers, consumers will still use those platforms," he said.

A third EU case against Google, which has not yet concluded, involves its AdSense advertising service which is accused of blocking users from displaying search advertisements from Google's competitors. Google denies this.]]>
7/19/2018 3:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Elon Musk apologizes to British caver for 'pedo' slur]]>
Tesla CEO Musk issued the apology on Wednesday to Vernon Unsworth, who worked on the rescue of the "Wild Boars" football team and had ridiculed Musk's plan to recover the trapped group using a miniature submarine.

"(H)is actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader," Musk wrote on Twitter. "The fault is mine and mine alone."

"Pedo" is short for paedophile.

Musk's extraordinary tirade against Unsworth was widely condemned, raising concerns over the entrepreneur's leadership following a series of previous social media attacks on Wall Street analysts, journalists and employees.

His row with Unsworth began after the British caving expert dismissed Musk's plan to rescue the Thai football team from the Tham Luang cave as a "PR stunt".

Unsworth had said the plan to use the device to extract the boys through a narrow series of twisting, flooded tunnels would have had "absolutely no chance of working".

He added that Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts".

Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, Musk said his words against Unsworth had been "spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub".

The submarine "had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader", Musk said, before apologising to Unsworth.

Unsworth, who lives part of the year in Thailand, took part in the gargantuan 18-day effort to retrieve the 12 boys and their coach, a mission that ended on July 10 when the last five members were extracted.

The boys are all in good health and were released from hospital Wednesday, telling a packed press conference their rescue was a "miracle".

Musk's "pedo" tweet caused Tesla's shares to fall Monday, although they have since recovered the losses.

Unsworth earlier told AFP he may take legal action against Musk over the offensive tweet, which was sent to more than 20 million followers of the entrepreneur's official account.

He declined to comment when contacted by AFP on Wednesday.]]>
7/19/2018 3:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[States sue U.S. over policy tying funds to immigration compliance]]>
The lawsuit, brought by New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, claimed that the U.S. Department of Justice had no legal authority to impose the condition.

New York City filed a similar lawsuit on Wednesday. Both lawsuits were filed in Manhattan federal court.

"Local law enforcement has the right to decide how to meet their local public safety needs, and the Trump administration simply does not have the right to require state and local police to act as federal immigration agents," New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a press statement.

Wednesday's lawsuits concern the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, which provide federal funds for state and local law enforcement. They are the latest in a number of legal battles over President Donald Trump's immigration policies, which have included separating children and parents crossing the Mexican border illegally.

"Today's lawsuit is a disservice to these states' law-abiding citizens, but the Department of Justice will continue to fight for the rule of law, to protect public safety, and to keep criminal aliens off the streets," Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.

The administration said last year that to receive funding, state and local governments must give federal immigration authorities access to their jails and advance notice of immigrants' release from custody.

The six states, which received grants totaling $25 million in the last fiscal year, said they were given an Aug. 10 deadline to decide whether to accept funds with conditions.

New York City said it was entitled to $4 million but that the Justice Department has refused to release it.

A federal appeals court in Chicago in April upheld a lower court order blocking funding conditions for that city. The appeals court is expected to hear arguments in September on whether the order should or can apply nationwide.

Philadelphia won a separate challenge to the policy in June, and San Francisco, Illinois and the state of California have pending court challenges.]]>
7/19/2018 2:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. intelligence documents on Nelson Mandela made public]]>
The Washington-based group Property of the People released the papers to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth. It said it obtained them after years of litigation.

"The documents reveal that, just as it did in the 1950s and 60s with Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement, the FBI aggressively investigated the U.S. and South African anti-apartheid movements as Communist plots imperiling American security," the group's president Ryan Shapiro said in a statement.

"Worse still, the documents demonstrate the FBI continued its wrong-headed Communist menace investigations of Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement even after U.S. imposition of trade sanctions against apartheid South Africa, after Mandela’s globally-celebrated release from prison, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall."

South Africa's first black president, who died in 2013 and remains a global icon for his struggle against apartheid and message of reconciliation after 27 years in prison, was regarded with suspicion by Washington during the Cold War and remained on the U.S. terrorism watchlist until 2008.

Property of the People said its trove included documents from the major U.S. intelligence agencies, the FBI, CIA, DIA and NSA, most of which have never been seen by the public.

"The Mandela Files" can be found on its website https://propertyofthepeople.org/.

Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994 and remains in a governing coalition with the South African Communist Party, which also resisted the white-minority government.

Southern Africa was a key Cold War battleground, as newly independent states in the region such as Angola and Mozambique aligned with Moscow.

Celebrations have been held across South Africa this week to mark Mandela's 100th birthday, including a rousing speech on Tuesday by former U.S. president Barack Obama, who said the world should resist cynicism over the rise of strongmen. ]]>
7/19/2018 1:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[British man plotted to kill Prime Minister Theresa May]]>
Naa'imur Rahman, 20, of north London, was convicted at the Old Bailey court of preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

Rahman planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the gates of Downing Street and gain access to May’s office in the ensuing chaos and kill her, according to police.

No. 10 Downing Street is the official residence and office of British prime ministers. It is heavily guarded and there is a gate at the end of the street where members of the public and tourists gather to get a glimpse of the house.

"We are talking about an individual that would have killed, injured and maimed a number of people including police officers and members of the public," said Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

Britain suffered four deadly attacks last year and the head of the domestic spy agency MI5 said in May that a further 12 Islamist plots had been foiled since the first of these in March 2017.

The Downing Street plot was foiled when Rahman believed he was corresponding online with members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group while planning the alleged attack but was in fact talking to members of undercover officers from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain's MI5 Security Service.

Rahman was arrested last November shortly after meeting with undercover officers posing as IS members and collecting two dummy explosive devices.

Haydon said Rahman had been in contact with an uncle who had travelled to Syria and joined IS and who had encouraged his nephew to carry out attacks in Britain.

Rahman had been planning to carry out the attack for two years but his resolve was hardened when he heard that his uncle had been killed in a drone attack last summer, Haydon added.

Rahman was described by police as a drifter, who lived on friends' sofas, and attempts to involve him in the government's counter-extremism programme had failed.]]>
7/19/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[British Airways says Heathrow flights hit by computer problems]]>
A number of British Airways flights were cancelled or being delayed by several hours at Heathrow's Terminal 5, according to the airport's departure board.

"We are working with our supplier to resolve the matter and are sorry for the disruption to our customers' travel plans," British Airways said in a statement.

The carrier suffered a massive computer system failure in May 2017, caused by a power supply issue near Heathrow, which stranded 75,000 customers over a busy holiday weekend.

Its chief executive said at the time it would take steps to ensure such an incident never happened again.

Passengers at the airport on Wednesday described chaotic scenes as people tried to catch flights and complained there was a lack of information from the airline.

"Utter chaos at LHR, no communication, no emergency processes and no clue," one passenger Dominic Hill said on Twitter.

A number of flights at the airport were earlier disrupted after a control tower was evacuated because of a fire alarm.]]>
7/19/2018 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[North Korea to return U.S. soldiers' remains in weeks -Pompeo]]>
Pompeo told a Cabinet meeting chaired by U.S. President Donald Trump that progress was made on some issues when he visited Pyongyang earlier in July for the third time this year, but a lot of work remained to be done.

The repatriation of remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War was one of the agreements reached during the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"We're making progress along the border to get the return of remains - a very important issue for those families," Pompeo said. "We think in the next couple weeks we'll have the first remains returned. That's the commitment."

U.S. and North Korean officials met on the inter-Korean border on Sunday to discuss the return of remains.

It was the first time in nine years that U.S. and North Korean generals held talks. The two sides agreed to resume joint field activities to search for the remains of Americans missing from the war, Pompeo said in a statement on Sunday.

Pompeo also said on Wednesday the North Koreans had "reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearize." He did not elaborate.

After Pompeo's visit, North Korea accused his delegation of making “gangster-like” demands in connection with denuclearization.]]>
7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bombs wound four people in Iraqi city of Kirkuk]]>
A police official said the bombs had targeted a commercial district of the city.

Iraqi security forces have largely defeated Islamic State (IS) militants, removing them from Mosul and other cities and towns.

But the ultra-hardline Sunni militant group still carries out attacks near Kirkuk and in other parts of the country.]]>
7/18/2018 10:19:50 PM
<![CDATA[Umrah fraud victim 'Saadeya' arrives in Cairo after 4-month detention in KSA]]>
The old lady was met with joy and celebrations by her family and relatives at Cairo International Airport.



Saadeya, 74, from Nabaruh Village in Dakahlia governorate, northeast of Cairo, was tricked by her neighbor Abdullah who claimed a Saudi man has donated Umrah fees for 15 individuals, including her, to travel to Mecca, using her to smuggle a bag of drugs. Saadeya was kept under arrest once she landed in the Kingdom on March 20 as the bag was found to contain 75,000 Tramadol tablets and other drugs.

The Egyptian consulate in Jeddah has delivered the investigations’ results carried out by the Egyptian prosecution to the Saudi authorities, where it approved that Saadeya was a victim of a conspiracy plotted by her neighbor, and demanded Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz to interfere and release the old lady.

A number of local newspapers quoted Egyptian Ambassador to KSA Hazim Ramadan as saying that the Saudi officials closed the case, in which Saadeya and another Egyptian man, Tamer Othman were accused, after proving that they were not aware of the bag’s content.

Dakahlia investigative police arrested Abdullah, who was hiding inside an apartment; he admitted that he plotted to smuggle drugs with the help of people in his village and Saudi Arabia. ]]>
7/18/2018 9:36:59 PM
<![CDATA[ACA arrests customs official on smuggling attempt]]>
The investigation revealed that the defendant attempted to get the above mentioned goods through the customs department using his private car after he purchased them from the duty free.

During the investigations, the defendant admitted committing such offence and was referred to the prosecution.

Meanwhile, 69 public servants in Luxor’s Housing and Utilities department were referred to prosecution due to being absent from their work without notice.

Earlier in July, Head of Egypt’s Customs Authority, Gamal Abdel Azeem, was arrested over accusations of receiving bribe.

The sources added that Abdel Azeem reportedly received a LE 1 million bribe from an Egyptian textile importer in exchange for finishing his customs releasing procedures as fast as possible; investigations are still underway.

In light of the Administrative Control Authority's (ACA) anti-corruption crackdown, a number of parliamentarians push for a national strategy to combat corruption.

Calling for the implementation of the said strategy, Sherif reckoned that the strategy must be buoyed up by a league of legislatives to facilitate the ACA and other relevant bodies' mission in purging the country of corruption.

During the Parliament’s first session, Sherif added that there was an extant bill, which was submitted earlier to the Parliament’s speaker and was mainly concerned with providing legal protection to people that come forward to report corruption cases, adding that the bill was put on hold pending the pertinent security authorities’ approval.

He pointed out that there is another anti-corruption draft law that imposes severe penalties on corruption criminals.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and were among the main causes for the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has always stressed on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down any violation. He hailed the role played by the ACA in different occasions.

Egypt ranked 108th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 34 points, down two points compared to 2015. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.
]]>
7/18/2018 8:27:41 PM
<![CDATA[Dutch FM criticized for saying multi-cultural societies are violent]]>
"Give me an example of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, where the indigenous population still live... where they live in a peaceful, societal union," Blok told a gathering of Dutch employees of international organisations. "I don't know of any."

Someone in the audience suggested Surniame, a former Dutch colony on South America's Atlantic northern coast populated mainly by the descendants of Asian indentured workers, African slaves and indigenous people.

"I admire your optimism," he replied. "Suriname is a failed state and that is very much linked to its ethnic composition."

Blok, a member of the conservative VVD party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, made the comments at the gathering in The Hague on July 10, but the remarks came to wider attention only after video appeared on Dutch TV programme Zembla on Wednesday.

Blok told Zembla on Wednesday that his "aim was to stimulate an open exchange and to hear the participants’ experiences.

"My contribution during the question and answer session of the meeting partly was aimed in part at sparking a reaction from the audience. During the closed meeting, I used illustrations that could come across as badly chosen in public debate."

Suriname, which became independent from the Netherlands in 1975, has had an occasionally troubled political history.

President Desi Bouterse, in office since an election in 2010, previously ruled the country in the 1980s after taking power as the leader of a violent military coup. He was convicted in absentia in the Netherlands for cocaine trafficking, on charges he says were trumped up by the Dutch government.

Lawmakers from several Dutch political parties, including all members of the governing coalition, demanded an explanation for Blok's remarks.

Lawmaker Kees Verhoeven of a the centre left D-66 party, a coalition member, called the remarks "incomprehensible" in an open letter asking Blok for an explanation.

"The job of a foreign minister is to maintain diplomatic relations," Verhoeven said.

In the same video, Blok discussed African tribes and religious groups as examples of people's inability to get along.

"I can't see the difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi, nor between a Sunni or a Shi'ite," he said, referring to two central African tribes and the two major sects of Islam. "Unfortunately, they can. Probably somewhere deep in our genes, we want a defined group" to belong to, he said.]]>
7/18/2018 8:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian diplomatic efforts release stranded nationals in Syria's Eastern Ghouta]]>
Procedures have been finished by the diplomatic mission for one family, Ahmed Mahmoud Moussa, his children and Syrian wife Hebatullah al-Qalesh, who will return Egypt on Thursday on Syrian airlines, said charge d'affaires Mohamed Tharwat Selim on Wednesday.

The other family will return home on July 30, added the diplomat.

Eastern Ghouta, previously held by the opposition, was recaptured by the Syrian Army in April.

Egypt’s continuous efforts on the Syrian cause led to a ceasefire agreement on Monday between a number of armed opposition factions in the Syrian coast under Egyptian sponsorship, with Russian guarantee and the brokerage of Syria’s Al-Ghad Current (Tomorrow) opposition movement chairperson, Ahmed Jarba, according to several media reports.

The agreement stipulates participating in efforts to fight terrorism and work on reaching a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, besides the return of refugees and the displaced to their homes and the release of detainees.

Contributed by MENA

Syrian opposition factions agree Egypt-sponsored ceasefire

CAIRO - 17 July 2018: Egypt's continuous efforts on the Syrian cause led to a ceasefire agreement on Monday between a number of armed opposition factions in the Syrian coast under Egyptian sponsorship, with Russian guarantee and the brokerage of Syria's Al-Ghad Current (Tomorrow) opposition movement chairperson, Ahmed Jarba, according to several media reports.


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7/18/2018 8:06:23 PM
<![CDATA[Spain to outlaw sex without explicit consent after outcry]]>
Five men were cleared of gang-raping the 18-year-old woman during the 2016 festival and convicted of the lesser crime of sexual abuse, in part because the victim reportedly remained silent during the attack.

"If she says no, it means no; and if she does not say yes, it also means no," Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told parliament as he made the pledge on Monday, according the El Pais website.

The proposed legislation is aimed at removing ambiguity in rape cases, and is similar to a law that recently came into force in Sweden.

It means Spain will join a small number of countries, including Britain and Canada, where lack of consent in sex is considered a crime without the need to show threats or physical violence.

An Amnesty spokesman said the rights group was "very happy to hear about the announcement in Spain and the government's willingness to recognise in law that sex without consent is rape".

Virginia Gil, director of Spain's Aspacia Foundation, which campaigns against violence, gave the move a cautious welcome, but said a lack of detail made it hard to know whether it would be effective in protecting victims.

"It will be a step forward if there is a comprehensive treatment of this kind of violence," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Gil said a package of measures was needed, including more action on violence prevention and steps to ensure social and legal support for victims.

At present, the country's law says the crime of sexual aggression or rape includes specific violence, such as threatening the victim with a knife or dealing physical blows.

The Pamplona case involved five men, including a former police officer and a former soldier, who later joked about the incident on a Whatsapp group called "The Wolf Pack".

A Spanish court handed the men nine-year sentences, but they were released in June pending appeals, bringing the case back to the headlines and prompting further protests.]]>
7/18/2018 6:43:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt offers strong political desire to achieve justice in Regeni’s case: Sisi]]>
This comes during Sisi’s meeting with the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, in the presence of Mahmoud Tawfiq, Minister of Interior, Abbas Kamel, Head of General Intelligence, and Italian Ambassador in Cairo Giampaolo Cantini.

According to a statement issued by the Egyptian presidency spokesperson Bassam Radi, the meeting discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations between Egypt and Italy at various levels in several fields.

The statement added that the meeting tackled some points of view on a number of international and regional issues of common concern, especially the latest developments in the Libyan issue and illegal immigration across the Mediterranean. The meeting also discussed ways to enhance joint efforts and bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism.

For his side, Salvini stressed the depth and strength of the relations between the two countries, praising the cooperation between the two sides at various levels, especially in the economic relations field.

He also praised the cooperation of the Egyptian authorities in Regini’s case to reach the truth and the perpetrators who committed the crime.

On January 25, 2016, the 28-year old Italian postgraduate student Regeni disappeared in Cairo, only for his dead body to be found on February 3 alongside the Cairo-Alexandria highway, bearing signs of torture and beating.

]]>
7/18/2018 5:35:45 PM
<![CDATA[Qatar airport passenger traffic falls, cargo rises in first half]]>
Hamad International is the base of Qatar Airways which competes against Emirates and Etihad Airways. The airline has been banned from using the airspace of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt after the four states imposed a trade and travel ban on Qatar in June 2017.

The number of passengers using Hamad International fell 13 percent to 16.5 million in the six months to June 30, 2018 from 19 million in the same period last year, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the airport on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE were major markets for Qatar Airways. The four boycotting countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

More cargo has been flown into Qatar following the dispute, in which the country's only land border with Saudi Arabia was closed.
]]>
7/18/2018 4:36:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian assaulted in Kuwait, another sets himself on fire in Italy]]>
In Kuwait, an Egyptian citizen named Ahmed Fayez Hassan was reportedly assaulted by a Kuwaiti soldier. A video of the accident went viral on social media and caused a lot of controversy among social media users; the government launched an investigation and found that the assault took place last Sunday in one of the cell phone shops.

The statement added that the incident started when a Kuwaiti woman came to the shop, where the Egyptian expat is working, and asked him to repair her cell phone. After getting all the work done, the woman did not have enough money to pay for the service she already received, so she gave him (the Egyptian worker) only half of the required amount of money, and asked him to keep her ID until she pays the rest of the required amount. The Egyptian worker refused, saying that he is not authorized to accept her offer, “I just work here,” he explained.

The Egyptian citizen had to call the police and the woman called her brother- the soldier. When the brother arrived to the shop, he assaulted the Egyptian worker according to his claims.

Minister Mohamed Saafan commented on the incident, saying that the investigations are underway, and that if the Egyptian citizen's claims are true, he will get all his rights. “Kuwait is a country which respects law, and no one will be wronged,” he added.

In Italy, another fight took place between two Egyptian expats, in which one of them set himself on fire in a suicide attempt. The Egyptian expat was hospitalized and the investigation is still underway.

Similar incidents for Egyptians working aboard frequently take place. Last February An Egyptian teacher, based in Kuwait for almost 13 years, faced allegations of rebuking a Kuwaiti nine-year old child, leading to his death. However, this was not the full truth.

Eissa al-Baloushy was a child with a special health condition, who suffered from heart problems. According to the Egyptian teacher’s story, one day before Baloushy’s death, Egyptian Naglaa Mohamed went to her class as usual, but she found it in chaos, which forced her to act firmly to control the class.

“Everyone responded and sat quietly except for Baloushy. I tried to be more assertive with him but he refused to obey and went straight to deputy director of the school who then called for me,” Mohamed said. She added that as they were talking in the deputy director’s office, the child started to deny her side of the story, calling her a "liar". She felt shocked and asked him if he could say a similar thing to his mother.

Baloushy’s mother came to school on the following day, but the child didn’t. She argued with the Egyptian teacher, claiming that she used violence against him and pushed him to the wall which made him feel bad. “I will issue a formal complaint against you at the Education Ministry,” the mother said, refusing to listen to any other testimonials from the school staff.

The fight between the two sides escalated when the child died several hours later.

Egyptian teacher faces allegations of abusing 9-yr old child

CAIRO - 15 February 2018: An Egyptian teacher, based in Kuwait for almost 13 years, is facing allegations of rebuking a Kuwaiti nine-year old child, leading to his death. However, this is not the full truth.




In December 2017, three Egyptian expats were assaulted in three different Arab countries.

The first incident took place in Kuwait when an Egyptian expatriate was attacked by a Kuwaiti citizen due to a dispute over motorcycle reparation. The Egyptian man was seriously injured and taken to hospital. Ten days later, another Egyptian citizen working in Saudi Arabia was stabbed with a knife by four Saudi youths.

The third incident occurred in the same month, when an Egyptian expatriate in Jordan was injured after clashes erupted between him and a Jordanian citizen over a financial dispute which resulted in causing a fracture in his skull.





]]>
7/18/2018 3:14:42 PM
<![CDATA[Trump asked Iran's Rouhani for meeting 8 times at UN: official]]>
"During Rouhani's last visit to New York for the UN General Assembly session, Trump asked the Iranian delegation eight times to have a meeting with the president," Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters on Wednesday, according to the conservative Mehr news agency.

He said the Iranian team had not responded to the requests, which came just after Trump announced he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal -- setting the scene for his eventual withdrawal from the pact in May.

"We have a transparent policy and clear position with regard to our relations with the US... that (we) will not yield to pressure," Vaezi said.

Tehran said back in October that Trump had requested a sit-down with his Iranian counterpart during the UN meeting, but the claim of numerous requests had not previously been made.

Trump has said he is open to talks on a new deal with Iran that goes beyond its nuclear programme to include its regional behaviour and missile defences.

Iran has said there is no chance of a renegotiation and is working with European and Asian partners to find ways around US nuclear-related sanctions that will be reimposed in the coming months as part of Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 agreement.

A Trump-Rouhani meeting would have been the first between the presidents of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.]]>
7/18/2018 3:10:39 PM
<![CDATA[Grand imam meets Tony Blair to enhance Egyptian-British cooperation]]>
The Grand Imam aspired that the meeting would be an additional step to support the values of peace, dialogue and coexistence, pointing out that the two sides share a common point of view regarding combating terrorism and countering extremist ideas.

Tayyeb added that Al-Azhar receives hundreds of imams from around the world every year to train them to confront extremism and provide them with proper religious education.

For his side, Blair expressed his happiness to meet the grand imam, adding that Tayyeb is considered an important figure for people around the world and that his message conveys the true image of Islam.

During the meeting, Blair stressed that Al-Azhar plays a vital role in combating terrorism; he also referred to Al-Azhar Observatory to Combat Extremism which includes about 100 researchers working in 12 different languages to compile and analyze information to combat terrorism.

Tayyeb also met members of the British Christian-Muslim Forum at his residence in London, Lambeth Palace, in the presence of Dr Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Grand Imam said during a meeting that we should enhance the dialogue between religions and cultures by involving youth and making use of their capabilities to promote the values of peace and coexistence in societies, the Egyptian Gazette Reported.

Grand Imam Tayyeb arrived in Britain on July 12 to participate in the Youth Forum for Peacemakers organized by Al-Azhar, in cooperation with the Council of Muslim Sages and the British Canterbury Diocese.

a
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7/18/2018 2:29:54 PM
<![CDATA[Boat carrying 160 migrants sinks off Northern Cyprus coast, 16 dead]]>
It said at least 30 people were missing from the sunken boat and that Turkish and Northern Cypriot coast guards, along with commercial boats in the area, were carrying out search and rescue operations. ]]>
7/18/2018 2:24:28 PM
<![CDATA[Trump says Russia to "help with North Korea"]]>
"Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along," said Trump on Twitter. "There is no rush, the sanctions remain! Big benefits and exciting future for North Korea at end of process!"

At the same time the tweet was published the RIA news agency reported that a summit between the leaders of Russia and North Korea is "on the agenda".

Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong Un last month in the first U.S.-North Korean summit and received a letter from the reclusive leader expressing hope for "practical actions" in the future.

Earlier this week, Trump also had an extensive one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where he said they discussed reducing nuclear weapons worldwide. Many details of those talks have not been publicly released. ]]>
7/18/2018 1:10:14 PM
<![CDATA[70 Egyptian illegal immigrants arrested in Libya with forged identities ]]>
The Libyan public prosecution will launch an investigation into the incident, according to Boufjra.

In December 2017, the Libyan authorities announced to media outlets that the country hosts nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants from different nationalities planning to travel to Europe. The officials affirmed that they are doing all the needed efforts to cooperate with all governments to control illegal immigration.

49216-3d338b64-8304-4d2c-bc27-34b24e2faa07
Seventy Egyptian illegal immigrants arrested on July 17 in Libya, before embarking on a journey to Europe – Press Photo


Egypt’s government has been cooperating during the past period with several countries, especially Italy and Libya, to reduce illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration topped Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's discussions during their meeting that took place early in July in Germany.

In statements to ON live, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said that both ministers had long talks on strategies to combat illegal immigration. “Both ministers agreed they need to reach new mechanisms to eliminate illegal immigration by uprooting its economic and social causes and by dealing with the crises from a comprehensive perspective,” Abu Zeid stated.

Abu Zeid affirmed in his statements that Seehofer expressed his admiration of the efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to control illegal immigration.

Also, on the sidelines of a mini-summit that was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels earlier in July, Egypt’s Shoukry met with Johannes Hahn of the European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, where they discussed Cairo’s efforts to combat illegal immigration.

Egypt described its efforts as a "successful model" in dealing with the phenomenon of illegal immigration.

In an official statement, Abu Zeid said Shoukry highlighted Egyptian efforts, including stopping boats in Egyptian territorial waters that might carry migrants to Europe, and asked other European partners to support Egypt in its efforts.

Following a September 2016 migrant boat disaster off its Mediterranean coast, Cairo raised its focus on the illegal immigration issue and introduced an illegal immigration law, in addition to toughening sentences against human traffickers.

A huge number of Egyptians escaped harsh living conditions and sought to improve their living standards by illegally migrating from Egypt, often travelling first to Libya and then to Europe across the Mediterranean.

Human-trafficking gangs operate in Libya and charge migrants large sums of money to make the perilous journey.




]]>
7/18/2018 1:09:51 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. diplomat praises Egypt's role in the Middle East]]>
In a statement to MENA correspondent in Kuwait, Silverman said cooperation between Cairo and Washington since US President Donald Trump assumed office has been on the rise at various levels in view of the two states' common resolve to combat terrorism and dry up its financing resources.

The ambassador's remarks were made on the fringe of his participation in a ceremony held by the Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait to mark the 66th anniversary of July 23 Revolution.

Silverman also asserted that the US was deeply interested in backing Egypt's ambitious economic reform program, noting that Egypt's economic growth rates are currently exceeding that of the US economy.

Despite all challenges, Egypt's economic reform plan will indeed secure a better future for the Egyptian people in the medium term and in the long run.

The American ambassador also said his participation at the ceremony was made upon an invitation from Egyptian Ambassador Tareq el Qouni, voicing his best wishes to the Egyptian people and government on the occasion.

As per the US administration's view of the current Gulf crisis, the ambassador said Washington wishes to see a final agreement for the Gulf crisis reached as soon as possible in order to reunite the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states especially in light of the alarming Iranian policy in the region.]]>
7/18/2018 1:06:22 PM
<![CDATA[Thai cave boys to leave hospital, speak to media]]>
The "Wild Boars" football team are being discharged a day earlier than previously announced, with authorities hoping a question and answer session will satisfy -- at least temporarily -- the intense media speculation that has accompanied their epic underground ordeal.

The boys are due to return to their homes later Wednesday.

"The reason to hold this evening press conference is so media can ask them questions and after that they can go back to live their normal lives without media bothering them," Thailand's chief government spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd told AFP.

Called "Sending the Wild Boars Home" and broadcast on major television channels, the session will last for about 45 minutes, Sunsern said, adding that it would be conducted in an informal style with a moderator.

The briefing will be closely monitored, with experts warning of possible long-term distress from the more than two weeks they spent trapped inside a cramped, flooded chamber of the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand.

The public relations department in Chiang Rai province solicited questions from news outlets in advance and they will be forwarded to psychiatrists for screening.

Thailand's junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha urged media Wednesday to be "cautious in asking unimportant questions" that could cause unspecified damage.

Doctors have advised families of the boys, aged 11 to 16, that they should avoid letting them contact journalists for at least one month after they are discharged.

Though the boys and coach are said to be in good mental and physical health, they will be provided with additional psychological monitoring to detect lingering trauma.

But interest in the saga is unlikely to abate, with film production houses already eyeing a Hollywood treatment of the readymade drama.

- 'Pedo' row -

Further attention was drawn to the rescue by a highly public spat between entrepreneur Elon Musk and a British caver who took part in the rescue.

Tesla CEO Musk called Vernon Unsworth a "pedo" in an extraordinary social media attack, after the caving expert had ridiculed Musk's plan to recover the trapped group using a miniature submarine.

Musk on Wednesday apologised to Unsworth over the slur, for which he had provided no justification or explanation.

"(H)is actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader," Musk wrote on Twitter. "The fault is mine and mine alone."

Musk's attack on Unsworth had drawn widespread outrage and briefly sent shares in Tesla tumbling. Unsworth told AFP he may take legal action against Musk over the offensive tweet.

- 'Happiest day of my life' -

Families of the youngsters are eagerly awaiting the homecoming.

Khameuy Promthep, the grandmother of 13-year-old Dom, one of the boys rescued from the cave, told AFP in an interview at their family shop in Mae Sai near the Myanmar border on Wednesday that she was very excited.

"This is the happiest day of my life," she said.

The daring Thai-led international effort to rescue the team captivated the world after the football team walked into the cave on June 23 and were trapped by rising floodwaters.

After nine days without a steady supply of food or water they were found emaciated and huddled in a group on a muddy ledge by British divers several kilometres inside Tham Luang.

Rescuers debated on the best plan to bring them out but ultimately decided on a risky operation that involved diving them through waterlogged passages while they were sedated to keep them calm and carrying them out in military-grade stretchers.

Not even the foreign cave diving specialists who took part were sure the mission would work and many expressed relief when it was all over after the final five were rescued on July 10.]]>
7/18/2018 1:00:11 PM
<![CDATA[Two migrants die on boat left adrift by Libyan coast guard]]>
A rescue boat operated by the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, with a Reuters photographer aboard, went to help the three migrants, stranded about 80 nautical miles off Libya's coast, but found two already dead.

Proactiva Open Arms said the three were left helpless after being abandoned by Libyan coast guards. The Libyans had left the scene after the two women refused to board their patrol ship along with a boy of about four, it said.

Libya's coast guard disputed the account, saying it had rescued 165 migrants from the damaged boat, and recovered the body of one baby. But it offered no explanation for how the three migrants came to be stranded on the remains of the dinghy.

"It is not in our religion, our ethics or our conduct to abandon human lives at sea, where we only came to save them," it said in a statement. The migrants were sunburnt and dehydrated after spending more than 60 hours stranded at sea, it said.

Proactiva Open Arms operates in the deadly central Mediterranean route, where charity boats have been locked out of Italian ports since a vow by Italy's new populist government to crack down on illegal immigration from Libya.

The rescue ship found itself the focus of European political tension this month when it rescued 60 migrants and took them to Barcelona after being turned away by Malta and Italy.

Charity rescuers pulled the woman from the wreckage where she had lain beside the corpses of another woman and the young boy. One rescuer dived into the sea and grabbed her as she clung to the remains of the boat.

"When we arrived we found one of the women still alive. We could do nothing to save the other woman and the boy who appeared to have died a few hours before we found them," said Proactiva Open Arms founder Oscar Camps in a tweet.

"ABANDONED"

Proactiva said the coast guard had intercepted the dinghy, but when it became clear the two women and the boy did not want to board the coast guard vessel, the Libyans damaged the craft and left the three stranded in its remains.

Camps told Reuters TV: "I want to denounce .... the Libyan coast guard that did not know how to manage an emergency situation, arriving two days, two nights late, and abandoned two women and a child in the remains of a vessel that they themselves destroyed."

Camps said a merchant ship sailing in the area had also failed to provide help to the migrant dinghy.

In a criticism of Italy, he added: "This is the direct consequence of not allowing NGOs which rescue lives in the Mediterranean to work there; this is the consequence."

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, also the head of the far-right League, is leading a high-profile campaign to shut humanitarian ships out of Italian ports. He says any rescue operations off the Libyan coast should be handled by Libya's limited coast guard.

On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hit back at Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who on Saturday called the Italian approach to immigration a "road to hell", and reiterated his stance that boats should be turned back and migrants helped in their home countries instead of being let into the European Union.

In an open letter to Babis, whose country refused to take any of the 450 migrants rescued by Italy at the weekend, Conte said Rome had the "high road of legality and shared responsibility", adding "those who set foot in a European country set foot in Europe".

Rome has played a central role in training the Libyan coast guard, which has been accused of abuses, including shooting at aid workers trying to rescue migrants.

Illegal immigration across the Mediterranean has fallen dramatically, with about 50,000 people making it to Europe this year compared to over a million in 2015. Hundreds have nevertheless died trying to make the crossing from Libya. ]]>
7/18/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[New York Times under fire for 'homophobic' cartoon of Trump and Putin]]>
Activists said the satirical animation in the New York Times implied homosexual relationships were shameful or laughable, echoing homophobic bullies and adding to pressure on young people struggling with their gender or sexuality.

The New York Times said the video, which has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on Twitter alone, was "not meant to be homophobic".

Activists however expressed fears over its impact on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, who research shows are at higher risk of depression and suicide.

"There seems to be no greater insult than comparing someone to a queer person," American transgender actor and activist Jeffrey Marsh - who does not identify as male or female - told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"For an LGBTQ youth, it's not background noise. When it comes up on their feed it feels like a direct personal attack, and to have a group that's as well-established as the New York Times personally attacking you feels horrendous."

Marsh's comments were echoed by Amit Paley, head of the LGBT suicide hotline charity The Trevor Project.

"Using sexual orientation or gender identity as an insult or joke punchline can send a message to young people that being LGBTQ is inherently negative," said Paley.

"Now more than ever, LGBTQ youth need to see positive and affirming representations of themselves in the media, a major step in letting them know that they are valued and never alone."

A spokesman for the New York Times defended the animation in an email,. saying the artist Bill Plympton was "known for his irreverent, unsettling and at times disturbing cartoons".

Kim Sanders, head of media engagement at the British charity Stonewall, said the images "reinforce a harmful narrative that being LGBT is inferior or something to be ridiculed".

"Depicting public figures as gay or bi in an attempt to mock them is a damaging trend that needs to stop," Sanders said.

"This isn't political satire, it's just old-fashioned homophobia."

According to The Trevor Project, young lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, while nearly half of all transgender people have attempted suicide.

A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in June found that a third of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are bullied at school. ]]>
7/18/2018 2:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. airline Republic Airways to buy 100 Embraer jets]]>
Republic said the deal would include an option to convert to Embraer's latest E175-E2 aircraft, with purchase rights for an additional 100 E175 aircraft.

The contract has a value of up to $9.3 billion based at current list prices if all purchase rights are exercised, the airline said.

Swiss airline Helvetic Airways ordered 12 E190-E2 passenger jets, with options to buy another dozen of the same aircraft or convert to the longer E195-E2 aircraft.

The new planes, worth $1.5 billion at list prices if Helvetic takes all 24, will begin substituting the carrier's Fokker 100 and current-generation E190 aircraft between late 2019 and early 2021.

Brazil's Azul also said it signed an order to buy 21 195-E2 aircraft worth $1.4 billion.]]>
7/18/2018 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Boy killed during protest in southern Venezuela - police]]>
The boy was shot in the chest late on Monday and died in a hospital in San Felix, 650 km (400 miles) southeast of the capital of Caracas, the Bolivar state police said in a statement, without offering further details.

Four officers were detained in relation to the incident, the national investigative police known as CICPC said in a separate statement.

A Reuters witness late on Monday confirmed seeing a protest in the area over the lack of power and water.

"The police arrived and started shooting directly at the people," said Yusleidys Rojas, 53, a homemaker. "When they called from the hospital to say the boy had died, the community was outraged and burned the police station."

The Bolivar police said the boy was 12, while the CICPC said he was 13.

Residents of the oil-rich nation have increasingly objected to the steady decay of basic services including power and water, part of an economic crisis that has also created shortages of food and medicine, and driven millions to flee the country.

The Information Ministry did not reply to a request for comment.]]>
7/18/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Parl' passes anti-fake news law, countries wage war on false info]]>CAIRO – 18 June 2018 – Social media accounts and blogs will be officially categorized as “media outlets” in Egypt as the parliament has passed a new law on subjecting these accounts to media laws that criminalize spreading fake news.


The Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media will be regulating these accounts; it will have the authority to block websites and file criminal complaints against any account that is "inciting people to violate laws" and spreading "defamation against individuals and religions."


Some countries have been counting in legislation to fight the spread of fake news and false information.


Egypt


In 2015, a legislation that made it a crime to publish or share false news or information was passed by the Parliament and is pending ratification by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.


In addition, Egypt’s Public prosecution announced recently the launch of a new hotline for citizens to gather complaints of “fake” news that is published in traditional media outlets or digital media platforms, which aims to impose a threat to national security.


In mid-February, the Cabinet referred a draft anti-cyber crime law to Parliament for discussion, which included posing surveillance on social media and limiting the spread of fake news, particularly news inciting violence.


First introduced before Parliament in May 2016, the 33-article draft law was proposed to criminalize illegal electronic practices, such as electronic fraud and encouraging terrorist practices; however, activists and rights defenders perceive the penalties stipulated by the law as very harsh and as a restriction of the freedom of expression, according to various news outlets.


France


Article no. 27 of the 1881 Freedom of the Press Law punishes “the dissemination in bad faith, by any means, of false news, falsified documents, or statements attributed to third parties that might disturb the public peace or “will be likely to shake the discipline or the morale of the armies or to hinder the war effort of the Nation.”


Also, Article L97 of France’s electoral code prohibits the dissemination of false information that might influence the behavior of voters and compromise the result of the election while still allowing vigorous free expression.


Taiwan


On June 9, 2018, the Taiwanese Parliament received a proposed law from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party that adds a clause to the Social Order Maintenance Act that would penalize those who spread fake news on the internet with up to three days in jail or a fine of up to $30,000 New Taiwan dollars ($1,000).


If passed, the proposed amendment would extend Article 63 of the Social Order Maintenance Act, which already carries fines and prison terms for anyone found guilty of "spreading rumors in a way that is sufficient to undermine public order and peace."


Germany


In Germany, the Parliament adopted a law in June 2017 that stipulates fines of up to 50 million Euros ($58 million) to be imposed on posting hate speech, child pornography, terror-related items and false information on social media.


Malaysia


Moreover, the Malaysian parliament in April 2018 approved a law punishing the propagation of partially or totally false information with prison sentences of up to six years and fines of $130,000.


Kenya


In May 2018, a cyber-crimes act was signed into the laws of Kenya; the new laws criminalize online spreading of fake news or “false, misleading or fictitious data.”


Brazil


Ten Brazilian political parties signed an agreement in June with the election authority to fight the dissemination of false information; there are around 10 to 15 draft laws related to the spreading of false information and fake news that are currently being considered by the Brazilian Parliament.

]]>
7/18/2018 12:04:17 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian authorities deny closing Rafah Border Crossing]]>
The authorities assured that the crossing is still opened to allow the passage of humanitarian and stranded cases in both directions. A technical error in the communication network at the border is being fixed, officials stressed.

As per President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's directives, the Rafah Border Crossing between Gaza and Sinai reopened on July 2, after being temporarily closed for three days starting Friday, June 29.

On June 21, the crossing was announced to be operating “until further notice”. A Rafah Border Crossing official said that the crossing will stay open until Eid Al-Adha, one of the most important religious feasts, which will start this year on August 21, according to Egyptian media reports, adding that the crossing is being prepared to open permanently.

Palestinian Ambassador in Cairo, Diab al-Louh, expressed his gratitude for President Sisi and Egyptian authorities for the decision, reiterating that the Egyptian leadership’s decision to ease the burdens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip comes within the framework of Egypt’s continuous efforts to back the Palestinian people.

President Sisi issued directives in May to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border Crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan that ended on June 14.

"I issued directives to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border Crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to relieve some of the burdens suffered by our brothers in the Gaza strip,” the Egyptian leader posted on Facebook and Twitter.

The Rafah crossing is mainly specialized for individual movements across borders, and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two countries.

The Egyptian government usually opens the crossing for humanitarian cases and the transfer of food and humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip.
]]>
7/17/2018 4:28:01 PM
<![CDATA[High waves in Alexandria cause 10 drowning cases ]]>
Alexandria beaches have witnessed large waves since Sunday, causing great difficulty for swimmers especially in beaches that do not have wave barriers.

In a telephone call with “DMC Evening” TV program, Sultan referred that most of those who drowned are not from Alexandria, and did not follow the safety and security guidelines.

“Closure of the beach is under discussion, although we know that the decision will not prevent people from entering the beach,” he explained.

He further remarked that ten people were swept far into the sea by the stream; six of them drowned, and only one body was found, while four other people could be saved.



Major General Ahmed Hijazi, head of the Central Administration of Tourism and Resorts, told Egypt Today that the drowning cases happened after the working hours of the beaches’ divers at 5 a.m., and some of the cases swam in rocky places not suitable for swimming such as the area below San Stefano Bridge. He advised vacationers to swim during divers’ working hours, starting 6 am.

To prevent more drowning cases, Hijazi remarked that a cooperation protocol is signed with the Faculty of nursing to provide a paramedic at each beach, in addition to the protocol signed with the Faculty of Physical Education that makes scuba divers available as seasonal workers.

Additionally, October 6 Association managing El-Nakheel beach issued a statement stressing that it has a highly qualified safeguard system, run by naval architect Mohamed Mansour's Marine Consulting Firm; a total of 25 divers and five jet skis are spread across the beach and safe places for swimming are identified.

Previously, many Parliament members called on the government to close Al Nakheel Beach in Alexandria where many deaths had taken place, stating that this beach annually ends the lives of “dozens of young people” because the rough rocks on the beach create dangerous currents and cause drowning.

Earlier, a number of social media users launched a campaign called “Close Al Nakheel Beach,” in which they warned people about the dangers of swimming at that beach, stating that no rescue divers are found there. ]]>
7/17/2018 3:28:13 PM
<![CDATA[HUAWEI P20 Pro named 'Best Smartphone of 2018' by European Hardware Association]]>
“This represents another feather in the hat for the HUAWEI P20 Pro and cements it as a firm favourite of consumers and the industry alike. We are thrilled to receive such a distinction,” said Bruce Lee, Vice President, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer Business Group.

Andrzej Bania, Co-Founder of European Hardware Association, said: "At the EHA Awards, a room packed with senior figures from the technology industry saw the HUAWEI P20 Pro crowned 'Best Smartphone 2018'. The European Hardware Association brings together nine of the largest technology publications from across the continent which have a combined reach of more than 22 million readers. After evaluating the latest product launches in the market, over 100 of Europe’s top technology editors voted the HUAWEI P20 Pro as the ‘Best of the Best’. This is an incredible achievement for Huawei in a highly competitive category.”

The HUAWEI P20 Pro features the world’s first Leica Triple Camera and AI processor, which work in concert to deliver a professional photography experience. The smart camera system produces outstanding handheld night shots, and supports up to 5x Hybrid Zoom and 10x Digital Zoom. The camera capabilities of Huawei’s latest flagship are attested by the device’s continued dominance on DxOMark’s leader board, a trusted industry standard for camera performance, where the HUAWEI P20 Pro stands above the competition with an overall score of 109 since it was launched in March.

About Huawei Consumer BG

Huawei’s products and services are available in more than 170 countries, and are used by a third of the world’s population. Fifteen R&D centres have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. Huawei Consumer BG is one of Huawei’s three business units and covers smartphones, PC and tablets, wearables and cloud services, etc. Huawei’s global network is built on almost 30 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological advances to consumers around the world.

For more information please visit: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/
]]>
7/17/2018 3:04:25 PM
<![CDATA[No family is removed from "Takaful and Karama": IDSC]]>
According to a report, the IDSC said that it contacted the Social Solidarity Ministry which denied all reports on this score.

No family, of those receiving the program's pensions, has been scrapped from the program, it added.

Reports had been published by social media websites that the 200,000 families will be removed from the program for minimizing expenses.]]>
7/17/2018 2:40:11 PM
<![CDATA[Trump's meeting with Putin does not undermine transatlantic alliance: UK]]>
Asked whether Trump's comments after the meeting had undermined the alliance, the spokesman said: "no." ]]>
7/17/2018 2:17:17 PM
<![CDATA[Environment min. asserts Egypt's full support to climate change negotiation process]]>
This came at a meeting with UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Planning Minister Hala el Saeid to discuss important files in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for year 2018 and its presidency of the African Union in 2019.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened at the UN HQ in New York.

According to a press release by the Environment Ministry on Tuesday, the environment minister said that Egypt is looking forward to preserving nature through a global initiative for nature-based solutions.

She invited the UN deputy secretary to attend a High Level Segment of the 14th meeting of Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP 14), set for the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh on November 14-15.

The 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP 14) will be held in Sharm El Sheikh on November 17-29. It is scheduled to discuss a host of issues related to climate change and biological diversity.]]>
7/17/2018 1:47:57 PM
<![CDATA[Preparations made at High Dam for upcoming flood season ]]>
This came during his visit to Aswan on Monday to inspect the preparations made at the High Dam as well as the facilities annex to the High Dam and the Aswan Reservoir.
Abdel-Ati remarked that mechanisms were set to deal with the flood; water levels rise as flood arrives from the Ethiopian highlands across the Blue Nile then to Khartoum, Sudan, before entering Aswan's Lake Nasser in Egypt.

He further remarked that Sudan has also put new storage program and mechanisms to operate its annual reservoirs and maintain the water balance between the discharge, the water volume needed by countries and the required water volume for storage to compensate the losses of the water level.

He pointed out the Nile River Committee periodically receives the reports issued by the irrigation missions in Uganda and Sudan, which estimate the countries’ shares of water, rainfall rates and the amount of water collected from rains at Lake Nasser; the reports also ensure the fair redistribution of water among basin countries based on their needs.

He added that it is difficult to specify the amount of the current flood as the rainfall rates at Ethiopian highlands is fluctuating, noting that he inspected Toshka lakes to ensure its preparedness for the flood.

main_image
The High Dam is prepared for the annual flooding of the Nile River for the 2018-2019 water year, which starts in August-Press Photo

Egypt’s share of water is 114 billion cubic meters from all different sources. One of the main pillars of the national strategy for water resources 2017-2037 is to rationalize water use by reducing cultivation of water consuming crops, Ministry of Irrigation spokesperson Hossam el-Emam told the “Ra’ayAam” (Public Opinion) TV show on January 27.

image_1
The High Dam is prepared for the annual flooding of the Nile River for the 2018-2019 water year, which starts in August-Press Photo

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Abdel Aty recently decided to reduce the rice cultivationarea in Egypt from 1,700,000 feddans to 724,200 feddans (1 feddan = 1.038 acres) in order to rationalize water use.
image_2
The High Dam is prepared for the annual flooding of the Nile River for the 2018-2019 water year, which starts in August-Press Photo

The decision identified nine governorates to grow rice according to the relevant studies: Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Dakahlia, Beheira, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said and Gharbia. The ministry stressed that those who do not comply with the decisions will be subject to penalties.

At the same time, Egypt is negotiating with the African front to guarantee its rights in Nile water amid establishing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Recently a tripartite summit was held between Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and resigned Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at Sisi's presidential residence in Addis Ababa during the African Union (AU)’s 30th summit.

The three countries sealedan agreement on a single vision based on the Declaration of Principles signed in Khartoum and raising the no-harm principle of the three countries’ interests. ]]>
7/17/2018 12:59:27 PM
<![CDATA[President Sisi to meet Bashir in visit to Sudan: Amb.]]>
In an interview with Egypt Today, Abdel Halim said that the visit reflects the special relations between the two countries and their peoples, affirming that this visit will be added to the series of meetings held between the two presidents.

The Sudanese ambassador said that the Sudanese-Egyptian summit will review the efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries in various realms. He added that the two presidents will also review the outcome of the recent bilateral cooperation meetings.

Sudanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Ahmed Bilal Othman described the relation between the two countries as “holly,” and "at its best" as the communication channel is open between Egyptian President Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart, Bashir.

Bashir visited Cairo on March 19 where both leaders discussed the outstanding issues of mutual interest, based on the agreement reached at the recent Addis Ababa tripartite summit.

It has been agreed to “continue implementing the outcomes of the Addis Ababa-held Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian tripartite summit on the Renaissance Dam to carry out the Declaration of the Renaissance Dam Principles Charter that was signed on March 23, 2015 in Khartoum,” said President Sisi in a joint press conference with Bashir.

Egypt has voiced its concern over Ethiopia’s dam construction, as it would affect Egypt’s 55 billion cubic meter share of the Nile water. However, Addis Ababa sees the dam is necessary for its development and would not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).

On the bilateral level, President Sisi emphasized during the conference that his country is keen to “maintain the national security of both countries.”

It has been agreed to “activate…and enhance” the Higher Joint Committee, the Consular Committee, the Military Committee, the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation and the Joint Borders Committee, Sisi added.

The abovementioned joint committees will annually convene their meetings to “secure and enhance both countries’ interests,” Sisi continued.

Both leaders also tackled certain projects concerning energy, electricity, infrastructure, and cooperation in air, ground and maritime transportations.

Also, it has been agreed that Sisi and Bashir will hold their next annual meeting in Khartoum, said Egyptian presidency spokesperson Radi in a statement following the press conference.
Radi added that both presidents discussed the latest positive developments after easing the strained relations following the quartet meeting.

Egypt’s relations with Sudan were recently strained over the disputed border area of Halaib and Shalateen. On December 23, 2017, Sudan filed a complaint to the United Nations Secretariat to protest a maritime border demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as the deal denotes the territory as Egyptian on maps.

Halaib and Shalateen, or the Halaib Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers located at the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns: Halaib (which became a city in February 2014), Abu Ramad and Shalateen. ]]>
7/17/2018 12:06:33 PM
<![CDATA[Pro-Brexit lawmakers' amendment to customs bill narrowly passes with UK government backing]]>
Lawmakers in the House of Commons voted 305 to 302 to approve the amendment to the customs legislation, known as the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill.
]]>
7/17/2018 1:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[UK junior defence minister resigns, votes against government - BBC]]>
Bebb, minister for defence procurement, voted against the amendment that will stop Britain collecting tariffs for the European Union after Brexit unless there is a reciprocal arrangement.

It was narrowly approved by parliament on Monday with the government's support.
]]>
7/17/2018 12:55:44 AM
<![CDATA[Trump, after Helsinki summit, says he has confidence in U.S. intelligence]]>
Trump was roundly condemned by U.S. lawmakers for his comments at a news conference with Putin where he cast doubt on his own intelligence agencies' findings that Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people'," Trump said on Twitter. "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"
]]>
7/17/2018 12:38:43 AM
<![CDATA[UN envoy sees Yemeni talks starting next month]]>
"I’d like to get the parties together within the next few weeks at the very latest," he said. "I’m hoping that the (U.N.) Security Council will meet next week and we’ll put a plan before them as to how we’re going to bring the talks back."
]]>
7/16/2018 9:51:56 PM
<![CDATA[Two protesters killed in clashes with Iraqi police as unrest spreads in south]]>
The unrest is piling pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who hopes to serve a second term once politicians form a new government following a May 12 parliamentary election tainted by allegations of fraud.

"Hundreds of people tried to storm a courthouse. Shots were fired towards us. It was not clear who was shooting. We had no choice but to open fire," said the police official in Samawa.

Earlier, police in oil hub Basra wounded 48 people when they fired in the air to disperse a crowd of hundreds that tried to storm a government building and demonstrated near an oil field. Some 28 members of the security forces were also wounded, according to Major General Thamir al-Hussaini, commander of the Interior Ministry's Rapid Response Forces.

In a town near the southern city of Amara, police shot into the air to disperse protesters after demonstrators set fire to the municipality building. Thirteen protesters and seven policemen were wounded in the clashes.

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has expressed solidarity with protesters, saying they faced an "extreme lack of public services".

Sistani, who has millions of followers, rarely intervenes in politics, but has wide sway over public opinion.

Internet access in Iraq has been dramatically reduced.

Local officials said demonstrations have not affected crude production in Basra, whose shipments account for more than 95 percent of OPEC producer Iraq's state revenues.
Any disruption could severely impact the country's limping economy and push up global oil prices.

STRUGGLE TO REBUILD

Abadi's Dawa party has dominated Iraqi politics since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

"The Dawa party has been running Iraq for 15 years and its leaders failed to live up to even a single promise they made," said Ziad Fadhil, 38, who is unemployed, in Basra.
He held up a piece of cardboard to shield his head from the scorching sun.

Earlier on Sunday, Jordan's state airline said it had suspended four weekly flights to Iraq's holy city of Najaf due to the "security situation at its airport". Flyudubai followed suit.

Air traffic was temporarily suspended on Friday when protesters stormed Najaf's international airport.

Flights from Iran to Najaf will be diverted to Baghdad, Iranian state television reported.
A political bloc led by populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr unexpectedly won a majority in May's vote on an anti-corruption platform that had appeal across Iraq's electorate.

Abadi has said his caretaker government will release funds to Basra for water, electricity and health services but major relief is unlikely to come soon for the city once dubbed the "Venice of the Middle East" for its network of canals.

Iraq needs to generate billions of dollars to rebuild after its three-year war with Islamic State.

Demonstrators demanding jobs and better government services, have cut off access to the southern Umm Qasr commodities port.

Saddam Hussein oppressed Iraq's majority Shi'ites, neglecting their southern heartland, and successive Shi'ite-led governments after him have done little to improve lives there.

"Since the fall of Saddam in 2003 and until now the only real thing Shi'ite politicians have been saying is their lies," said Usama Abbas, 25, an unemployed college graduate in Basra, where oil money rarely trickles down to the population.

"We still drink filthy water and forgot what air conditioning means during summer."
In addition to local government headquarters, the demonstrators have taken the unusual step of attacking buildings belonging to powerful Shi'ite militias.

Abadi, who also serves as commander-in-chief of Iraq's armed forces, issued a nationwide order on Sunday placing security forces on high alert in the southern provinces, aiming to stem the burgeoning protests.

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7/16/2018 9:43:58 PM
<![CDATA[Trump stresses Israel's security in talks with Putin]]>
"We both spoke with Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel," Trump told a joint news conference. "Russia and the United States will work jointly (in this regard)."
"Creating safety for Israel is something both Putin and I would like to see very much," Trump said.

Putin said Trump had spent a lot of time talking about Israel during their talks. The conditions were in place for effective co-operation on Syria, Putin added. Washington and Moscow back different sides in the eight-year-old civil war.

Trump said they also wanted to help the Syrian people on a humanitarian basis.
"Our (US and Russian) militaries have gotten along better than our political leaders for a number of years. And we get along in Syria too," Trump said.

Trump also said he had stressed the importance of putting pressure on Iran, an ally of Russia, while Putin said he was aware of U.S. opposition to the international nuclear agreement on Iran, which Russian supports.
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7/16/2018 6:28:16 PM
<![CDATA[Trump says "no reason to believe" Russia hacked U.S. election]]>
At a rambling news conference after a one-on-one meeting with the Russian president, Trump said not a single critical word about Russia on any of the issues that have brought relations between the Washington and Moscow to a post-Cold War low.

Asked if he trusted U.S. intelligence agencies which concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, he said he had been told by his CIA chief that it was Russia, but that he saw no reason to believe it.

"President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said.
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7/16/2018 6:08:31 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi stresses importance of developing companies of Military Production Ministry]]>
Sisi made these remarks during his meeting with Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed El Assar.

He underlined the ministry's role in developing the national economy and industry, as well as meeting the needs of the local market of industrial products, exporting surplus production and developing military products to cover the needs of the Armed Forces.

The president also stressed the need to boost cooperation between the ministry and major global companies in order to acquire modern technology and open up new horizons in the industry based on the ability to innovate and develop by local capabilities, in addition to establishing development projects to boost the Egyptian economy.

In press statements, Spokesman for the presidency Bassam Rady said the meeting reviewed the comprehensive strategic vision of the ministry in the coming period and the plan to develop factories and companies affiliated to it.

Rady pointed out that Assar briefed Sisi on the ministry's efforts to cooperate with various ministries and state institutions in different sectors, stressing that the ministry aims to optimize national resources and help state institutions achieve development goals and provide the best services to citizens.

The minister also presented a report on the prospects of cooperation between the ministry and a number of countries, such as Iraq, Russia, Germany and China, in a way that contributes to exchanging expertise between the employees of military production companies and global companies, as well as marketing products of companies affiliated to the ministry in global market, which contributes to increasing the foreign exchange earnings and exports. (MENA)]]>
7/16/2018 5:37:53 PM
<![CDATA[Head of Egyptian Jewish community: My father’s tomb was vandalized]]>
The tomb is located in the 1200-year-old Jewish cemeteries in Bassatine, Cairo, which is considered the second oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world.

Haroun posted on her Facebook page photos of the vandalized tomb, saying “I spoke. People, help us build a fence. If I were financially capable, I would actually build it myself, brick by brick, to protect the memory of the people buried here."

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Prominent Jewish lawyer Chehata Haroun’s tomb in Bassatine cemetery - Photo courtesy of Magda Haroun’s Facebook page


"Bassatine cemeteries used to span over an area of 145 feddans (one feddan equals about 1.038 acres), but only 27 feddans remained after squatters built their slums on it," she continued.

Haroun told Egypt Today on Sunday that the tomb could have been vandalized by wolves, adding that she has called on the government several times to build a fence around the cemeteries.

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A hole in prominent Jewish lawyer Chehata Haroun’s tomb in Bassatine cemetery - Photo courtesy of Magda Haroun’s Facebook page


“There was a meeting with former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, and the minister of local development two years ago where I called for building the fence. They promised to do so, but nothing happened,” Haroun said.

“I am not able (financially) to build a fence and appoint guards,” she added.

Cemeteries were squatted by slums, where the people’s condition is miserable and children play around the tombs. “I do not mind to prepare areas for children and create gardens (inside the Bassatine area) where they can play, but I need help to be able to do so as the community’s monthly income does not exceed LE 7,500 ($418.99)," Haroun explained.

The 65-year-old lady said that she will not file any complaint due to the bad conditions of the people living there.

In previous remarks to Egypt Today on allocating money to restore some neglected Jewish Synagogues in Egypt, Haroun said that any money provided would be allocated to building a fence around the cemeteries in Bassatine.

Building slums divided the cemetery into two parts; one part includes only a site -called Mouseily- listed as an antiquity by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, while the rest of the cemetery is not listed.

The unregistered part of the cemetery includes the tomb of Chehata Haroun, Niven Amin, director of Magda Haroun’s office, told Egypt Today on Saturday.

Lawyer Chehata Haroun, also known as Rene Silvera, died in 2001 at the age of 81 in Cairo after a struggle with illness and was buried in Bassatine cemeteries three days after his death, according to the Jewish community’s portal.
You can also read:

Fallen from Grace: Rabbi Hayyim El-Imshati Synagogue

CAIRO - 30 December 2017: Walking in through the two-meter-wide entrance, you will find in the semi-demolished ramshackle and stumble across a big cement block and a corridor leading to a rickety staircase leading to the second floor, which is now collapsed and filled with an acrid smell.




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7/16/2018 3:44:56 PM
<![CDATA[Playing national anthem in hospitals is not obligatory: Min. of health]]>
This was during her first meeting with the Parliament’s Health Committee, during which she declared the ministry’s policy to be followed in the upcoming period.

Some members of the Parliament asked Zayed to reconsider the decision, referring they had expected that her first decision would focus on improving the deteriorating health conditions in public hospitals.

This came after the decision has set off a storm of criticism on social media after Zayed referred it will help in promoting "patriotism and loyalty" of all hospital staff members and patients.

Hence, Zayed pointed out that the decision is not compulsory and any hospital has the choice to abide by it or not, particularly that a ministerial decree has not been issued in this regard, stressing that the crowd would only listen to the national anthem in the broadcast without standing or singing.

On the other hand, she assured during the meeting that the nursing schools in Egypt will be increased from 370 to 500 schools by 2019, and that the requirements for nursing schools’ enrolment will be simplified to solve the nursing staff shortage crisis.

In this regard, she further explained that nurses’ salaries in Egypt will increase, and modern technologies will be available to help them do their job.

As for Egypt’s health system, Zayed said that a comprehensive plan will be set to develop the system, and manufacturing drugs will be among the plan's top priorities; an independent body to focus only on the drugs file should be established.

She also remarked that strict instructions have been issued to many hospitals and medical institutions to finish their waiting list.

In this regard, she revealed that the government would prepare a website to register requests for operations in the state-owned hospitals to set a mechanism to carry them out as soon as possible based on the available opportunities.

“There will be cooperation with the Armed Forces’ hospitals and some private hospitals to finish the waiting list for the same prices offered by the Ministry of Health."

In the same context, upon instructions of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to implement the first phase of the new Health Insurance Law, the Ministry of Health declared its plan before the Parliament to put it into effect.


The Health Committee carefully follows up the mechanisms set by the Ministry of Health to apply the comprehensive Health Insurance Law, and it will hold a meeting with Minister of Health Hala Zayed to look into the details of the plan after the Parliament officially grants confidence to the government, according to Ayman Abul-Ela, deputy of the Health Committee in the House of Representatives.


In this regard, the Health Committee stressed that the new law will achieve great progress in health services provided to Egyptians; hence, the committee will head in the upcoming period to Port Said, the first governorate where the plan will be implemented, to inspect the infrastructure of hospitals and health units.


Abul-Ela added that LE 1.8 billion from the public budget were allocated to put the plan into effect in Port Said by the end of the current year.


He further remarked that implementing the plan requires developing the first aid, focusing on maternity and childhood services, establishing the three bodies mentioned in the new law to manage the health system, including the General Authority for Health Insurance, which will finance the system, General Authority for Healthcare, and the General Authority for Accreditation and Supervision, which will determine hospitals and medical units eligible to join the system, in addition to activating the system to electronically provide all the services of the health insurance system.
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7/16/2018 2:47:26 PM
<![CDATA[AL celebrates golden jubilee of Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights]]>
A number of Arab experts who contributed to the work of the permanent committee, representatives of the national organizations of human rights, civil society organizations concerned with human rights as well as the bodies concerned at the Arab League and the United Nations are taking part in the ceremony.

The ceremony is held on the fringe of the 44th regular session of the Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights which will run for two days.

The agenda of the committee includes discussions on means of confronting the Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, the rights of Arab prisoners and detainees at Israeli jails as well as the return of Arab martyrs' bodies held by the Israeli authorities.

The committee is expected to approve a project on an Arab strategy on human rights as well as the Arab declaration pertaining to rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups in enhancing the basic human rights and freedoms]]>
7/16/2018 12:32:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt climbs from 104 to position 66 at Environmental Performance Index]]>
In the annual bulletin on environmental statistics, CAPMAS said the Yale center issues the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) every two years.

The greenhouse gas emissions from petroleum and natural gas products consumption inched up 1.8 percent to stand at 209.96 million tons in 2016-2017 against 206.20 million tons in 2015-2016.

The electricity generated from environment-friendly resources shot up by 54.1 percent to stand at 2225.5 gigawatts/hour in 2015-2016 against 1444 gigawatts/hour in 2014-2015.

The amount of produced pure water rose 4.5 percent to 9.29 billion cubic meters in 2015-2016 against 8.89 billion cubic meters in 2014-2015.

The amount of consumed pure water increased by 6.3 percent to 6.5 billion cubic meters in 2015-2016 against 6.1 billion cubic meters in 2014-2015]]>
7/16/2018 12:18:27 PM
<![CDATA[House Speaker holds separate talks with Iraqi, Serbian, Italian, Saudi envoys]]>
His talks with the Iraqi diplomat touched on the latest political and security developments in Iraq, including the war against Daesh.

Meanwhile, he discussed boosting ties with Serbia and his expected visit to Belgrade on Wednesday at an invitation of his Serbian counterpart.

The visit comes on the 110th anniversary of establishing relations between Cairo and Belgrade.

Abdel Aal's meeting with the Italian envoy tackled boosting bilateral relations in various fields, especially the parliamentarian affairs.

He also received Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Cairo Osama Noqaly as the later assumed the responsibilities of his new post in Egypt.
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7/16/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[UK PM May promises to protect planemakers' supply chains in Brexit]]>
May's words, to be delivered at the Farnborough Airshow south west of London, come at a crunch time for the prime minister as pro-Brexit lawmakers in her party threaten revolt over an EU exit strategy they say leaves Britain subject to Brussels' rule.

"We will take back control of our borders, our laws and our money. But we will do so in a way that is good for business and good for our future prosperity," May will say, according to advance extracts of her speech.

Businesses have been getting increasingly frustrated about the lack of clarity over future trading relations less than nine months before Brexit day on March 29, 2019.

Airbus, Europe's biggest planemaker which employs around 15,000 people in Britain, warned earlier this month that if Britain left the EU without a deal - a so-called "hard" Brexit - it could result in production at its factories stopping and aircraft being grounded.

At Farnborough, aerospace firms will be setting out wares from luxury jets to lethal drones, hoping trade tensions will not deter airlines from buying planes even as geopolitical uncertainty allows them to sell more weapons.

Brexit is also likely to loom large in their conversations.

The prime minister will set out in detail how her Brexit proposal - which was agreed by cabinet earlier this month but then sparked a wave of ministerial resignations - will protect the supply chains of firms like Bombardier and Rolls Royce as well as Airbus.

No specifics were provided in advance, but the government has proposed a customs arrangement that will see it closely aligned with the EU on regulations and standards under a so-called "common rule book".

May will also announce 343 million pounds ($454 million) of investment for research and development projects, investment in electric aircraft technology, and reconfirm Britain is looking at how it can remain part of EU bodies such as the European Aviation Safety Agency.

"By working closely together, government and industry have ensured we remain at the forefront of civil aviation and that our air power is second to none," May will say.

“Today I want us to build on that, and ensure not only that we retain our prominence, but that in an increasingly competitive industry we make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead."

The aerospace sector directly employs around 120,000 people in the United Kingdom, and supports a further 118,000 jobs indirectly, according to trade body ADS Group. It generated almost 28 billion pounds of exports in 2016.
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7/16/2018 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[On eve of Russia summit, Trump calls European Union 'a foe']]>
In a pre-summit interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation" program aired on Sunday, Trump lumped in the EU with China and Russia as U.S. economic adversaries. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade," he said.

Trump and Putin will meet on Monday in Helsinki for their first stand-alone meeting since Trump took office in January 2017. Trump arrived in Helsinki on Sunday evening after spending the day playing golf at his private club in Scotland.

The Helsinki summit, which comes at one of the most crucial junctures for the West since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, has alarmed some NATO allies who fear Putin might seek a grand deal that would undermine the U.S.-led transatlantic alliance.

During last week's NATO summit in Brussels, Trump repeatedly criticized other member countries for failing to spend more on defense, and openly questioned the alliance's purpose.

In recent months, he has also been highly critical of the EU in trade terms, arguing that its policies make it difficult for U.S. exporters.

After Trump labeled the EU a "foe," Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, responded on Twitter, using one of Trump's favorite stock phrases.

"America and the EU are best friends," Tusk wrote. "Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news."

Trump and his aides have been working through the weekend to soften expectations for tangible results from the Russia meeting.

"I go in with low expectations," Trump told CBS.

John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" that the United States would not be looking for "deliverables" and that the meeting would be "unstructured," beginning with a one-on-one session between the two leaders.

The U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, told NBC'S "Meet the Press" that the meeting was "an attempt to see if we can defuse and take some of the drama, and quite frankly some of the danger, out of the relationship right now."

A probe over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has clouded Trump's presidency. Trump has denied any collusion with the Russians by his campaign and Russia denies it meddled.

BRIGHTER SPOTLIGHT

For Trump, the formal meeting with Putin is an opportunity to develop a closer working relationship with the Russian president.

They have met twice before on the sidelines of international summits. Last November, in Vietnam, they agreed to maintain open military channels of communications between their forces in Syria.

Trump has baffled his own advisers at times with his unabashed desire for strong ties with Putin, White House sources have said. Most U.S. officials see Putin as an unsavory character on the world stage.

U.S. officials have said they hope to make progress during the talks persuading Russia to use its influence to get Iranian forces out of Syria, as part of a wider campaign to rein in Iran's influence in the Middle East.

They also expect Trump to bring up Russia's incursion into Ukraine and the allegations of Russian meddling in the election. Other issues include the potential for nuclear arms talks and North Korea's nuclear challenge, given that U.S. officials have said Russia had worked in the past to help Pyongyang circumvent international sanctions.

Huntsman on Sunday said that it was "highly unlikely" the United States would recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, but would not rule it out.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned Trump against making any unilateral deals with Russia that come with a cost for the United States' Western allies.

ALONE IN THE ROOM

The meeting comes just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged by a U.S. federal grand jury for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Trump.

When asked by CBS if he would ask Putin to extradite the Russians to the United States, Trump said he might. Russia's constitution forbids the extradition of its own citizens.

"I hadn't thought of that," Trump said. "But certainly, I'll be asking about it."

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said he was worried about Trump being alone in the room with Putin, without his national-security aides.

"We know that Trump doesn't do a lot of prep work for these meetings. He kind of goes in and wings it," Warner said on NBC's "Meet the Press. "I really would feel much better if there were other Americans in the room."

The president has repeatedly said the investigation into Russian election meddling is a "rigged witch hunt" that makes it hard for him to do substantive deals with Moscow.
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7/16/2018 3:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[I was afraid of criminal responsibility: Giza Children murder suspect ]]>
Soha said that she left her family home 15 years ago and had many flings resulted in three children before she married an elderly man who raised the children and add his name on their birth certificates as the father.

Afterwards, she left her husband and went to work at nightclubs where she met the other defendant. Soha moved to her friend's house with her children. On the day of the incident, a fire broke out at the house and the children were killed. Soha and her friend cooperated and throw them on the street.

Giza General Directorate of Investigation announced Saturday the arrest of three persons, two women and one man, involved in the death of three children found in street past Tuesday.

Earlier Saturday, police unveiled the mystery of the three killed children found on Marioteya Road, Giza, saying that it was an attempt by mother of the children to get rid of their bodies after being burnt and have suffocated to death in fires caught their apartment.

“By focusing the search, we found out that the children were burnt and suffocated to death after fires broke out in their apartment while the mother was absent,” a security source told Egypt Today, adding that the mother thrown away the children’s bodies with her lady friend; not to be legally prosecuted.

The third suspect is the driver of the rickshaw seen throwing the dead bodies in the morning of July 10, who turned himself in and identified the women, denying being aware of their crime. “I only gave them a lift,” he told investigators.

On July 10, three dead children of age less than five years old were found inside black trash bags thrown in the streets on Marioteya Road, Giza, where some people have recognized some stray dogs gathering around trash bags that morning.

The bodies were badly decomposed which indicates that the children died a few days ago, according to security investigations. The forensic report proved that the children were burnt and suffocated to death, suggesting that they were trapped in a place where a fire broke out.

A committee of many high-ranking security officers was formed to investigate the mysterious death of the three children, hear eyewitnesses, and check the surveillance cameras positioned near the scene.

The incident sparked groundless rumors that the three children were victims of organ trafficking gangs. The youngest of the three children was only one and a half years old, according to the preliminary forensic report.

Refuting Organ trafficking possibility, a security source said that the body of one of the three children was found to be without any holes, adding that perhaps the holes found in the other two victims’ bodies were caused by the stray dogs or any other factors.]]>
7/16/2018 12:34:36 AM
<![CDATA[Five miners killed in fire at South African copper mine]]>
The company said the incident occurred in the early hours on Sunday at one of its underground conveyer belts and that mine management, government officials and organised labour were investigating.
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7/15/2018 11:07:37 PM
<![CDATA[Syrian state media: Israeli rockets strike military position near Aleppo]]>
"The Zionist enemy ... targets one of our military sites north of Nairab airport, causing only material damage," said Syrian state news agency SANA, quoting a military source.

It said the strikes were an attempt by Israel to support rebels in southern Syria, where Syrian government forces have been waging an offensive.
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7/15/2018 11:01:19 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism Min. shares victory celebrations with French community in Cairo]]>
The minister celebrated the victory with the French fans that flocked to the institute at Mounira suburb in Cairo to watch the final match of World Cup 2018 between their national team and the Croatian one.

Ambassadors of Switzerland and Singapore were also attending the final game.

France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the football World Cup on Sunday, handing them their second victory in the competition after a successful campaign on home soil in 1998.

Photo credit: Hussein Tallal

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Read also:

In pics: France celebrates "La Victoire" of FIFA World Cup 2018

France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the football World Cup on Sunday



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7/15/2018 10:29:32 PM
<![CDATA[Russia to extend soccer fans' visa-free regime to end of 2018]]>
Russia allowed soccer fans to travel to Russia without visas to attend the World Cup once they obtained fan IDs that were issued to supporters with match tickets.

"I think we will do the following: for foreign fans who currently have fan IDs, we will give them multi-entry visa-free travel until the end of the year," Putin told reporters.

In pics: France celebrates "La Victoire" of FIFA World Cup 2018

France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the football World Cup on Sunday


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7/15/2018 9:21:02 PM
<![CDATA[Giza Criminal Court to consider “Human Trafficking” case on Sunday ]]>
Prosecutor Nabil Sadek said on May 23 that the suspects are also accused of bribery, forging official documents, facilitating illegal immigration, and sex trafficking.
The United Nation defines human trafficking as a series of crimes and violations to human rights, including forcible recruitment and exploitation through prostitution, forced labor, slavery, servitude or the removal of organs, harboring, and forcibly transferring people to receive benefits.

“The common forms of human trafficking in Egypt include trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation of under aged girls through “seasonal / temporary” marriage, child labor, domestic servitude, among other forms of sexual exploitation and prostitution.

There are also indications that trafficking is carried out for the purposes of forced marriages, forced labor, and the transplantation of human organs and body tissues,” according to the UN report issued in 2010.

To combat this phenomenon, Egypt introduced in 2016 a law stiffening penalties against human traffickers. The move came after a migrant boat capsized in September 2016 off the Mediterranean coast, killing hundreds of people.

The law imposes prison terms and fines on those found guilty of smuggling migrants or acting as brokers or middlemen, and prison sentences for those who provide shelters for the trafficked migrants, and those who facilitate their journey.

The law also includes the provisions that protect the rights of migrants and provide them with humanitarian treatment and access to healthcare and legal assistance.
Egypt has already had a law against human trafficking, but the new law mainly focuses on illegal migrants.

In the same context, Amr Abul-Atta, Egypt’s representative in the U.N. Security Council, said on November 21, 2017, that Egypt is exerting great efforts on the local and international levels to confront human trafficking, noting that Egypt sets legal and institutional frameworks to ensure implementing its international commitments.

During the U.N. Security Council’s session on human trafficking, Egypt’s representative added that his country launched a national strategy regarding this issue in October 2016 and started its five-year work plan (2016-2021) that includes various projects and media campaigns to raise awareness on the issue and build the capabilities of people working in that field in Egypt. ]]>
7/15/2018 3:36:38 PM
<![CDATA[Rebels, families begin evacuating Syria's Daraa city]]>
The transfers were part of a ceasefire deal brokered by government ally Russia, and came after more than two weeks of ferocious bombardment of the city and surrounding province of the same name.

On Sunday, hundreds of fighters and some of their relatives, carrying suitcases packed with clothes, boarded around 15 buses in Daraa city, AFP's correspondent there said.

The vehicles were parked on a main thoroughfare connecting the city's government-held north with its rebel-held south.

The AFP correspondent said the buses were searched by Russian military forces before setting off just after midday for the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said an estimated 1,400 people were expected to be evacuated in a single group on Sunday.

They included rebels from the broader province, said the head of the Britain-based group, Rami Abdel Rahman.

"Buses began moving from the gathering point towards the edge of the city to be searched," Abdel Rahman told AFP.

After securing Damascus and outlying areas of the capital, President Bashar al-Assad's regime on June 19 launched a ferocious offensive against Daraa, with support from Russia.

Moscow and Damascus used a carrot-and-stick strategy to military take over some towns while securing the negotiated surrender of others.

They reached a deal with rebels in early July for all of Daraa province, then agreed on terms for the city on Wednesday.

Rebels began handing over their heavy weapons on Saturday and continued to do so on Sunday morning.]]>
7/15/2018 1:49:34 PM
<![CDATA[Thai boys rescued from cave mourn diver who died]]>
The "Wild Boars" football team are recovering in hospital following 18 days spent inside the Tham Luang cave after entering on June 23 and getting trapped by monsoon floodwaters.

Doctors say they are in good health following a successful three-day operation which ended July 10 when teams of Thai Navy SEALs and international cave diving experts hauled the last five members of the team to safety.

But the lead-up to the final phase of the mission was met with tragedy when volunteer and former Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan died on July 6 while installing oxygen tanks along the twisting passageways of the cave.

Saman was widely hailed as a hero but the boys, aged 11 to 16, were only told about his death on Saturday after a medical team said they were strong enough mentally to handle the news, though many wept after hearing it.

"All cried and expressed their condolences by writing messages on a drawing of Lieutenant Commander Saman and observed one minute of silence for him," Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary at the health ministry, said in the statement.

"They also thanked him and promised to be good boys."

Tributes from Thailand and around the world have poured in for Saman, a triathlete and diver who retired from the military in 2006 and worked at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport before volunteering to help with the rescue in northern Thailand.

The specialists who took part in the risky mission to bring the Wild Boars home have expressed shock and surprise that they were able to pull it off, with some fearing that there could have been more casualties.

The resilience of the boys has also been surprising, with health officials conveying a largely positive picture of their recovery. All are expected to leave hospital on Thursday.

The health ministry said the overall condition for the players and coach was normal, though many are still on a course of antibiotics.

Despite the positive assessments so far experts have said they would all need to be monitored closely for signs of psychological distress that could take months to manifest.

They spent nine days in the dark, dank cave before being located by two British divers.

The boys -- and their parents -- have been advised to spend time with friends and family and not to give media interviews as that could trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

But the interest in their story is unlikely to evaporate overnight, as Hollywood producers are already jockeying to make the film of the saga.]]>
7/15/2018 1:45:18 PM
<![CDATA[House session to discuss report on gov't policy statement adjourned till Tuesday]]>
Addressing a general session of the legislature, Abdel-Aal told the lawmakers that the adjournment was accepted by the prime minister.

The report will be read out by the parliament's first undersecretary on Tuesday instead of today, he noted.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli delivered the policy statement before the parliament on July 3.]]>
7/15/2018 12:32:01 PM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros celebrates anniversary of 1952 revolution in Austria]]>
In TV remarks on Thursday, Amer said that the ceremony was attended by Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, who happens to be in an official visit to Austria.

During a phone-in with "Masa’ Dream" (Dream’s evening), broadcast on Dream satellite channel, the ambassador praised the development spree witnessed in Egypt during the past four years

Amer pointed out that all international organizations are closely following on development works taking place in Egypt, including Egypt’s nuclear program, adding that Egypt managed to cement itself as a distinguished international force.

He mentioned that Pope Twadros II delivered a speech during the ceremony held to mark the 66th anniversary of the July 23, 1952 revolution.

Pope Tawadros of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark arrived Tuesday in Austria after visiting Italy and the Vatican.

The pontiff was welcomed by the Egyptian ambassador and the embassy staff, in addition to some Austrian officials and Copts living in the European country.

Spokesman of the Coptic Orthodox Church Boulis Halim said in a press statement the pope attended a ceremony at Saint Antonios monastery in Vienna to present a book written by Austrian researcher Adolf Bayer.

During his visit to Italy, Pope Tawadros met Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace and led on Sunday a mass at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.
]]>
7/15/2018 12:24:46 PM
<![CDATA[US indicts Russian intel officers ahead of Trump-Putin summit]]>
The charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into Russian interference in the November 2016 vote and whether any members of Trump's campaign team colluded with Moscow.

Democratic leaders immediately called for Trump to cancel Monday's scheduled meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki, but the White House said the summit would go ahead.

The 29-page indictment issued Friday accuses members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU of carrying out "large-scale cyber operations" to steal Clinton campaign and Democratic Party documents and emails.

"There's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in announcing the charges at a press conference in Washington.

He added that although "conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet," the indictment did not allege that Americans knew they were in contact with Russian intelligence officers.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump about the indictment before Friday's announcement and that the timing was determined by "the facts, the evidence, and the law."

Trump on Saturday responded by blaming the administration of former president Barack Obama for failing to act.

"Why didn't they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?" he tweeted.

- Calls to cancel Putin meeting -

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, urged Trump to cancel the Putin talks.

"President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections," Schumer said in a statement.

Republican Senator John McCain said the summit should be called off if Trump is not ready to warn Putin there is a "serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world."

Speaking in Britain before the indictments were unveiled, Trump said he would ask Putin about the allegations of election meddling.

"I will absolutely, firmly ask the question, and hopefully we'll have a good relationship with Russia," he told a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

But he simultaneously denounced the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt," and said he has been "tougher on Russia than anybody."

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack and rejected accusations that it interfered in the US presidential election in a bid to help Trump win.

But speaking in Washington Friday, US national intelligence director Dan Coats branded Russia the most "aggressive foreign actor" regarding the cyberthreat against the US.

"We realize we are just one click of the keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself," he added, referencing potential interference in the upcoming mid-term elections.

- No 'knowing involvement' by Team Trump -

In a statement, the White House highlighted Rosenstein's remarks that no Americans had been charged.

"Today's charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result," it said. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along."

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that the indictments were "good news for all Americans."

"The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved. Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent," he said.

The indictment alleges that beginning in March 2016, the GRU agents began targeting over 300 employees and volunteers of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

"The conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents," it said.

Around June 2016, they began releasing tens of thousands of the stolen emails and documents using "fictitious online personas, including 'DCLeaks' and 'Guccifer 2.0,'" the indictment said.

Trump advisor Roger Stone told CNN Friday evening he believed he may be the person referred to in the indictment as having been in touch with the Guccifer 2.0 persona, but said his exchange over Twitter direct messages was "benign" and "innocuous."

Some of the documents and emails were released through a website identified in the indictment only as "Organization 1" -- believed to be Julian Assange's WikiLeaks.

Other documents and emails were made public through a website and Twitter account known as DCLeaks, which the GRU falsely attributed to a group of "American hacktivists."

Mueller previously indicted 13 Russians and three companies for allegedly interfering in the presidential vote.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been charged with money laundering and other crimes, while former national security adviser Michael Flynn has admitted lying to the FBI.]]>
7/15/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese imports to U.S. ports start peaking early amid tariff threat]]>
Retailers such as Walmart Inc and Amazon.com face uncertainty due to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, and the jump in imports from the country was likely because of "pre-emptive buying in anticipation of the tariffs", said Ben Hackett, founder of international maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.

"This is a bump that isn't quite normal," he said.

The U.S. container port peak season is traditionally driven by orders for Chinese-made clothing, electronics and toys for the back-to-school season running from June to September, and then the winter holiday season.

The volume of loaded shipping containers from China to all U.S. ports was up 6.3 percent in June from a year earlier after falling 6.9 percent in May and 3.9 percent in April, said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest U.S. container port and No. 1 hub for ocean trade with China.

Seroka's data was sourced from IHS Markit's PIERS and analyzed by Port of Los Angeles staff.

Data about specific products and buyers, which is compiled from paperwork filed when goods are delivered, was not immediately available.

China said on Friday exports unexpectedly accelerated in June. The commerce ministry confirmed that Chinese exporters were front-loading shipments to the United States to get ahead of expected tariffs.

Walmart, Amazon and other retailers declined to comment for this story.

Trump has vowed to reset the United States' global trade agreements, which includes a threat to impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods. Retailers, who place orders for general merchandise up to a year in advance, can offset additional costs by raising prices or finding new suppliers in countries not subject to import levies.

On July 6, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, including flash drives, remote controls and thermostats, from a list of $50 billion in products first proposed in April. China quickly fired back with tariffs on an equal value of U.S. goods, including soybeans, whiskey, cotton and automobiles.

Those are unlikely to immediately affect retailers.

The Trump administration raised the stakes in the trade battle on Tuesday with a plan to add 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including furniture, handbags, pet food, refrigerators, textiles and auto parts.

That new round could hit during the autumn lead-up to the all-important Christmas and winter holidays. Many products purchased for that season will have arrived at ports well ahead of the imposition of the new levies.

There are some indications that other industries have employed forward buying to avoid tariffs.

Automakers hailed more ships in May in an apparent scramble to bring vehicles to the United States to pre-empt potential tariff increases. The ports of Baltimore, Jacksonville, Florida; and Brunswick, Georgia - the three leading U.S. ports for importing automobiles - unloaded a combined 23,000 more cars than they did a year earlier, according to port data, port officials and logistics companies.

Michael Binetti, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said the latest round of proposed tariffs, if implemented, could catch retailers like Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Michael Kors and Tapestry in the crosshairs.

In the long run, "I don't think that the U.S. ports will be any kind of issue," Binetti said. "The boats will be coming in from Vietnam instead of from China in the same volumes."]]>
7/15/2018 4:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[France, Malta will take 50 rescued migrants each: PM]]>
"France and Malta will respectively take 50 migrants each... other countries will follow very quickly," Conte said on his Facebook page.

Earlier Saturday, Italy and Malta were at loggerheads again over whose responsibility it was to offer the 450 migrants on board the two EU Frontex vessels a safe harbour.

Conte said he had spent the day in contact with his 27 EU peers, reminding them that they had agreed at their end-June summit on the need to share the burden of dealing with the migrant influx.

In a letter addressed to European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and EU President Donald Tusk, Conte demanded others should help and not leave Italy in the lurch.

"In this context which always sees Italy in the frontline of saving lives at sea, I ask you for a clear sign on sharing the responsibility of managing the migrant issue and to envisage the possibility of a port taking in, or to take charge of some of the 450 migrants picked up," he said.

There was no immediate confirmation from the French.

- Send them south -

The migrants, like thousands of others, had set sail from Libya in a single wooden vessel which was identified early Friday while passing through waters under Malta's jurisdiction.

But Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has authority over the country's ports, on Friday refused to let them dock in the latest demonstration of his no-go stance on accepting more migrants.

Silvini insisted instead that the two Frontex vessels be instructed to "head south, to Libya or Malta".

"We need an act of justice, of respect and of courage to fight against these human traffickers and generate a European intervention," he said in talks with Conte, according to reports carried by Italian news agencies.

Cited by the Italian media, cabinet sources said Conte was going to push for them to be immediately transferred to other European countries, otherwise they would not be allowed to land.

In an exchange of messages, emails and phone calls on Friday, Rome had pushed Valletta to take responsibility for those on board the wooden boat.

But Malta said the ship was much closer to the Italian island of Lampedusa, and on Saturday, insisted it had respected "all of its obligations under international conventions" concerning those rescued at sea.

- Jumping overboard -

On Saturday morning, as the two Frontex vessels approached the boat, several migrants threw themselves overboard, prompting immediate efforts to rescue them from the water, Italian sources said.

Eight women and children were taken to Lampedusa for medical treatment.

The latest standoff came just hours after 67 migrants were allowed to disembark from an Italian coast guard ship in Sicily late on Thursday.

Salvini, who took office when Italy's new populist government came to power on June 1, wants to block any further migrant arrivals by boat and has banned NGO rescue ships from docking in Italian ports, accusing them of aiding human traffickers.

Last month, the French rescue ship Aquarius and the German boat Lifeline, who between them were carrying hundreds of migrants, were forced to divert to Spain and Malta respectively after Italy turned them away.

Italy, Greece and Spain have been on the front line of the migrant crisis, with Europe deeply divided over how to share the burden of the massive influx of people seeking a new life in Europe.

Separately, Spanish rescuers saved more than 340 migrants in the Mediterranean on Saturday.]]>
7/15/2018 4:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. court order brings faster reunions of immigrant parents and children]]>
But caseworkers at Cayuga Centers in New York, where the boy had been placed, told her lawyer that the government’s vetting process for reunification would take time. Fingerprint collection and analysis alone could take 60 days, and there would also be background checks of all the adults with whom she and her son would stay. It would likely be weeks before her son could be returned to her.

“I didn’t want to believe that could be true,” said Padilla, who comes from Honduras and is seeking asylum in the United States. “It hurt so much to even think it could be 60 days.”

That estimate changed abruptly on Thursday night after a federal judge’s order that the government streamline some vetting procedures for reunifying parents and children. Padilla’s lawyer, Leta Sanchez, received a call from Cayuga Centers’ general counsel saying the case had been referred for expedited processing.

On Saturday, Padilla and her son, Jelsin, were reunited at the Seattle airport, where he was flown from New York.

"It was like my heart was going to come out of my body,” Padilla said, speaking through a translator at the airport after the reunion.

Several immigration attorneys reached by Reuters said they had seen similar expedited reunions following a July 10 order by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in a case brought against the government by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The judge had previously ordered the government to reunify by July 26 as many as 2,500 immigrant children it had separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. The separations were part of President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, though some of the separated families are also asylum seekers. That policy was abandoned in June in the wake of widespread protests.

On July 10, after examining how an initial wave of reunifications of young children had gone, Sabraw concluded that government vetting policies could be streamlined to speed the process.

Reunifications should not be delayed by “lengthy background checks,” the judge wrote, noting that such checks would not have been performed if the parents and children had never been separated.

Like Padilla, Yeni Gonzalez and Rosayra Pablo-Cruz were also beneficiaries of that order, their attorney believes.

FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER

New York attorney Jose Orochena received an email on Thursday evening saying his clients’ children, who ranged in age from 5 to 15, had been cleared for release and reunification. The next day it was confirmed that Gonzalez and Pablo-Cruz, both Guatemalan asylum seekers, could take their children home that day.

Orochena had been told by case workers at Cayuga just a few days earlier that his clients would have to undergo thorough background checks that included income verification and home studies, and that the process would take up to 60 days.

"It went from one extreme," he said, in which the government required extensive and time-consuming vetting, to "just show me a birth certificate that she's mom. We'll take her word for it. We'll let her go home with her kids."

Health and Human Services official Chris Meekins said in a court filing on Friday that the government had modified its vetting procedures to comply with the July 10 court order, but he warned that the more rapid process "materially increases the risk of harm to children" and could result in children being placed in abusive environments or with adults who are not their parents.

Judge Sabraw disputed that assertion in a sternly worded order late Friday night, saying streamlined measures did not need to jeopardize child safety. He said parentage should still be verified and accused the government of “attempting to provide cover ... for their own conduct in the practice of family separation, and the lack of foresight and infrastructure necessary to remedy the harms caused by that practice.”

REUNION IN NEW YORK

On Friday, Pablo-Cruz emerged from a New York shelter beaming and holding hands with her two sons, ages 15 and 5, after two months apart from them.

During their separation, her lawyer said, 15-year-old Jordy and his mother had agreed to tell the younger Fernando that his mother was away from them because of work, thinking he would find that less alarming. When the family was reunited, Orochena said, Jordy engulfed his mother and sobbed for what “seemed like years.”

On Saturday after learning that 6-year-old Jelsin Padilla had boarded his plane to Seattle and would arrive midday, his mother’s attorney was pleased but cautious.

“This is a happy ending,” said Sanchez, “but we need to keep remembering there are so many parents out there that are still separated from their children.”]]>
7/15/2018 2:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Israel and Gaza militants agree to end fierce flare-up of fighting]]>
But several hours after the announcement, the Israeli military said Palestinians fired two mortar bombs towards Israel and that it responded by striking the weapon used in the attack in the southern Gaza Strip. There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

Palestinian health officials said earlier that two teenagers had been killed by one air strike in what was one of the worst flare-ups since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not respond to a request for comment.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters: "Efforts by many parties have continued since the beginning of the escalation and the Israeli bombardment on Gaza. They were crowned by the success of the Egyptian effort to restore calm and end the escalation."

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said in a separate statement that a truce had been reached.

A senior Israeli defence official said: "Only the facts on the ground will dictate our further response."

The surge in violence followed mounting public criticism of Netanyahu over failure to counter a new Palestinian tactic: incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza that have burned crops and scrubland in southern Israel.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed on Saturday, Gaza health officials said, in one of more than 40 air strikes carried out in Gaza by the Israeli military since Friday.

OVER 100 ROCKETS

The military said some 100 rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel, where many residents have reinforced rooms in their homes but only seconds to reach them between the time sirens blare and missiles land.

Some of the projectiles were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system, but police said three people had been wounded in the southern town of Sderot.

"After consultations with the defence minister, the chief of staff and Israel's top defence officials, we decided on powerful action against Hamas terrorism," Netanyahu said in a video statement.

"The Israeli armed forces delivered the strongest blow against Hamas since (the 2014 Gaza war) and we will increase the intensity of our attacks as necessary."

But Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said the Israeli attacks should not be seen as the start of a military campaign against the Palestinian territory of 2 million, devastated by seven weeks of war with Israel four years ago.

"We are not in a (military) operation. The activity we are engaged in now sends a message that Israel will not tolerate rockets, explosive devices, mortar bombs or (incendiary) kites," Katz said on Israel's Channel 12 TV.

"The action we are taking draws a clear red line: that from now on, we will not allow this." Blasts from Israel's air strikes shook homes and shattered windows in Gaza, where plumes of smoke rose from the sites of the explosions.

BUILDING BOMBED

The Israeli military said one air strike had hit a high-rise building in al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, describing the target as a Hamas urban warfare training facility with a tunnel underneath.

Health officials in Gaza said the building was empty, but two Palestinians aged 15 and 16, among a crowd in a nearby public park, were killed. Around 10 other passers-by were wounded, the officials said. Nearby houses were damaged.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the military had warned people before the attack to leave the area. "We have no intention to harm anyone who is not a terrorist," he said.

Rocket warning sirens went off in the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, about 12 km (7 miles) from the enclave, further north than in recent attacks. A police spokesman said no hits had been recorded in the city.

Hamas stopped short of claiming responsibility for the rocket fire, but Barhoum earlier called it "an immediate response by the resistance to the escalation" by Israel and a deterrence to further Israeli attacks. "Bombardment for bombardment," he said.

The fighting began on Friday, when thousands of Palestinians gathered at the Israel-Gaza border area for weekly protests that have now entered their fourth month.

The Israeli military said Friday's protesters were throwing burning tyres, stones, explosive devices and fire bombs at its soldiers and that one of its officers was wounded by a Palestinian grenade hurled across the border fence.

Hours later, Israel launched air strikes in Gaza.

Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the weekly protests to distract from governance problems and provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks. Hamas denies this.

More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the protests. There have been no Israeli fatalities during the so-called "Great March of Return" demonstrations. ]]>
7/15/2018 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian village hunts down snakes after 1 death, 8 injuries]]>
A number of villagers in Minyat Assa’id have been attacked by snakes during this summer; eight were injured.

The snakes are spread in different parts of the village due to the presence of some deserted places such as drainage canals, according to some villagers.

The injured are sent to Al Mahmoudia Public Hospital, which is eight kilometers away from the village, as there is no health unit inside the village, causing a lack of first aids and antitoxins. Mahmoudia Public Hospital treats those who are exposed to snake bites with anti-snake venom serum and Antihypertensives.



How residents of the village deal with snakes

The residents of the village hunted about 60 snakes during the last two weeks, in a very primitive way and have killed them, putting the villagers at risk. Some snake hunters from different villages came to offer help hunting the snakes.

People try to hunt snakes amidst crops and fields, especially in the hot summer, to prevent them reaching their houses, where most consist of one floor.

Picture: Residents of the village hunt the snakes/ CC ET
Snake-hunting professionals and experts said that hunting snakes requires professional ways to keep the hunters safe from snakes’ attacks.

Islam Maghraby, a snake hunter who came from another village to offer his help, said that the village needs excavators to remove the pile of sand that accumulated years ago and which is a habitat for snakes.


Hunting snakes: Eggs vs. Tuna

Beheira governor Nadia Abdo formed a specialized technical committee that includes representatives from Al Mahmoudia city local unit, directorates of veterinary medicine, health and agriculture, and professors from the Faculty of Agriculture at Damanhour University.

The committee ended up buying 5,000 eggs, and injected them with poisonous substances, the eggs were distributed inside terriers that may include the snakes and warned the residents about using these toxic eggs, Masrawy reported .

Unfortunately this was not successful, so they used snake traps. The traps consists of an empty deep barrel that has attracting odors for snakes such as toxic tuna, with a number of fixed empty pipes above the barrel.

Beheira governor Nadia Abdo said earlier this month in a telephone interview for “With Pen and Paper” TV program on Ten TV, that the snakes crisis should not worry citizens since snakes are in different parts of the country, and the one boy who lost his life in the village died because he stayed 12 hours at home before going to the hospital.


Abdo told Egypt Today that the governorate will work on cleaning and disinfecting canals and drains in Minyat Assa’id village, and removing agriculture waste, cooperating with veterinarians and professors from the Faculty of Agriculture at Damanhour University, to prevent the spread of harmful reptiles, through chemical or biological ways.

She added that they are coordinating with Alexandria Poison Center Faculty of Medicine at Alexandria University to receive emergent cases, and provide Al Mahmoudia Public Hospital with the needed anti-snake venom serums.


]]>
7/15/2018 12:37:34 AM
<![CDATA[Haiti's prime minister quits amid backlash over fuel price protests]]>
In a speech to the Lower Chamber that was broadcast live on television, Lafontant defended his tenure but said that Haiti's President Jovenel Moise had accepted his resignation.

"As I told you, I am at service to the Republic," Lafontant said.

Earlier this month, the Haitian government announced a reduction of fuel subsidies as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The move translated to a 38 percent rise in gasoline prices and 47 percent hike for diesel, triggering protests during which demonstrators barricaded roads, looted stores and set cars ablaze in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The unrest caused embassies to close and airlines to suspend flights to Haiti for days.

Lafontant announced a temporary reversal of the policy in a bid to quell the demonstrations, but the protests continued. A no-confidence vote in his leadership had been scheduled for Saturday, according to the Miami Herald.

The IMF said on Thursday that it expects Haiti to create a revised reform plan that will include a gradual lowering of fuel subsidies.

A medical doctor and political novice, Lafontant became prime minister in March 2017 with ambitious plans to boost agricultural production, improve infrastructure and expand access to clean water.]]>
7/15/2018 12:27:17 AM
<![CDATA[14 railway officials referred to investigation over Giza train crash]]>
The suspects list includes head of Egyptian Railways Authority, operations general manager, maintenance general manager, Giza operations’ manager, head of stations department, managre of blocks department, head of Marazeeq Station, monitor of Marazeeq Station and other technicians responsible for operating the station.

The minister revealed that an

error in the operational signal system

could be the reason behind the incident, adding that all responsible for the incident will be held accountable after the end of investigations.

The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza on Friday.

Egypt’s railway needs an electronic system to reduce human errors, the minister said, adding that the government has allocated LE 17 billion ($951.5 million) to upgrade the signal system, which is the main cause of most of train accidents in Egypt.

"The investigations and the technical committees will determine the causes. A similar incident took place in Beheira when someone entered the control room and did something wrong that led to it (the accident),” he said.

Forty-two injured people were discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, while 16 others still remain under observation, Minister of Health Hala Zayed said while paying a visit to the patients at the hospitals.

The majority of the injured people suffer from fractures and bruises due to commuters’ stampede caused by the train derailment.

In February, two trains collided in Beheira governorate killing at least 15 people and wounding 40 others. In November 2017, two trains collided in Alexandria, leaving more than 40 fatalities and 170 injuries. Investigations with 10 officials from the Egyptian Railway Authority about the accident revealed that the driver of one of the trains, Emad Helmy, was the cause of the accident.]]>
7/14/2018 10:23:25 PM
<![CDATA[FIFA president says World Cup changed perception of Russia]]>
"The second thing that has changed, and this is also very important, is the perception that the world has about Russia. And the witnesses are here in this room," he said.
]]>
7/14/2018 10:21:44 PM
<![CDATA[Protesters storm provincial government building in Iraqi city of Karbala]]>
Protests over poor government services and corruption, which had spread to the Shi'ite holy city on Saturday, entered their sixth consecutive day in several cities in Iraq's southern provinces.
]]>
7/14/2018 9:14:22 PM
<![CDATA[Police arrest murderers of Giza children, mother involved]]>
Earlier Saturday, police unveiled the mystery of the three killed children found on Marioteya Road, Giza, saying that it was an attempt by mother of the children to get rid of their bodies after being burnt and have suffocated to death in fires caught their apartment.

“By focusing the search, we found out that the children were burnt and suffocated to death after fires broke out in their apartment while the mother was absent,” a security source told Egypt Today, adding that the mother thrown away the children’s bodies with her lady friend; not to be legally prosecuted.

The third suspect is the driver of the rickshaw seen throwing the dead bodies in the morning of July 10, who turned himself in and identified the women, denying being aware of their crime. “I only gave them a lift,” he told investigators.

On July 10, three dead children of age less than five years old were found inside black trash bags thrown in the streets on Marioteya Road, Giza, where some people have recognized some stray dogs gathering around trash bags that morning.



The bodies were badly decomposed which indicates that the children died a few days ago, according to security investigations. The forensic report proved that the children were burnt and suffocated to death, suggesting that they were trapped in a place where a fire broke out.

A committee of many high-ranking security officers was formed to investigate the mysterious death of the three children, hear eyewitnesses, and check the surveillance cameras positioned near the scene.

The incident sparked groundless rumors that the three children were victims of organ trafficking gangs. The youngest of the three children was only one and a half years old, according to the preliminary forensic report.

Refuting Organ trafficking possibility, a security source said that the body of one of the three children was found to be without any holes, adding that perhaps the holes found in the other two victims’ bodies were caused by the stray dogs or any other factors.]]>
7/14/2018 9:09:15 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey's Erdogan says targeting Idlib could destroy accord ]]>
"President Erdogan stressed that the targeting of civilians in Deraa was worrying and said that if the Damascus regime targeted Idlib in the same way the essence of the Astana accord could be completely destroyed," the source said.
]]>
7/14/2018 8:28:49 PM
<![CDATA[Trump plays golf in Scotland ahead of Putin summit amid Russian meddling claims]]>
In an uproarious trip to Europe, Trump harangued members of the NATO military alliance, scolded Germany for its dependence on Russian energy and shocked Britain by publicly criticising Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy.

Trump apologised to May for the furore over his withering public critique, blaming "fake news" and promising instead a bilateral trade agreement with Britain after it leaves the European Union in March.

While Trump took tea with Queen Elizabeth, a U.S. federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with stealing data from the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump has repeatedly said the investigation into suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election - which he casts as a "rigged witch hunt" - makes it hard for him to do substantive deals with Moscow.

After meeting the queen at Windsor Castle, Trump headed to Scotland, where his mother, Mary Anne, was born. Trump, wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with "USA", was seen by two Reuters reporters playing golf on his Turnberry Trump course.

Describing golf as "my primary form of exercise," Trump wrote on Twitter: "The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible! Tomorrow I go to Helsinki for a Monday meeting with Vladimir Putin."

While at the Turnberry course on Friday evening, an activist for the Greenpeace environmental campaign group swooped on a powered parachute within a few hundred yards of the president as he stood outside the golf course's hotel.

Trump moved calmly inside as the parachute approached, surrounded by his security detail. British police said they were trying to trace the pilot.

PROTESTS

After tens of thousands of people marched peacefully against Trump in central London, more protests are planned on Saturday. A blimp depicting Trump as an orange, snarling baby was raised in the Scottish capital where hundreds protested.

At Turnberry, Trump waved at protesters who were chanting "No Trump" just a few hundred yards away on a beach beside the course. He appeared to say something to them. They booed.

"I'm here as a quiet protester to say: I really don't want this man in our country," said Graham Creelman, 70, who joined a small protest on the beach.

"The government needs to take a stand against appalling attitudes and appalling behaviour, and we're not doing it."

British Trade Secretary Liam Fox said anti-Trump protesters were an embarrassment to themselves as they had shown bad manners to the leader of the free world.

Around 100 supporters of Trump, some wearing "Make Britain Great Again" hats, expressed their admiration for the president opposite the U.S. embassy in London.

DONALD AND VLADIMIR

Trump and Putin, who control the world's two biggest nuclear arsenals, are due to meet in the Finnish capital, a venue that evokes memories of Cold War showdowns between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Trump, a 72-year-old former New York real estate developer who praises his own dealmaking skills, and Putin, a 65-year-old former KGB spy who cultivates a macho image as a Russian man of action, are due to have some time alone at the summit.

In the most detailed U.S. accusation to date that Moscow meddled in the presidential election, a federal grand jury said Russian military intelligence agency officers covertly monitored computers of Clinton's campaign and Democratic campaign committees, and stole large amounts of data.

The charges shine an even greater spotlight on Trump's treatment of Putin, who has repeatedly denied Russia sought to intervene or skew the U.S. election that Trump, a Republican, unexpectedly won.

Trump questioned why Barack Obama had not acted on claims of Russian meddling if the FBI had informed the then president ahead of the 2016 election. He also asked where the Democratic National Committee server now was.

"Why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep State?" Trump asked on Twitter.

When asked at a news conference on Friday whether he would tell Putin to stay out of U.S. elections, Trump said "yes."

The president also indicated he did not expect much progress on the issue. "I will absolutely bring that up," Trump told reporters. "I don’t think you’ll have any 'Gee, I did it. I did it. You got me.'"

(Additional reporting by James Davey, Alex Fraser and Michael Holden in London, Writing by Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Mark Potter and Edmund Blair)]]>
7/14/2018 5:26:00 PM
<![CDATA[Israeli air strikes hit Gaza after bloody border protests]]>
The army said it was "currently striking terror targets in the Gaza Strip", without giving further details, following an assault on the territory earlier in the day.

According to Palestinian security sources and witnesses, fighter jets struck Hamas targets without causing any injuries.

The Israeli bombardment came as rockets and mortars were lobbed into southern Israel from the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

Sirens warning Israeli residents to take shelter rang out in all areas bordering Gaza, the army wrote on Twitter.

The escalation followed further protests on the Gaza border on Friday, in which two Palestinians were killed and more than 220 injured according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Strip.

A 15-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during the demonstrations and a 20-year-old died Saturday of gunshot wounds sustained during the protest, the health ministry said.

The Israeli military said one of its soldiers was injured by a grenade.

Israel hits Gaza tunnels

Early on Saturday the Israeli military said it conducted strikes against Hamas "in response to the terror acts instigated during the violent riots that took place along the security fence" on Friday.

It also cited "continuous arson attacks damaging Israeli territory on a daily basis with the launching of arson balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory".

In the morning raids Israeli fighter jets struck two "Hamas terror tunnels", one in southern Gaza and another in the north, as well as other infrastructure across the coastal territory.

It said targets included "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".

During the morning strikes, militants in Gaza fired a total of 31 mortar rounds at Israel, the military said, adding that six were intercepted by its Iron Dome air defence system.

Israeli media reports said no one was injured in those attacks.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the group was responsible for the mortar fire on Israel and that they were carried out "in response to the Israeli air strikes".

"The protection and the defence of our people is a national duty and a strategic choice," Barhoum said.

Grenades and flaming tyres

Palestinians in Gaza have for months been demonstrating against Israel's decade-long blockade of the territory and in support of their right to return to lands they fled or were driven from during the war surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

The majority were involved in protests and clashes but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.

No Israelis have been killed.

Israel's army said grenades, Molotov cocktails, flaming tyres and stones have been hurled in the direction of its soldiers.

Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.

It accuses Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas of seeking to use the protests as cover for attacks against Israel.

Hamas has run Gaza since seizing it from the Palestinian Authority amid deadly clashes in 2007.

Since then, Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza which it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.]]>
7/14/2018 4:40:27 PM
<![CDATA[24 MB members sentenced to 25 years in prison]]>
Sharqia Court is headed by Judges Alaa Shougaa, Mohamed Mostafa and Ashraf Ebeid.

Sharqia’s security director received a notification from Sharqia police station commissioner that the Muslim Brotherhood group were demonstrating and inciting violence and damaging public and private properties.

3 court rulings issued against MB's Badie over terror-related charges in July

CAIRO - 13 July 2018: Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie will be handed down three final court rulings in July over crime-related charges. Badie, 74, was the eighth leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organization. He became leader of the organization in 2010 after the death of his predecessor, Madi Akef.




Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie will be handed down three final court rulings in July over crime-related charges.

Badie, 74, was the eighth leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organization. He became leader of the organization in 2010 after the death of his predecessor, Madi Akef. He was arrested on Aug. 19, 2013 as part of a nation-wide crackdown on Brotherhood leaders in the wake of increasing violence and protests after two Brotherhood sit-ins were forcefully dispersed on Aug. 14, 2013.

On July 28, the South Cairo Criminal Court will give its ruling against Badie and 738 co-defendants in a trial dubbed in the media as “The Rabaa Sit-in Dispersal Case”. The defendants face charges of “staging an armed gathering in Rabaa Square, illegally possessing and handling weapons, blocking driveways, and deliberately vandalizing public property, along with other counts relating to murdering policemen and citizens.”

On July 29, a Cairo Criminal Court will issue its ruling in the “Al-Bahr al-Azam Case”, in which Badie and eight other Brotherhood members are being retried. In September 2014, the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment over charges of “inciting clashes” in al-Bahr al-Azam district, Giza, causing the death of five people. However, the Court of Cassation overturned the verdicts on Nov. 8, 2015.

How Muslim Brotherhood lost people's trust in 2 years

CAIRO - 13 July 2018: A year after millions of Egyptians headed to polling stations to vote for former President Mohamed Morsi in 2012, millions including former Morsi supporters took to the streets on June 30, 2013, calling on him to "leave" his post.




On the same day, a Minya Criminal Court in Upper Egypt will make its final ruling in the third trial dubbed as “El Idwa Incidents,” in which Badie and 682 co-defendants were charged with inciting violence. They are also charged with storming a number of state-owned institutions, such as the agriculture unit, veterinary center and the real estate office in the city.

Following the Rabaa sit-in dispersal on Aug. 14, 2013, the city of El Idwa in Minya governorate witnessed acts of violence and vandalism, during which a police station was attacked and a police officer was killed. In April 2014, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced all defendants to death. However, a retrial was ordered after overturning the ruling by the Court of Cassation. ]]>
7/14/2018 4:30:23 PM
<![CDATA[Putin hosts Abbas in Moscow, days after Netanyahu visit]]>
"I'm glad of the opportunity to tell you about the contact we have had with your neighbours, and leaders of various countries," Putin told him as they met at the Kremlin, in quotes carried by Russian agencies.

"I know that the situation in the region is difficult and we are grateful that you have used the World Cup as a reason to come to Moscow," Putin said, adding that he was glad of the opportunity to discuss the problems facing the Palestinians.

Abbas told the Russian leader of his concerns over US President Donald Trump's decision to move the country's embassy to Jerusalem, as well as Israeli settlement activity.

"We are resisting attempts by the Americans to impose their decisions on the most sensitive problems of Palestine," Russian news agencies quoted him as saying in translated remarks.

Netanyahu was in Moscow on Wednesday where the situation in Syria and Palestinian relations were on the agenda of his meeting with Putin.

Israel's military renewed airstrikes targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon a day after fierce clashes along the border in which two Palestinians were killed, one of them a teenager.

More than 220 others were injured according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Strip.]]>
7/14/2018 4:19:43 PM
<![CDATA[40 disabled persons will train to integrate into labor market: Min.]]>
This announcement comes during the initiative for training and rehabilitation with special abilities under the title “Egypt with You is Most Beautiful” which is held from July 14 to July 19.

The opening ceremony was attended by Khalid Al Masry, director of Manpower Directorate, Sharkia Governorate.

The Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saffan clarified that the training comes in accordance with the protocol of cooperation between the ministry and the fund of training and rehabilitation to raise the awareness of people with special abilities to qualify them to participate in the work development.

The minister also explained that the training program will teach them how to set up medium and small projects to qualify them for the labor market.

In the same context, on July 12, the minister of manpower also said in a television interview that the ministry will train youth to maintain industries that have disappeared such as the glass industry, adding that the ministry will deploy those industries in the governorates.

]]>
7/14/2018 4:07:05 PM
<![CDATA[Retrial of 5 defendants in Zeitoun terrorist cell adjourned to August 4]]>
The defendants were accused of adopting an armed jihadist ideology and committing an armed robbery at a jeweler's shop in Cairo's district of Zeitoun, killing its owner and injuring three others.

State security prosecution had accused the defendants of forming a terrorist group called "Regiment of Loyalty and Disavowal" (Sareyet Al-Walaa wa Al-Bara') that called for revolting against the ruler and changing the ruling regime by force.

The defendants were also accused of monitoring Egypt's oil pipelines and ship movements in the Suez Canal in order to plan attacks on oil facilities and ships.

The defendants, according to the prosecution, sought to disable the constitution and state institutions and assault the police and tourists. ]]>
7/14/2018 3:39:18 PM
<![CDATA[Italy rescues migrants, asks other countries to host them: source]]>
A ship operated by EU border agency Frontex and a vessel owned by Italy's tax police picked up the migrants near the Italian island of Linosa and more than 100 nautical miles from Malta, which rejected pressure from Rome on Friday to rescue them.

Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is leading a high-profile campaign to exclude humanitarian rescue ships from Italian ports and has said the migrants will not be allowed to land in Italy.

Eight of the migrants who needed medical assistance were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa for treatment, the source said.

The source, who asked not to be named, said Salvini had spoken with Conte on the telephone about how to resolve the situation.

"The migrants could be distributed immediately among European countries, or Italy would contact Libya to send them back to where they came from," the source said.

A third option would be to leave the migrants on the ships temporarily while their asylum requests are considered, the source added.

The source said Conte would write to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and other European heads of state to urge them to apply the European principles on migrants that were restated at a summit in June.

"Italy is no longer willingly to take on, alone, a problem that affects all European countries," the source said.

Late on Friday, Malta said the people travelling on the packed vessel were Italy's responsibility.

In two similar stand-offs between Rome and Valletta since Italy's new populist government took office, migrants ended up in Spain and in Malta.

According to international law, refugees cannot be returned to a place where their lives are in danger. Both the United Nations and EU have acknowledged that Libya is not safe.

Earlier this week, however, Salvini asked EU interior ministers to declare Libya a place of safety where migrants can be taken after they are picked up at sea. German, Austrian and French ministers agreed it could be done, Salvini said.]]>
7/14/2018 3:32:50 PM
<![CDATA[Orphans reported absent as probe continues in Giza children case]]>
It was also revealed that the orphanage that hosted the absent children is unlicensed and illegally raising donations.

On July 10, three dead children of age less than five years old were found inside black trash bags thrown in the streets on Marioteya Road, Giza.

The bodies were badly decomposed which indicates that the children died a few days ago, according to security investigations. The forensic report proved that the children were burnt and suffocated to death, suggesting that they were trapped in a place where a fire broke out.

A number of forensic pathologists said they have collected DNA samples, to compare them with that of the families whose children were reported lost. The group said that the final report would be issued within two weeks.

A committee of many high-ranking security officers was formed to investigate the mysterious death of the three children, hear eyewitnesses, and check the surveillance cameras positioned near the scene.]]>
7/14/2018 2:41:11 PM
<![CDATA[Error in operation signal system may be behind train accident: Min.]]>
The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza on Friday.

Egypt’s railway needs an electronic system to reduce human errors, the minister said, adding that the government has allocated LE 17 billion ($951.5 million) to upgrade the signal system, which is the main cause of most of train accidents in Egypt.

"The investigations and the technical committees will determine the causes. A similar incident took place in Beheira when someone entered the control room and did something wrong that led to it (the accident),” he said.

Forty-two injured people were discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, while 16 others still remain under observation, Minister of Health Hala Zayed said while paying a visit to the patients at the hospitals.

The majority of the injured people suffer from fractures and bruises due to commuters’ stampede caused by the train derailment.

In February, two trains collided in Beheira governorate killing at least 15 people and wounding 40 others. In November 2017, two trains collided in Alexandria, leaving more than 40 fatalities and 170 injuries. Investigations with 10 officials from the Egyptian Railway Authority about the accident revealed that the driver of one of the trains, Emad Helmy, was the cause of the accident.

Timeline: 2 trains collided in Beheira leaving 15 dead

CAIRO - 28 February 2018: Two trains collided in Beheira governorate killing at least 15 people and wounding 40 others on Wednesday, according to the transport minister's spokesperson, Mohamed Ezz. Eyewitnesses reported that two separate passenger train carriages swerved out of the railways and crashed into a cargo train.





In March, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the upgrading of Egypt’s railways require huge funds, ranging from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion).

During the inauguration of the first phase of the New Alamein City, Sisi added that there is not enough money for the rehabilitation of rail lines, adding that he will raise money from passenger rail networks to be able to develop network lines.

Sisi: LE 250bln needed to upgrade Egypt's rail lines

CAIRO - 2 March 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said on Thursday that Egypt's rail lines require funds from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion) to upgrade them.



]]>
7/14/2018 2:40:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian fishing boat, 3 fishermen missing for 9 days ]]>
The Egyptian owner of the boat was in a partnership with a Libyan man to run this boat. After ending the partnership term on Sunday July 1, the boat moved from Misurata port heading to Egypt and has not reached Egypt until now, Nassar added.

No news has been received about the fishermen for nine days; the boat was scheduled to return to the Governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh in Egypt on July 6, he ended, urging Egyptian officials to look for the boat and save the fishermen.

]]>
7/14/2018 2:22:10 PM
<![CDATA[Trump congratulates Egyptians on National Day]]>
Egyptians celebrate their national day on July 23, the anniversary of the 1952 Revolution when Egypt declared its republic to put an end to the monarchy after overthrowing King Farouk I.

The Egyptian Embassy organized a celebration on the occasion of the Egyptian National Day, which was attended by Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, and Yael Lempert, the acting deputy assistant secretary for Egypt and the Maghreb.

37076028_1680268155354602_978792887498047488_n
Egyptian ambassador to Washington D.C. and his wife (L) and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Terner Mnuchin and his wife (R) during a celebration held at the Egyptian embassy’s headquarters in Washington on the occasion of the July 23 Revolution - Press photo


Lempert has read Trump’s message during the celebration, which was attended also by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Terner Mnuchin, and a number of congressmen, former ministers and leaders, the statement added.

Egyptian Ambassador to Washington Yasser Reda delivered a speech in which he praised the historic friendship and relations between the Egyptian and American peoples. He expressed his hope that these relations will be enhanced over the coming years, giving gratitude to all Egyptian diplomats and community and U.S. officials and diplomats who worked with him during his diplomatic mission.

On June 21, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Jared Kushner, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, and Jason Greenblatt, the special representative for international negotiations to discuss the Palestinian issue.

kushner
Egyptian ambassador to Washington D.C. and his wife (L) and Secretary of the Treasury meets Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump (R), during a celebration held at the Egyptian embassy’s headquarters in Washington on the occasion of the July 23 Revolution - Press photo


Kushner reviewed with President Sisi the efforts of the U.S. Administration to push forward the resumption of the negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, and to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, according to presidential spokesman Bassam Radi.

During the meeting, Sisi affirmed supporting the international initiatives aiming to achieve a fair and comprehensive settlement between the two states according to the internationally recognized standards and the two-state solution along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

President Sisi stressed that achieving a just and comprehensive settlement to such a pivotal issue will help achieve stability and security in various countries in the region, Radi added.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Abbas Kamel, acting head of General Intelligence Service, also attended the meeting.
]]>
7/14/2018 12:27:41 PM
<![CDATA[Eritrea president says during Ethiopia visit: "History is being made"]]>
"Words cannot express the joy we are feeling now. History is being made as we speak," Isaias said during a lunch hosted by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

"Lives have perished but we are lucky to observe today ... We are one people - whoever forgets that does not understand our situation." ]]>
7/14/2018 12:17:08 PM
<![CDATA[Trump in Scotland on next leg of contentious UK trip]]>
Trump is staying at one of his luxury golf resorts in Turnberry, southwest of Glasgow, in a private part of the trip before heading for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a fierce critic of Trump, has refused to meet him and he was instead met at Glasgow airport by a British government representative.

A major anti-Trump rally is planned in Edinburgh on Saturday after a mass protest in London Friday that organisers said drew more than 250,000 people.

A pro-Trump demonstration is also due to be held in London by alt-right campaigners, as well as a counter, anti-fascism protest.

In an extraordinary interview with Friday's edition of The Sun tabloid, Britain's most widely read newspaper, Trump said May's plan for post-Brexit ties with the EU would "probably kill" prospects for a UK-US trade deal.

He also said former foreign minister Boris Johnson, who resigned over the plan earlier this week and is a potential challenger to May, would make "a great prime minister".

Trump said he had advised May to take a different strategy on Brexit, telling the paper: "I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me".

The unprecedented criticism comes at a particularly sensitive time for May, who is facing a rebellion by Brexit hardliners against her proposals to retain strong trading ties with the EU even after Britain leaves the bloc.

After meeting May at her Chequers country retreat outside London on Friday, Trump sounded more conciliatory, saying that bilateral relations "have never been stronger".

"Whatever you do is okay with us, just make sure we can trade together, that's all that matters," he told May.

"The United States looks forward to finalising a great bilateral trade deal," he said, and repeatedly praised May's leadership, saying she was a "terrific woman".

- 'Global Scot' -

Trump is staying at the Turnberry golf resort -- the same course he inaugurated on June 24, 2016, a day after the referendum in which Britain voted to leave the EU.

Discord over his other golf course in Scotland dating back over a decade means there is little love lost between Trump and the pro-independence government in Scotland.

In 2006, the billionaire real estate tycoon bought 1,400 acres (567 hectares) of land near Aberdeen and promised to build "the world's best golf course".

The proposal was welcomed by the government at the time and Trump was named a "Global Scot" business ambassador.

But local councillors rejected the plan amid fierce opposition from conservationists and neighbouring residents.

The SNP government overturned the councillors' decision shortly after golf-loving nationalist Alex Salmond took control, kicking off a short and tempestuous bromance with Trump who called Salmond "an amazing man".

However, the relationship cooled when Trump's promise to create 6,000 jobs and invest £1 billion failed to materialise, and Trump began interfering with the SNP's flagship plan to make Scotland a renewable energy powerhouse.

The Trump Organisation has spent around £100 million on the course, known as Trump International Golf Links, and employed around 650 temporary and permanent staff -- but the company insists the resort remains a work in progress.

- 'I am the evidence' -

Three years later Trump visited the Scottish Parliament to complain about plans to build 11 "ugly" offshore wind turbines near his newly minted Aberdeenshire resort, insisting the development would do "terrible damage" to Scottish tourism.

Trump declared "I am the evidence" when Scottish lawmakers asked him to back up his assertion that the wind farm would "destroy the financial wellbeing of Scotland".

Sturgeon, who rescinded Trump's "Global Scot" title after he pledged to cut Muslim immigration into the United States, switched on the first wind turbine last week.

"A famous golf course owner from America who, I think, has now turned his hand to politics, decided to take the Scottish government to court to try to block these wind turbines," she told reporters.

"The Scottish government beat that American golf course owner in court... and these amazing wind turbines generated their first electricity," she said.]]>
7/14/2018 12:01:50 PM
<![CDATA[Slight rise in temperature on Saturday, Cairo 36°C]]>
Clouds are low in northern Egypt. Winds are moderate northeasterly, active in Western coasts of the country and Gulf of Suez which may cause a disturbance in navigation there.

The Red Sea’s wavelength will be varied between mild to volatile, with 1.5 meters to two meters, and northwesterly surface winds.

The Mediterranean Sea will be moderate, with a wavelength of two to 2.5 meters and northwesterly surface winds.

Following is the weather forecast on Saturday in some governorates (in degrees Celsius);

Cairo: 35°C- 24°C

Alexandria: 31°C - 25°C

Luxor: 39°C - 26°C

Aswan: 39°C - 27°C

Qena: 38°C - 25°C

Hurghada: 38°C - 27°C

Sharm El Sheikh: 37°C - 28°C

Al Minya: 37°C - 23°C

Suez: 36°C - 24°C

Halayeb: 36°C - 30°C

Shalateen: 38°C - 28°C

Sunday Weather

Although Saturday will see a hot weather, weather forecast officials expected a good weather on Sunday in north coasts of the country. Temperature degree will remain almost the same in Cairo, with highs of 36°C and lows of 25°C.

Weather will be hot in lower and upper Egypt, with a slight decline in temperatures during the night.
The weather forecast for Alexandria is 31°C day, 25°C night, while in Marsa Matrouh 29°C day, 24°C night.
]]>
7/14/2018 12:00:05 PM
<![CDATA[Tight security ahead of Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki]]>
Thousands of police officers, coastguards and rescue workers who were on vacation have been asked to return, with demonstrators expected to loudly protest the US-Russian presidential meeting -- although on a smaller scale than the huge anti-Trump demonstrations in London earlier this week.

As tourists wander through the sunshine-filled streets, US secret service agents in obligatory dark shades have occasionally been glimpsed appearing to conduct security checks, as have Russian security personal.

Announced at the end of last month, the Trump-Putin summit is the largest event of its kind in the Finnish capital since former US President Bill Clinton and Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin met in 1994.

Many Finns told AFP they were excited the city was hosting the meeting, pleased the country of 5.5 million people will likely be the centre of world attention for at least a few hours on Monday.

Finnish authorities have had to rush to ensure logistics and security are ready on time.

The government on Friday announced it would reintroduce controls for travellers from the Schengen zone, 26 countries which are part of the European free movement area, to "identify people posing risks" during the summit.

Activists will be exempt "as long as they will not pose a threat to public safety and security and do not appear on certain registers and analyses," said deputy head of the Finnish Border Guard Kimmo Elomaa.

The measures were in place on Friday afternoon, according to an AFP correspondent at Helsinki Airport.

"We had only a couple of weeks (to prepare) and it is in the middle of summer... so you can imagine!," Elomaa said.

Nearly 2,000 journalists are due to arrive in the country and, to keep stress-levels down, organisers have installed a sauna in the press centre.

- 'Helsinki calling!'-

More than a dozen demonstrations are planned between Saturday and Monday, and authorities are expected to prevent mass crowds from heading to the yellow 19th century presidential palace overlooking the Baltic Sea, where Trump and Putin will meet.

Uniformed men have been using pressure washers to refresh the building's facade ahead of the summit.

The biggest protest rally, dubbed "Helsinki Calling!", is billed on Sunday as focusing on issues that demonstrators say the presidents neglect: human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, inequality and the fate of refugees.

"In Finland, we treat children as people. We don't put them in cages," said Peter Vesterbacka, one of the creators of the Angry Birds video game, referring to the Trump administration's controversial policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

Sofi Oksanen, author of the internationally acclaimed novel "Purge", is expected to read at the rally texts by the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is jailed in Russia and has been on hunger strike since mid-May.

The protest hopes to attract 15,000 people, but as of Friday only a fraction of that had declared they would attend the event on Facebook.

Mass demonstrations are relatively uncommon in Finland although the Gay Pride parade last month broke an all-time record with 100,000 participants. As it is the summer holidays, a large turnout at the anti-Trump and anti-Putin protests is not expected.

The youth group of the right-wing National Coalition Party said it would take to the streets but only expected a modest number of "between 20 and 30" participants.

"To President Trump we are saying: 'Make America Trade Again', for free trade, against trade war. To President Putin our message is: 'Stop your illegal military occupation in Ukraine'," the group's leader Henrik Vuornos told AFP.

Helsinki police spokesman Juha Hakola said the summit will be "calm and without problems".]]>
7/14/2018 11:58:55 AM
<![CDATA[Cave rescue boys to leave hospital next week: Thai min.]]>
The announcement was made by Thailand's Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

"We need to prepare both the children and their families for the attention they will receive when they come out.", Sakolsatayadorn said.

The children and their 25-year-old football coach were retrieved following a risky three-day operation which concluded on Tuesday. ]]>
7/14/2018 11:52:03 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. lifts ban on suppliers selling to China's ZTE]]>
The Commerce Department removed the ban shortly after ZTE deposited $400 million in a U.S. bank escrow account as part of a settlement reached last month. The settlement also included a $1 billion penalty that ZTE paid to the U.S. Treasury in June.

"The department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE's actions to ensure compliance with all U.S. laws and regulations," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that described the terms of the deal as the strictest ever imposed in such a case.

The terms will allow the department to protect U.S. national security, Ross said.

The administration has clashed with lawmakers from its own party over issues related to China, and this was no different. On Friday, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, criticized the lifting of the ban.

"ZTE should be put out of business. There is no ‘deal’ with a state-directed company that the Chinese government and Communist Party uses to spy and steal from us where Americans come out winning," Rubio said in a statement.

A photograph circulating among employees around midnight showed ZTE's new chief executive and 10 other managers each giving a thumbs-up to the news, which was flashed on a screen at the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The reprieve follows threats by the Trump administration this week to impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a trade war.

ZTE did not respond to requests for comment.

ZTE, which relies on U.S. components for its smart phones and networking gear, ceased major operations after the ban was ordered in April.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in May that he closed down ZTE and let it reopen, although no agreement had been reached. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said last month Trump agreed to lift the ban as a goodwill gesture to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The company had made false statements about disciplining 35 employees involved with illegally shipping U.S.-origin goods to Iran and North Korea, Commerce Department officials said. ZTE pleaded guilty last year over the sanctions violations.

ZTE paid $892 million in penalties to the United States in connection with the 2017 settlement and guilty plea. The latest $1.4 billion deal comes on top of that.

The $400 million will remain in escrow for as long as 10 years to provide the U.S. government access to the money if ZTE violates the June settlement.

On Thursday, ZTE's Hong Kong shares surged about 24 percent after Reuters broke news the United States had signed an escrow agreement that paved the way for ZTE to deposit the $400 million.

ZTE's U.S.-listed shares fell 2.4 percent to $3.70 on Friday. The news came after markets closed in Asia.

Shares of U.S. suppliers Acacia Communications and Lumentum Holdings rose more than 3 percent on the news before ending less than 1 percent higher.

ZTE paid U.S. companies more than $2.3 billion in 2017, including Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp, Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc.

The company, which employs some 80,000 people, got a limited one-month waiver last week to maintain existing networks and equipment.

ZTE has replaced its board of directors and senior management, as required by the June settlement, the Commerce Department noted.

It will now operate with a 10-year suspended ban hanging over its head, which the United States can activate if it finds new violations. The current ban could have lasted seven years.

Many U.S. lawmakers see the company as a national security threat and, on Thursday, a group of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators urged that ZTE's penalties be reinstated.

The U.S. Senate paved the way for a showdown with Trump over the issue last month, when it passed an annual defense policy bill with an amendment attempting to reverse the deal. Its fate is unclear.

Reuters reported on U.S. demands for a deal on June 1, and on June 5, revealed that ZTE had signed a preliminary agreement with the Commerce Department, along with the fine and other terms. It also broke news of the ban in April.

A U.S. investigation into ZTE was launched after Reuters reported in 2012 that the company had signed contracts to ship hardware and software worth millions of dollars to Iran from some of the best-known U.S. technology companies.]]>
7/14/2018 4:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Judge tells U.S. to pay costs of reuniting migrant families]]>
The U.S. government is working to reunite around 2,000 children with their parents, who were detained and separated as part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy to deter what he has said is illegal immigration.

"It doesn't make any sense for any of the parents who have been separated to pay for anything," said U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw at a hearing in San Diego.

Sabraw in June ordered the children reunited by July 26, and the government missed a deadline this week for getting the youngest children back with their parents.

The case stems from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Their lawyer said at Friday's hearing immigrant parents had been told by immigration officials they had to pay for their travel.

One parent was initially asked to pay $1,900 to be reunited with their child, according to court papers from the ACLU.

Sarah Fabian, a lawyer for the government, said those decisions were handled at the field level and said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which houses detained children, had limited resources. She called the judge's order "a huge ask on HHS."

"The government will make it happen," Sabraw responded.

The judge also agreed to impose timelines on the government for reporting details about its reunification efforts.

The government has said its initial reunifications were slowed by the need for DNA testing and criminal background checks on parents, and to determine their fitness to care for their children.

At Friday's hearing, the government said it was working on a modified reunification plan that would streamline the process and would require fewer DNA tests.

The judge also seemed inclined to grant an ACLU request to require advance notice to advocates for the parents, which would give the advocates details on the timing and location of the reunification.

The ACLU said it did not receive any advance notice this week of reunifications for the youngest children, which the group said could undermine the safety of the reunited family.

The group cited in court papers a mother who was reunited with her 6-month-old daughter, and then they were dropped alone at a bus stop late at night. The woman finally obtained a bus ticket around midnight Tuesday after her attorney and an advocate got involved, the ACLU said.

As of the hearing, the government had not provided a list of the number of children in its custody that it believes are eligible for reunification. Fabian said the government expected to give that to the ACLU as soon as Friday.

The Trump administration adopted its family separation policy as part of an effort to discourage illegal immigration. It buckled to intense political pressure and abandoned the policy on June 20.]]>
7/14/2018 2:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Turkey to lift state of emergency next week]]>
The announcement comes after Erdogan chaired the first cabinet meeting since he won elections last month endowing him with sweeping new powers, and pressing economic challenges topping the agenda.

"The current state of emergency is coming to an end on the night of July 18. Mr President has the will... not to extend it," presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after the meeting in Ankara.

Under emergency rule, renewed seven times since the abortive coup against Erdogan's elected government, over 110,000 public sector employees have been removed from their jobs while tens of thousands more have been suspended in a crackdown criticised by Ankara's Western allies.

Amnesty International in April said freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial had been "decimated" under the state of emergency introduced five days after the attempted putsch on July 15, 2016.

More than 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures.

However the government says the purges are needed to rid the state of the "virus" of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed by the authorities for masterminding the coup bid.

Gulen, who is based in the US, has denied any role and insists his movement promotes peace.

- Economy tops cabinet talks -

Kalin added that the lifting of emergency rule would not slow down Turkey's fight against terror, and that the fight would continue "in a determined fashion" under counter-terrorism laws.

But he said that if Turkey faces another "extraordinary threat, the state of emergency might be reintroduced".

In his election campaign, Erdogan promised not to prolong the emergency rule.

The strongman was sworn in for a second presidential term on Monday under the new system that grants the head of state executive powers while abolishing the post of prime minister.

Erdogan vowed to "work tirelessly to build a Turkey that can look to the future with confidence", at a ceremony in the former parliament shortly before the cabinet meeting at his vast presidential palace.

He hailed the transition as a "new beginning" in the country's history but opponents denounced it as a drift toward one-man rule.

Erdogan this week unveiled the new cabinet, giving his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, the crucial post of finance minister.

Albayrak's rapid promotion from the energy ministry took traders by surprise as market-friendly faces like outgoing deputy premier Mehmet Simsek were not present in the new cabinet.

In an apparent sign that the economy is an urgent issue for the government, Albayrak said: "We have determined some steps to be taken in line with macro-economic objectives," in a message on Twitter.

Albayrak said his economic policy would be guided by "budget discipline, a single digit inflation rate and structural reforms."

Financial markets are sceptical about Albayrak's appointment which prompted a new battering for the Turkish currency and assets.

Kalin said a medium term economic programme would be presented to Erdogan in the coming weeks.]]>
7/14/2018 2:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Woman charged in L.A. with hacking email of pop star Selena Gomez]]>
Susan Atrach is accused of accessing Gomez' accounts several times from June 2015 to February 2016 and obtaining images and other media stored there, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said in a written statement.

Atrach then allegedly shared the material she took from the 25-year-old singer with others and posted them online, prosecutors say. A spokesman for the office declined to provide further details of the case.

It was not immediately clear whether Atrach, of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, was in custody on Friday afternoon or if she had retained a criminal defense attorney.

The charges include five counts of identity theft, five counts of accessing computer data to commit fraud or illegally obtain money, property or data and one count of accessing computer data without permission.

Atrach, who was scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 27, faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison if convicted at trial. Prosecutors have asked that she be held on $250,000 bail.

Representatives for Gomez could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.

The pop star, of Grand Prairie, Texas, first rose to fame starring as Alex Russo on the teen comedy Wizards of Waverly Place, which aired on the Disney Channel from 2007 to 2012.

She has since gained fame as a solo artist, landing six top 10 singles in the Billboard charts, and appeared in feature films.

Gomez has also been celebrated as the "queen of Instagram" with more than 138 million followers on the social media site as of Friday. ]]>
7/14/2018 2:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tens of thousands march through London in anti-Trump protests]]>
The streets of the capital were packed with placard-waving, slogan-singing demonstrators, intent on showing their vehement disapproval of the divisive American leader, in one of the biggest British protests in recent memory.

"I don't agree that we've allowed Trump to come to this country as if we're united with him -- we're not," said Connie Brazier, 32, who travelled from the city of Portsmouth on Britain's south coast.

"Everything he stands for is disgraceful."

Organisers estimated more than 250,000 people attended the centerpiece of the organised action: a march through several city centre arteries ending in Trafalgar Square.

The march was organised by the Stop Trump Coalition, a network of grassroots campaigns, unions, NGOs and politicians formed for the event.

"It's an incredible turnout of people from all walks of life," veteran civil rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who marched alongside former Labour leader Ed Miliband, told AFP.

"Today's protests send a signal to Donald Trump," he added.

"He'll get the message. He may not admit it publicly but he's certain to be affected by this outpouring of opposition."

- Baby Trump -

Demonstrators began the day by flying a giant balloon near the British parliament depicting Trump as a nappy-clad baby -- an act of protest approved by London mayor Sadiq Khan to the fury of Trump supporters.

"I think it's hilarious," said 23-year-old Paul Fonseca. "It's an accurate representation of his politics which are so immature. He never enters into adult discussion."

A women's march through the capital to Westminster followed, including activists from the LGBT community.

Among the eye-catching placards, one read: "My mum doesn't like you! And she likes everyone."

Around 20 drag artists joined the throng -- under the rallying cry "Donald Trump is a real drag" -- starting out from Soho, the historic heart of Britain's gay community, in flamboyantly colourful attire.

"I think he's just such a poor representation of what America has to give to the world," said Joey "Bourgeoisie" Frenette, 27, who moved to Britain eight years ago from Washington DC.

Decked out in chunky heels and fishnet stockings, a purple tinsel wig, pink lipstick and a dyed green moustache, he felt compelled to protest after seeing by Trump's immigration policies, he added.

Grant White, 32, carried a sign depicting Trump as the Twitter bird symbol wearing a swastika around his arm.

"I am anti-Brexit, anti-Trump. There is a wave of fascism which we have to get rid of," he said.

Stopping outside May's residence in Downing Street, protesters whistled and shouted: "Shame on you!"

Londoners not protesting and stopping to take in the mass of people, placards and sloganeering seemed supportive of the demonstrations.

"He brings it on himself -- it's like having a juvenile in charge of a superpower," said construction worker Dan Kelly, 47.

- Carnival atmosphere -

Protesters had vowed to turn out in force ever since May offered Trump a state visit to Britain soon after he took power in January last year.

Following a series of diplomatic spats it became a "working visit" -- which still saw the convention-shattering president meet Queen Elizabeth II for tea at Windsor Castle Friday as demonstrators massed in London.

A carnival atmosphere descended on the city as protesters banged on drums, pots and pans while others blew trumpets.

The crowd stretched for more than a mile along the protest route, as Trafalgar Square reached capacity.

On a message board in Trafalgar Square, protesters had scrawled hundreds of Trump-themed messages.

They ranged from the farcical -- "Trump, you're a wasterman!" -- to the sincere: "Kindness and compassion matter".

Ahmed Hassan, 23, born and raised in Manchester in northern England to Pakistani parents, was among those leaving a message with Trump in mind.

"I think it's great to see so many people calling out his bigotry," he said, adding the president's stances were "not part of British values".

His message, written in black felt-tip pen: "Immigrants: we get the job done."]]>
7/14/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Gov't to receive Parliament vote of confidence today]]>CAIRO – 14 July 2018: Egypt’s new government, headed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, will receive a vote of confidence today by the Parliament.


First deputy Parliament Speaker Al-Sayed Al-Sherif, head of an ad hoc committee in charge of preparing a report on the government statement that was delivered by Madbouli before the Parliament on July 3, will be presenting the committee’s report on the statement.


The report recommended a vote of confidence for the new government as “the government program puts the life standards of citizens and improving the quality of life as a priority.”


The committee also stressed the necessity of a periodic review of the achievements and the progress of the new program; it also recommended the necessity of aiding poor families by setting productive projects.


“We asked the government to present to the committee a quarterly periodical report on the progress of the implementation of the five programs that were included in the statement,” Al-Sherif said.


On Thursday, Madbouli said in press remarks that a working team was formed to follow up the implementation of the government program.


Al-Sherif also added that the majority of the committee’s members said the government’s new policy included five programs that could lead to “tangible” improvement in economic and living conditions for Egyptian citizens.


Madbouli was sworn in as a prime minister on June 14; in his statement before the Parliament on July 3, he said his new government’s program firmly focuses on strengthening national security, implement social protection programs, boost economic development, raise productivity rates and improve the standards of living.

]]>
7/14/2018 1:03:03 AM
<![CDATA[Pakistan ex-PM Sharif arrested as he arrives home ahead of polls]]>
Sharif and his daughter Maryam "have been arrested" by corruption authorities "with immediate effect and till further orders", according to a statement from the Islamabad city administration. They landed in Lahore and were then taken to the capital, the statement said.

An anti-corruption official confirmed the arrests to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Sharif, who claims he is being targeted by the country's powerful security establishment, is fighting for his political life as his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party limps into the final weeks of campaigning ahead of nationwide polls on July 25.

Some 15,000 singing and dancing supporters lined the Mall, Lahore's main thoroughfare, ahead of Sharif's return from London, an AFP reporter there said.

Lahore is the capital of Punjab province, Pakistan's most populous and a PML-N stronghold.

A smaller contingent of around two dozen supporters waited on the road to Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, the garrison city neighbouring Islamabad, where Sharif was expected to be taken before going to a guest house on the outskirts of the capital which authorities said had been declared a "sub-jail".

Roughly 100 police officers had blocked the road to the jail with freight containers, an AFP reporter said.

Analysts have said Sharif's return -- one week after he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court over the purchase of high-end properties in London -- could help lift his party's fortunes ahead of the vote.

"I know that... I will be directly taken to jail," Sharif, who was ousted for corruption by the Supreme Court last year and later also banned from politics for life, said in a video released by his party earlier Friday.

He asked Pakistanis to "walk with me, join hands with me and change the destination of the country".

On Thursday, Sharif's brother Shahbaz, who is leading the PML-N's election campaign, said hundreds of the party's workers and supporters had been arrested in what he described as "naked" pre-poll rigging.

- Security fears -

As the political drama unfolded, fears of violence also surged ahead of the polls after a suicide bomber targeting a political rally in southwestern Balochistan province killed 128 people in one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan's history.

The blast -- claimed by the Islamic State group -- ripped through a crowd in the town of Mastung.

Earlier, four people were killed by a bomb targeting another politician's convoy in the country's northwest. There has been no claim of responsibility.

On Tuesday, a bomb attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban targeted a political rally in the city of Peshawar, killing 22 people.

The string of attacks underscored the fragility of Pakistan's security, which has improved dramatically in recent years, though analysts warn that politicians and the security establishment have not yet tackled the root causes of extremism.

The military has already warned of security threats and said it will deploy more than 370,000 soldiers on polling day.

Pakistan's military remains its most powerful institution, and has faced blistering allegations that it is pressuring the media and politicians in a bid to manipulate the polls against the PML-N.

It denies the accusations.

The election will pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a party led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.

Since Sharif returned to London last month, where his wife is being treated for cancer, the PML-N has fallen into disarray and failed to mount an organised campaign to rally the base ahead of the polls.

Recent polling showed the PTI's popularity steadily rising and closing the gap with the PML-N.

Analyst Zahid Hussain said the ex-leader was "fighting back for his political life".

"Certainly it would have been worse for the party's prospects had he not come," Hussain added.

Sharif was the 15th prime minister in Pakistan's 70-year history -- roughly half of it under military rule -- to be removed before completing a full term.

He has faced -- and fought off -- similar challenges in the past.

In 1993, he was sacked from his first term as premier for corruption. His second term was ended by a coup in 1999, and he was imprisoned by the military regime while he faced trial for multiple charges, including corruption.

"In Pakistan, leaders have to go to jail, that's important for their profile," said Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai.

Sharif was later allowed by the military regime to go into exile in Saudi Arabia, returning in 2007 before becoming prime minister for a third time in 2013.]]>
7/14/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Suicide blast rips through Pakistan election rally, killing 128]]>
The blast in the town of Mastung, near the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, was the latest in a string of attacks that have spurred fears of violence ahead of nationwide polls on July 25, and underscored the fragility of Pakistan's dramatic gains in security.

Authorities said the suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where the political meeting was taking place.

"Human remains and red bloody pieces of flesh were littered everywhere in the compound. Injured people were crying in pain and fear," said local journalist Attah Ullah.

One political worker, Salam Baloch, said he heard a "deafening blast" and saw a "thick grey ball of fire and smoke".

"People put... bodies and the injured in rickshaws and other vehicles and rushed them to hospital before rescue officials arrived," he added.

Emergency workers also shuttled victims in ambulances as bystanders sobbed in the darkness due to the lack of electricity in the impoverished area.

Survivors in blood-smeared clothes were taken to hospitals in Mastung and nearby Quetta, where they were greeted by tense crowds of mourners, an AFP reporter said. The deceased could be seen covered in shrouds.

"The death toll has risen to 128," Balochistan home minister Agha Umar Bungalzai told AFP. A senior provincial government official also confirmed the figure, adding that 150 others were injured.

Among the dead was Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly-formed local Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Bungalzai said.

The attack was the most lethal since Taliban militants assaulted a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2014, killing over 150 people, mostly children, and one of the deadliest in Pakistan's long struggle with militancy.

It came hours after four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated close to another politician's convoy in Bannu on Friday, near the border with Afghanistan.

The politician -- Akram Khan Durrani, a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) party -- survived, police said. No group has yet claimed responsibility for that attack.

On Tuesday, a bomb claimed by the Pakistani Taliban targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the city of Peshawar.

Local ANP leader Haroon Bilour was among the 22 killed. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.

- 'Duty to protect' -

The Islamic State group has a muted presence in Pakistan but has carried out brutal attacks there in the past, including the blast at a Sufi shrine in February last year which killed nearly 90 people.

Militants have targeted politicians, religious gatherings, security forces and even schools in Pakistan.

But security across the country has dramatically improved since government and military operations cleared large swathes of territory near the Afghan border in recent years.

Analysts warn, however, that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of extremism, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks.

Last month, a US air strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, in neighbouring Afghanistan in what the Pakistani army called a "positive development" that also sparked fears of reprisals.

The military has warned of security threats in the run-up to the tense election on July 25, and said it will deploy more than 370,000 soldiers on polling day.

Activists called for Pakistani authorities to remain vigilant to protect candidates during the final days of the campaign season, already tense amid a stand-off between former premier Nawaz Sharif and the security establishment.

Sharif returned to Pakistan from London late Thursday and was arrested, one week after he was convicted in absentia on corruption charges and given a ten-year jail sentence.

He claims he is being targeted by the military, which remains the country's most powerful institution, and which has faced blistering allegations that it is pressuring the media and politicians in a bid to manipulate the polls against the PML-N.

It denies the accusations.

The election will pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a party led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.

"The Pakistani authorities have a duty to protect the rights of all Pakistanis during this election period -- their physical security and their ability to express their political views freely, regardless of which party they belong to," said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International.]]>
7/14/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[18 discharged, 40 still in hospital after Giza train derailment]]>
Mohy added that other 40 injured will remain in different hospital to complete treatment for their injuries, noting that 20-25 people are expected to be cleared tomorrow and head home.

Investigations are underway into the cause of Friday’s accident which saw 58 people taken to hospital.

An air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo heading to Qena, when three railcars of it flipped over in Marazeeq Station, Giza. Following the accident, head of the Egyptian National Railways Authority Sayed Salem ordered lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams to the scene.

Meanwhile, the ministry of health sent 25 ambulances to the accident site, and the injured were taken to different hospitals, including Haram Hospital, Hawamdeya Hospital and Badrashin Hospital.

According to the initial investigations, sources revealed to Egypt Today on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to brief the media that the majority of the injured people suffered from fractures and bruises due to commuters’ stampede caused by the train derailment. He added that the injured people would leave hospital soon.

The train’s driver was kept in custody pending investigations. Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.

Driver in custody after train derailed in Giza, investigations begin

CAIRO - 13 July 2018: The driver of the train that derailed near Giza on Friday, leaving 55 injured, was kept in custody as official investigations were launched into the accident. The Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.




In March, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the upgrading of Egypt’s railways require huge funds, ranging from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion).

During the inauguration of the first phase of the New Alamein City, Sisi added that there is not enough money for the rehabilitation of rail lines, adding that he will raise money from passenger rail networks to be able to develop network lines.

Sisi: LE 250bln needed to upgrade Egypt's rail lines

CAIRO - 2 March 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said on Thursday that Egypt's rail lines require funds from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion) to upgrade them.



]]>
7/13/2018 11:41:27 PM
<![CDATA[General Prosecutor orders investigation into Giza train crash]]>CAIRO – 13 July 2018: Egypt’s General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered the launch of investigations into the train crash occurred earlier on Friday, July 13.


He also ordered the confiscation of the black box of the train in order to ascertain the cause.


The driver of the train that derailed near Giza on Friday, leaving 55 injured, was kept in custody as official investigations were launched into the accident.


The Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.


The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Upper Egypt’s Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza.


The ministry deployed 25 ambulance vehicles to the accident site, where 17 injured were taken to the Haram Hospital, nine to Hawamdeya Hospital and eight others to Badrashin Hospital. The ministry assured that no further deaths were recorded due to the accident.


Director General of Haram Hospital Dr. Khaled Makhlouf said that he received 21 patients from the train accident, including a case in coma that was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.


Mohamed Hamdy Ezz, one of the passengers of the train, gave an account on the accident and how other passengers succeeded to leave the derailed carriages.


“We felt a sudden shake in the train as we approach the station, then we saw the back carriages overturning,” Ezz told Egypt Today. He added that they broke the windows and managed to escape the train, and helped other passengers out. He further mentioned that the train took the wrong turn at a full speed, causing it to flip over.


Head of the Egyptian National Railways Authority Sayed Salem ordered the transferring of lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams to the scene.


Security agencies imposed a cordon around the accident site. An investigative team arrived at the scene to start probing the incident, listen to eyewitnesses and determine the reasons behind the accident.


]]>
7/13/2018 11:00:25 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet to reconcile over 23 squandering public funds cases]]>
Senior official sources said that the reconciliation commission has received 62 requests from state officials and businessmen charged with squandering public funds to settle their cases after payment of reconciliation value set by the law, and pledge to oblige by a number of administrative measures to ensure compliance with the law.

The sources pointed out that the commission rejected 28 requests for lack of seriousness in the reconciliation and failure to meet the legal requirements, while it decided to postpone their decision regarding other 11 reconciliation requests until the completion of their examination.

The reconciliation requests came in accordance with the new Reconciliation Law amendment, Article 18, of the criminal procedure law, issued in October 2015. The amendment stipulates that it is permissible to reconcile with defendants accused of criminal offenses and misdemeanors punishable by law, after the payment of a fine.
]]>
7/13/2018 10:43:18 PM
<![CDATA[Twitter’s crackdown on fake accounts exposes Tamim’s fake propaganda]]>CAIRO – 13 July 2018: Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad, lost a vast number of followers as Twitter sweeps out fake accounts cutting through the micro-blogging website.


Tamim’s followers on Twitter went down from 2.6 million to 231,000, which is considered by observers to be a testament to the false propaganda that he was trying to create.


On Wednesday, Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey said a sweeping purge of the fake accounts will be launched globally; warning that many twitter accounts will see a drop in their followers count.


Qatar’s Tamim bin Hamad has been facing accusations of sponsoring and supporting terrorism; thus, he was embroiled in a diplomatic brawl with the Anti-Terror Quartet of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab of Emirati (UAE).


jack on Twitter

This week we'll be removing locked Twitter accounts (locked when we detect suspicious changes in behavior) from follower counts across profiles globally. The number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down. #health https://t.co/JGmE4ofoZ2



In an unprecedented move, families of Egyptian victims of terrorist attacks filed a lawsuit against Tamim, demanding $150 million in compensation, BBC reported earlier in June.


According to the BBC, this is the first lawsuit of its kind to be filed from residents in an Arab country against an official of another Arab country; the lawsuit is reported to be based on previous judicial rulings that confirm the Qatari regime’s support of the terrorist group operating in Sinai.


The families held the Qatari Emir accountable for the killing of four officers and a civilian during terrorist attacks that previously occurred in Northern Sinai, BBC added.


According to informed sources, "the lawsuit is still awaiting the approval of the higher judicial bodies to be registered in the court," due to the political sensitivity of the issue in light of the diplomatic tussle between Egypt and Qatar.


The lawsuit mentioned the list of the terrorist figures and entities embraced by Qatar; the list was issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain in the wake of the diplomatic boycott launched by the Arab Quartet against Doha in June 2017.


Following the Arab boycott of Doha, a list of 13-demands was handed to Doha’s government by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for reconciliation. The demands included closing Al-Jazeera broadcasting and suspending Qatar's cozy relationship with the extremist government of Iran.


Since then, Qatar has resisted reconciliation attempts, and has not shown any efforts to disassociate itself from the terrorist groups proven to be harbored and financially supported by Doha.


]]>
7/13/2018 8:12:28 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s train accident: Railway movement resumes]]>
He added that trains also resumed after the investigators ended their site probe.

The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza.

Following the incident, head of the Egyptian National Railways Authority Sayed Salem ordered the transferring of lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams to the scene.

According to the initial investigations, sources revealed to Egypt Today on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to brief the media that the majority of the injured people suffered from fractures and bruises due to commuters’ stampede caused by the train derailment. He added that the injured people would leave hospital soon.

The driver of the train was kept in custody pending investigations. Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.

Driver in custody after train derailed in Giza, investigations begin

CAIRO - 13 July 2018: The driver of the train that derailed near Giza on Friday, leaving 55 injured, was kept in custody as official investigations were launched into the accident. The Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.




In March, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that Egypt’s rail lines require funds from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion) to upgrade them.
During the inauguration of the first phase of the New Alamein City, Sisi added that there is not enough money for the rehabilitation of rail lines, adding that he will raise money from passenger rail networks to be able to develop network lines.

Sisi: LE 250bln needed to upgrade Egypt's rail lines

CAIRO - 2 March 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said on Thursday that Egypt's rail lines require funds from LE 200 billion ($11 billion) to LE 250 billion ($14 billion) to upgrade them.





]]>
7/13/2018 7:24:01 PM
<![CDATA[Driver in custody after train derailed in Giza, investigations begin ]]>
The Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ordered the formation of a committee to probe the incident and reveal its causes.

The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Upper Egypt’s Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza.

The ministry deployed 25 ambulance vehicles to the accident site, where 17 injured were taken to the Haram Hospital, nine to Hawamdeya Hospital and eight others to Badrashin Hospital. The ministry assured that no further deaths were recorded due to the accident.

Director General of Haram Hospital Dr. Khaled Makhlouf said that he received 21 patients from the train accident, including a case in coma that was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Passengers escaped through windows

Mohamed Hamdy Ezz, one of the passengers of the train, gave an account on the accident and how other passengers succeeded to leave the derailed carriages.

“We felt a sudden shake in the train as we approach the station, then we saw the back carriages overturning,” Ezz told Egypt Today. He added that they broke the windows and managed to escape the train, and helped other passengers out. He further mentioned that the train took the wrong turn at a full speed, causing it to flip over.

Head of the Egyptian National Railways Authority Sayed Salem ordered the transfering of lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams to the scene.

Security agencies imposed a cordon around the accident site. An investigative team arrived at the scene to start probing the incident, listen to eyewitnesses and determine the reasons behind the accident.

111
An eye-witness is talking with Egypt Today correspondent - Egypt Today


In November 2017, two trains collided in Alexandria, leaving more than 40 fatalities and 170 injuries. Investigations with 10 officials from the Egyptian Railway Authority about the accident revealed that the driver of one of the trains, Emad Helmy, was the cause of the accident.

Egypt witnessed many railway accidents, and many Egyptians have lost their lives due to train collisions and derailments. Hence, the Ministry of Transportation implemented a plan to develop railways.

Check the link below for more details on the ministry’s plan.

88 lawyers referred to trial for causing financial losses at Railway Authority

CAIRO - 9 July 2018: The Ministry of Transportation referred 88 lawyers to disciplinary trial over charges of causing losses of billions of pounds for the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA).





Additional reporting by Bahgat Abu Daif



]]>
7/13/2018 5:55:45 PM
<![CDATA[UPDATED: 55 injured after 3 train cars derailed in Giza - Health Min]]>
The air-conditioned train number 986 was coming from Cairo towards Upper Egypt’s Qena, when the three railcars flipped over in Marazeeq Station on Aswa Western Agricultural Road in Giza.

IMG_0632
three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

IMG_0640
three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

The ministry deployed 25 ambulance vehicles to the accident site, where 17 injured were taken to Haram Hospital, nine to Hawamdeya Hospital and eight others to Badrashin Hospital.

Health Minister Hala Zayed headed to Haram Hospital to follow up on the status of the injured.

IMG_0645
three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

IMG_0661
three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

Head of the Egyptian National Railways Authority Sayed Salem ordered to transfer lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams to the scene.

Security agencies imposed a cordon around the accident site. An investigative team arrived at the scene to start probing the incident, listen to eyewitnesses and determine the reasons behind the accident.

IMG_0675
three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today


In Nov. 2017, two trains collided in Alexandria, leaving more than 40 fatalities and 170 injuries. Investigations with 10 officials from the Egyptian Railway Authority about the accident revealed that the driver of one of the trains, Emad Helmy, was the cause of the accident.
]]>
7/13/2018 4:01:01 PM
<![CDATA[Urgent plan worth LE32B to renovate oldest metro line: Transportation Min]]>
The plan directs a great deal of attention to raising the efficiency of the oldest metro line running from El-Marg to Helwan, south of Cairo. The cost of the renovation works on the line is estimated at L.E.32 billion. The line was inaugurated in 1987.

In a press statement, the ministry explained in details the development plan, which will include replacement of old electrical systems with new ones, installing new lighting systems to guarantee safe operation, manufacturing 52 new trains, renewing 23 other trains, and setting new ticket booths.

The statement further noted the accomplished tasks of the plan list, adding that 20 new trains were imported and entered into service, while 32 others out of the 52 train package are still in the manufacturing process. A total of 850 ticket booths were already installed since April.

NAT to expand 3rd metro line after fare rise

CAIRO - 22 May 2018: The third phase of line 3 of the Cairo metro will be connected to the Rod Al-Farag axis, which links the Greater Cairo with El Dabaa and Marsa Matrouh. An interchange station will be established at the end of third line, linking the third line to the Rod Al-Farag axis (Greater Cairo-El Dabaa).




Mohamed Ezz, the spokesperson for the Transportation Ministry, said that the major development plan will not be funded by the revenues of the new pricing system of the subway, which was announced in May. But rather, the ministry is discussing with international banks and foundations to finance the renovations; EBRD, AFD and EIB are among the list of expected financers.

Ezz added that the renovations will take a period of time reaching six years, quoting a consultant report. He assured that the operation of the line will not be affected by the renovation works, and that both will go in parallel.

Since May, Cairenes have been charged for using the subway based on the length of each commute. The new fares are LE 3 ($0.17) for the first nine stops, LE 5 for up to 16 stops and LE 7 for more than 16 stops. Before increasing the metro’s fare, the price of the underground tickets had previously been doubled in July 2017 from LE 1 to LE 2 as part of reforms that cut subsidies after the inflation.

Fare's Fair

With metro tickets increasing from a flat fee of LE 1 less than a year ago to up to LE 7 today, commuters find themselves up against more austerity measures. Egypt's Transportation Authority, however, argues that the increase is a fairer categorization of the fare system.




The recent move comes as part of the Egyptian government’s austerity measures linked to the three-year loan worth $12 billion secured with the International Monetary Fund.
More than 3.5 million passengers of Greater Cairo’s 21 million residents rely on the subway for their daily travel, according to estimates by the NAT. Ongoing metro extensions are expected to increase the number of commuters to nine million per day.]]>
7/13/2018 3:09:33 PM
<![CDATA[Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw]]>
Eritrea's Information Minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, confirmed the reports on Twitter, saying that the visit will "add momentum to the joint march for peace and cooperation." The 72-year-old Isaias last visited Ethiopia in 1996.

The visit comes after Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a historic trip to Eritrea last weekend for hugs, laughter and talks with Isaias, setting off the restoration of diplomatic ties after two decades.

The thaw began when the 42-year-old Abiy, who took office in April, announced Ethiopia would fully accept a peace deal that ended a border war that killed tens of thousands and separated families.]]>
7/13/2018 1:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Temperatures decline in Egypt on Friday, Cairo 35°C]]>
Clouds are low in northern Egypt. Winds are moderate northeasterly, active in Western coasts of the country and Gulf of Suez which may cause a disturbance in navigation there.

The Red Sea’s wavelength will be varied between mild to volatile, with two meters to 2.5 meters, and northwesterly surface winds.

The Mediterranean Sea will be moderate, with a wavelength of two to 2.5 meters and northwesterly surface winds.
Following is the weather forecast in some governorates (in degrees Celsius);

Cairo: 35°C- 24°C

Alexandria: 31°C - 24°C

Luxor: 39°C - 27°C

Aswan: 39°C - 27°C

Qena: 38°C - 25°C

Hurghada: 38°C - 28°C

Sharm El Sheikh: 37°C - 28°C

Al Minya: 36°C - 23°C

Suez: 35°C - 23°C

Halayeb: 37°C - 30°C

Shalateen: 40°C - 28°C
]]>
7/13/2018 12:24:31 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir operates 110 international, local flights from Cairo Airport ]]>
The flights include 87 international and commercial ones, and 23 other internal flights heading to local airports.

A source at the airport assured that the air traffic is normal, and departure times went according to the schedule, not affected by the fire broke out Thursday night at a petrochemicals plant near the airport.

Residents near the Cairo International Airport’s perimeters heard a loud explosion around 11:00 pm on Thursday, reporting on social media that they saw high flames rising.

The explosion took place at the Heliopolis For Chemical Industries Company outside the Cairo International Airport's perimeters, with preliminary reports suggesting the reason is the high temperature caused by the hot weather.

Immediately as the explosion broke out, 12 fire trucks, two water tanks, dozens of security vans and ambulances were dispatched to the scene to contain the situation.
The ministry’s spokesperson affirmed that the flights at the airport were not at all affected by the explosion. ]]>
7/13/2018 11:49:38 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. Justice Dept to appeal approval of AT&T acquisition of Time Warner]]>
The Justice Department opted in June not to seek an immediate stay of the court's approval of the merger, allowing the merger to close on June 14, though the Justice Department still had 60 days to appeal the decision approving the merger. The government's court filing did not disclose on what grounds it intends to challenge the approval.

AT&T and the Justice Department did not immediately comment.

AT&T shares fell 1 percent after the bell.

The merger, first announced in October 2016, was opposed by President Donald Trump. AT&T was sued by the Justice Department, but won approval from a judge to move forward with the deal in June following a six-week trial.

Judge Richard Leon of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the tie-up between AT&T's wireless and satellite businesses with Time Warner's movies and television shows was legal under antitrust law. The Justice Department had argued the deal would harm consumers.]]>
7/13/2018 4:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Army raises flag in Daraa, cradle of Syria revolt]]>
After securing Damascus in May, President Bashar al-Assad is determined to oust rebels from a key southern region bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

A ceasefire announced last week stemmed nearly three weeks of regime bombardment on the southern province of Daraa, including the symbolic provincial capital of the same name.

Until then, the northern half of Daraa city was in regime hands, while the opposition held out in its southern neighbourhoods including Daraa al-Balad.

"Syrian army units enter Daraa al-Balad and raise the national flag in the main square," the official news agency SANA reported on Thursday afternoon.

Late Wednesday, it had said the regime and rebels had reached a deal for opposition fighters to hand over their heavy weapons in opposition-held parts of the city.

On Thursday, an AFP correspondent in Daraa al-Balad saw a convoy of Russian military police and regime officers enter the city with journalists to raise the flag.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the flag raising on Thursday was merely "symbolic".

Measures to implement the so-called reconciliation deal for rebel-held parts of the city had not yet been implemented, it said.

"The rebels are still inside Daraa city," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said, but had not yet handed over their heavy weapons and there were no signs of any evacuations.

- 'Full control'? -

Under the deal, "those (rebels) who want to settle their status with the regime will hand over their heavy weapons, keep their light arms and remain in the city", he said.

"Those who refuse the deal will head out towards the north of Syria."

The reconciliation deal for Daraa city is the latest in a string of such agreements that have seen the Russia-backed regime retake large parts of the country since 2015.

They usually follow blistering military campaigns and sometimes stifling sieges that effectively force the rebels into surrendering.

Previous such deals have seen thousands of rebels bused up to areas still under opposition control in the north of the country.

Activist Omar al-Hariri said the Russian military and regime troops had exited Daraa city on Thursday after raising the flag.

"We expect those against the so-called reconciliation to be evacuated in the next few days," said the activist inside the city.

"Only after that will the regime enter completely and officially, and start inspections, allowing us to say the city is under its full control."

The regime fully regaining its rule over Daraa city will be a hugely symbolic blow to the opposition.

In 2011, teenagers were arrested for scrawling anti-Assad slogans on the walls of a school in the poverty-stricken city, sparking mass protests against the government.

Several of those teenagers picked up arms after the uprising developed into a full-fledged conflict that has since killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions.

- 'No fight left' -

The regime now controls more than 80 percent of Daraa province, but opposition fighters still retain control of areas in its west.

Analyst Nick Heras said the flag fluttering above rebel-held areas in Daraa city on Thursday intended to demoralise rebels still resisting a regime takeover in other parts of the province.

"Daraa was supposed to be a stronghold of the revolution, fighting against Assad to the bitter end," he said.

But "now his regime can send images out to the world that the city has no fight left," said the analyst at the Center for a New American Strategy.

More than 160 civilians have been killed since the regime launched its bombing campaign on Daraa province on June 19, the Observatory says.

Over 320,000 people fled their homes during the campaign, the United Nations said, though many have returned since the ceasefire was announced Friday.

Syria's war has grown in complexity since 2011, drawing in world powers and involving jihadists.

The ceasefire deal for Daraa excludes jihadists linked to the Islamic State group who control a small corner of the province bordering both Jordan and the occupied Golan Heights.

Overnight, fighters of the IS affiliate seized the village of Heet east of that pocket from rebels who had agreed to a regime takeover, the Observatory said.

To the west of Daraa, the regime also wants to retake control of Quneitra province bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.]]>
7/13/2018 2:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. and Europe clash over global supersonic jet noise standards]]>
Fifteen years after Concorde's last flight, U.S. regulators are weighing rule changes to allow testing of early-stage supersonic jets, amid plans for American-made business and small passenger jets due in service by the mid-2020s.

But the new industry could face delays at the United Nations aviation agency where the United States and European countries - including France, Germany and Britain - are squaring off over new noise rules needed for the jets to fly, five sources told Reuters, speaking about confidential talks on condition of anonymity.

The previously unreported dispute follows a 1990s clash on noise standards, when the European Union wanted to ban noisy older U.S.-made jets like the Boeing 727 from its airports and Washington threatened to retaliate by banning the Anglo-French Concorde.

This latest round pits U.S. ambitions for an American-led revival of supersonic jets by start-ups Aerion Supersonic, Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace against European fears of disruptive noise from the planes. Aerion, backed by Lockheed Martin Corp and GE, is considered by industry sources as the most advanced of the supersonic projects.

For a FACTBOX on the players, click

Boom will be making its first appearance at the Farnborough Airshow next week as it looks to cement the revival of the supersonic industry, which is struggling to design jets that meet current subsonic noise standards due to engine constraints.

"The politics are that Europe is way more worried about noise (around airports)," said an industry source familiar with the matter. "Europe has a problem but they have no reason to solve (it) because they have no industry pushing for this."

That's a reversal of disputes which delayed the beginning of Concorde's transatlantic services in the 1970s, as first the U.S. Congress and then the New York Port Authority banned it due to noise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned supersonic flights over U.S. land since 1973.

For now, the new jets plan to stick to over-water routes, though the FAA will eventually decide whether to allow overland flights after analyzing data from NASA in a study by 2025.

GLOBAL STANDARDS

Both Boeing and Airbus have mapped out futuristic visions for ultra-fast air travel.

But since the demise of Boeing's planned near-supersonic Sonic Cruiser in 2002, the world's two largest planemakers have focused on slower, fuel-efficient planes that allow airlines to lower ticket prices.

Now, U.S. startups are working to develop quieter and more fuel-efficient supersonic planes than Concorde, aimed at business travelers. They claim these can be economically viable with the right engine. They also pledge to dampen the famous sonic boom which depressed Concorde's sales and restricted its operations until it was grounded for economic reasons in 2003.

The United Nations' Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets many global standards, has started looking at supersonic jets by seeking technical information from planemakers.

ICAO will then be in a better position to assess options for standards on noise and emissions, and "how long the process should take," a spokesman said.

While the aviation industry prefers to have common international rules developed through ICAO, the FAA said on Thursday it is also looking at domestic noise requirements.

"In the event of a delay in the adoption of international standards, the FAA will need to establish noise regulations for domestic certification," it said.

The European countries think current noise limits should be used as "guidelines" for developing landing and take-off rules, according to a document presented to a recent ICAO committee meeting and seen by Reuters.

The United States, echoing industry's demand, has called for new standards that reflect "fundamental differences" between subsonic and supersonic jets, according to a second document.

"You can't try to shoehorn a supersonic aircraft into a subsonic standard," said Mike Hinderberger, Aerion senior vice president of aircraft development at an industry conference last month.

Aerion declined to comment further.

It's not yet clear how other countries see supersonics or whether ICAO could craft a compromise.

CHICKEN AND EGG PROBLEM

Lengthy delays by ICAO would likely force planemakers to hold off, or risk investing millions in a design that "no one will certify," said a U.S. industry source.

"It's a chicken and egg argument," added the first industry source. "How can you bring a plane to market if you don't have the standards to meet?"

Noise standards "need to be defined as soon as practicable so that manufacturers have certainty," said the FAA.

"The sooner the agencies finalize guidelines and standards, the sooner we can ensure our design meets those requirements," said Vik Kachoria, CEO of Boston-based Spike Aerospace, which hopes to select an engine for its jet early next year.

The European nations, however, are seeking robust data. In a separate document on emissions, they said they do not expect new standards "before 2025 or later" because of insufficient data.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl said he had faith that the international community would ultimate reach agreement on supersonic noise standards, due in part to customer demand to get to destinations faster. "Supersonic flight will be a critical driver of human progress, and we believe Europe's citizens will embrace it," he said. "We know noise is a sensitive issue, and we are designing with that in mind.]]>
7/13/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[FBI agent defends himself from U.S. House Republicans over Trump texts]]>
Republican and Democratic lawmakers shouted and swapped insults in the U.S. House of Representatives hearing as agent Peter Strzok said his personal political views had never affected his official work.

In the hearing, Republicans attacked the FBI, as President Trump himself has done, at a time when Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who meets with Trump in Helsinki on Monday, has repeatedly denied U.S. intelligence agency conclusions that Moscow interfered and tried to help Trump.

The U.S. president has described Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russia as a political witch hunt.

Strzok worked on the Russia investigation, which the FBI started and was taken over by Mueller, appointed by a top Justice Department official following Trump's dismissal in May 2017 of FBI Director James Comey.

Strzok was reassigned from that investigation. He also once worked on an FBI investigation into Trump's campaign opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, on her handling of classified information while she was Secretary of State.

He and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page were having an extramarital affair during the campaign and exchanged thousands of politically charged texts. Some criticized Trump and some criticized Clinton.

In one text, Page asked Strzok if Trump was going to be president. Strzok replied: "No, he's not. We'll stop it."

Strzok said on Thursday that the "we" in the text referred to the American people because he believed Trump would not win the election after criticizing families whose relatives have been killed while serving in the U.S. military.

He also said in the hearing, convened by two Republican-controlled House of Representatives committees:

"Today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

He said he had "expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election" and that at times his "criticism was blunt," but that it was not limited to Trump.

"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took," Strzok told the committees.

Republican lawmakers asked Strzok to read aloud many of his texts. His attempts to explain them were often halted by the Republican lawmakers, who insisted he read them verbatim without providing more details.

Lawmakers frequently interrupted Strzok and one another with shouts and insults.

"Okay, Kremlin, another good day for you," Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez said of the hearing when it was his turn to question Strzok. "Congratulations Kremlin, and congratulations to everyone who is helping them."

Strzok declined to answer a question from Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, about interviews he conducted during the FBI's Russia probe, saying the agency had directed him not to discuss ongoing investigations.

Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, who heads the House Judiciary Committee, threatened to hold Strzok in contempt at the end of the hearing if he did not answer Gowdy's question.

The seldom-enforced charge of contempt of Congress can be brought against someone for obstructing investigations. It is potentially punishable by imprisonment and a fine but requires several procedural steps.

Strzok appeared before lawmakers in Congress last month for a closed-door interview. Page will attend a closed-door interview on Friday with the committees. ]]>
7/13/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hot weather causes explosion at petrochemicals company outside Cairo Int'l Airport]]>CAIRO – 13 July 2018: Civil Defense Forces have managed to contain the fire that broke out due to an explosion at the Heliopolis For Chemical Industries Company outside the Cairo International Airport's perimeters on Thursday evening.



Bassem Abdel-Kareem, spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Ministry, stated in press remarks that the explosion took place at a petrochemicals plant on the Huckstep road.


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He denied early news that claimed the explosion occurred at the Cairo International, its pier, or the gas station.


Immediately as the explosion broke out, 12 fire trucks, two water tanks, dozens of security vans and ambulances were dispatched to the scene to contain the situation.


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The ministry’s spokesperson affirmed that the flights at the airport were not at all affected by the explosion.


Only 12 injuries were reported so far; the injured were immediately transferred to the nearest hospital to receive immediate treatment. Investigations are undergoing to stand on what started the explosion.


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According to Military Spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai, preliminary reports suggest the explosion took place due to the high temperature caused by the hot weather. He affirmed the explosion took place far from the Cairo International Airport.


For his part, head of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation said in a statement that the explosion occurred far from the walls of the Cairo International Airport. He also affirmed that the air traffic was not affected by the explosion.


]]>
7/13/2018 12:02:39 AM
<![CDATA[UK police briefly cordon off area near Salibury poisoning]]>
Police had said they were dealing with an incident involving a man in his 30s as part of "highly precautionary measures" put in place in view of the poisoning of the Skripals in March and of two British people last week.

Last week the two people were found poisoned in a town near Salisbury by the same Novichok nerve agent used against the Skripals. One of the two, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died on Sunday.

Thursday's incident proved a false alarm, however.

"Emergency services were called to the scene at 6.20pm (1720 GMT) this evening after concerns were raised about the welfare of a man in his 30s," Salisbury police said on its Facebook page.

"We can now confirm that there is no concern for either his health or any wider risk to the public," police added.

The poisoning of the Skripals with the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok plunged British-Russian relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

Yulia Skripal, Sergei's daughter, was in a coma for 20 days after she was attacked and was eventually discharged about five weeks after the poisoning. Her father was discharged on May 18.

The poisoning of the Skripals was the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon in Europe since World War Two.

Russia has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria, an assertion London calls absurd.]]>
7/13/2018 12:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[PM forms working team to follow up implementation of govt program]]>
Madbouli thanked all ministers for their efforts in drafting the policy statement of the government and answering back all remarks paid by the lawmakers in this regard.

Finance Minister Mohamed Ma'it expounded efforts to float some shares of state-owned companies at the Stock Exchange to give a boost to the bourse and increase shares' market values.

Also, Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed reviewed administrative reform efforts during the meeting.]]>
7/12/2018 11:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[BREAKING: Explosion near Cairo International Airport, no injuries reported]]>CAIRO – 12 July 2018: An explosion has reportedly took place at a petrochemicals plant near the Cairo International Airport on Thursday evening.


Early reports and eyewitnesses claim two fuel tanks, owned by a petrochemicals company, exploded. The explosion took place away from the airport and was completely contained.


According to reliable sources, flights at the airport were not affected by the explosion.


The explosion resulted 12 victims who were immediately transferred by the dispatched ambulances to the nearest hospital.



More information [Here].


]]>
7/12/2018 11:33:51 PM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros inaugurates church in Austria]]>
Pope Tawadros arrived Tuesday on a visit to Austria after visiting Italy and the Vatican.

The pontiff was welcomed upon arrival by Egyptian Ambassador to Austria Omar Amer and the embassy staff, in addition to some Austrian officials and Copts living in the European country.

Spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church Boulis Halim said in a press statement the pope attended a ceremony at Saint Antonios monastery in Vienna to present a book written by Austrian researcher Adolf Bayer.

During his visit to Italy, Pope Tawadros met Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace and led on Sunday a mass at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.]]>
7/12/2018 10:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Health ministry launches national health insurance project]]>
According to the ministry, the first phase of the project will be executed in Port Said at a cost of LE 1.8 billion.

Also, a sum of LE 5.6 billion was allocated to treat Hepatitis C.

President Sisi asserted his keenness on improving the health sector and related services nationwide, especially those provided to low-income brackets, as well as eagerness to finalize the health insurance system project.

To this end, the leader launched on July 6 a number of measures to reform the health sectors.

He directed officials to launch the first phase of the national plan of comprehensive health insurance.

The first phase would include eliminating patients’ waiting lists within six months, developing 47 hospitals nationwide and maintaining strategic stocks of vaccines, and infant formula.

Also, making medical checkups for 45 million people and providing the treatment for those infected with Hepatitis C in two years.

The new health care plan will be applied first in Port Said, followed by Suez, Ismailia, North and South Sinai.

The project aims to reform the whole health system based on scientific research and with the help of partners from governmental and non-governmental organizations.

They also aim to stabilize a system of sustainable learning and development of the performance of all health workers. ]]>
7/12/2018 9:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Shoukry, EU's Hahn discuss efforts to combat illegal immigration]]>
Egypt described its efforts as a "successful model" in dealing with the phenomenon of illegal immigration.

In an official statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Shoukry highlighted Egyptian efforts, including stopping boats in Egyptian territorial waters that might carry migrants to Europe, and asked other European partners to support Egypt in its efforts.

Following a September 2016 migrant boat disaster off its Mediterranean coast, Cairo raised its focus on the illegal immigration issue and introduced an illegal immigration law, in addition to toughening sentences against human traffickers.

A huge number of Egyptians escaped harsh living conditions and sought to improve their living standards by illegally migrating from Egypt, often travelling first to Libya and then to Europe across the Mediterranean.

Human-trafficking gangs operate in Libya and charge migrants large sums of money to make the perilous journey.

In December 2017, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Union commissioner for Migration, Citizenship and Home Affairs, in the presence of Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry and Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram.

During the meeting, Sisi underscored the significance of dealing with the growing threat of illegal immigration through a comprehensive strategy that can address its root causes.
Sisi also stressed such a threat can be fought through settling regional disputes, pushing for development and raising the standard of living for people affected by crises, emphasizing the key role that the European commission plays in this regard.

Moreover, Sisi stressed that Egypt is no place for displacement camps for refugees; instead, they are treated as nationals and are allowed to blend in the society.

Egypt and the EU have a common interest in securing the stability of the region and managing migration in a better way, Avramopoulos noted, adding that a major step forward in cooperation between both parties was taken.

The dialogue tackled all the issues related to the migration, including prevention of human smuggling and trafficking, strengthening legal channels for migration and movement, preventing illegal immigration and the protection of refugees and asylum seekers.

The dialogue is consistent with the EU-Egypt partnership priorities from 2017 to 2020, which were issued in July 2017. ]]>
7/12/2018 8:48:37 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir denies plane's malfunction in the air]]>
Earlier, a news website published that the plane was malfunctioned during its way to Cairo and that the repairing process lasted for four hours.

In a press release, EgyptAir company said the plane malfunctioned at Heathrow Airport in London and was repaired in London within only 30 minutes.

The statement added that only two passengers requested to cancel their voyage.

The company also noted that the plane took off from London after two hours and 20 minutes delay.

The statement asserted that the company had taken all legal measures against this news website. ]]>
7/12/2018 8:42:29 PM
<![CDATA[Retrial of activist Douma adjourned to July 16]]>
In October, the Court of Cassation annulled a life sentence handed down against activist Douma over the acts of violence that occurred outside the Cabinet headquarters in downtown Cairo in December 2011.

Douma had been accused of committing acts of violence, assaulting police officers and setting fire to buildings of the Cabinet, the former People's Assembly and the Shura Council, in addition to the Scientific Academy in December 2011. ]]>
7/12/2018 7:44:06 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir facilitates Egyptian workers’ repatriation from Doha]]>
In order to facilitate the return of the deported workers through Kuwait, EgyptAir operated additional flights to Kuwait after the suspension of Cairo-Doha flights as part of a complete boycott imposed on the tiny emirate of Qatar since June 5, 2017.

In its bid to resolve the current diplomatic rift between the Gulf nations and Doha, Kuwait acts as a mediator between the two sides. Along with Oman, Kuwait has taken a neutral position in the dispute.

On June 5, a number of Gulf States, along with Egypt, announced severing diplomatic relations with the Gulf state of Qatar over its support of terrorism and close relations with the extremist government of Iran.

Following the Arab boycott of Doha, a list of 13-demands was handed to Doha’s government by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for reconciliation, which includes the closing of Al-Jazeera broadcasting, and the suspension of its relationship with the extremist government of Iran.

Since then, Qatar has resisted conciliation attempts and has not shown any effort in disassociating itself from the terrorist groups that the quartet claims are harbored and financially supported by Doha.]]>
7/12/2018 7:14:58 PM
<![CDATA[Court issues final death sentences for 13 convicts in prison break case]]>CAIRO – 12 July 2018: Ismailia Criminal Court issued final death sentences on Thursday for 13 defendants convicted of escaping El-Mostakbal prison in Suez governorate in 2016.

The court has referred the case to the Grand Mufti for a non-binding opinion on the death sentences according to the Egyptian law.

The defendants include members of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis terrorist organization and other defendants being tried in absentia.

]]>
7/12/2018 3:46:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s 1st vaccine manufacturer named after Dr. Adel Mahmoud]]>
The announcement came during a ceremony held in honor of the renowned professor by the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Population and in the presence of his family.

Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs, Nabila Makram, paid a tribute to Dr. Mahmoud, who died from a brain hemorrhage in June at the age of 76.

She pointed out that Mahmoud contributed to the development of the live-saving vaccines. “The researches he conducted throughout his life have quantifiable benefit to humanity. He is a prominent icon who has worked in silence to serve people without aspiring to any personal gain.”

She stressed that there are directives from the political leadership to pay further attention to Egyptian scientists abroad, which is manifested in the regular conduct of the series of the "Egypt Can" conferences and the establishment of the Egyptian Association “Egypt Can” so that we can focus on and nurture our scientists and experts abroad.

On June 11, Mahmoud's death was announced at the Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan.

Who is Dr. Adel Mahmoud, the man the world lost this month?

CAIRO - 22 June 2018: Egyptian-American Dr. Adel Mahmoud who had developed several life-saving vaccines died last week in New York City at the age of 76 from a brain hemorrhage. On June 11, his death was announced at the Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan.



A member of Princeton’s faculty, Mahmoud was a pioneer in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, especially parasitic infections.
In May 14, 2009, he was a member of a panel at the Woodrow Wilson School that lectured on how a pandemic can be prevented after the outbreak of Swine Flu at that time.


Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi ]]>
7/12/2018 3:39:40 PM
<![CDATA[ Makram Mohamed Ahmed back to his office: Lawyer ]]>
Head of the Press Syndicate, Abdel Mohsen Salama, and lawyer of the syndicate, Sayed Abu Zeid, attended the investigation session.

Following the interrogation session, Ahmed asserted to Egypt Today that he was sure of his decision's correctness, pointing out that the interrogation session took only 10 minutes during which the whole issue was settled.

Moreover, Abu Zeid affirmed that the Security Prosecution has not filed any complaints against Ahmed, adding that Ahmed had explained the reasons behind making this decision and asserted that if he knew that this decision conflicts with the authorities of the State Security Prosecution, he would never issue it.

On Saturday, Attorney General Nabil Sadiq summoned Ahmed to investigate imposing a media gag on reports related to the 57375 Children Cancer Hospital. According to the General Prosecution’s statement, any decision for publication prevention should be based on Article 26 of the law on the media institutional organizations, without violating the powers of the Public Prosecution.

The attorney-general addressed Ahmed in stating that the law authorizes the SCMR to guarantee and protect freedom of the press and citizens’ right to enjoy free and fair press within the framework of professional practices.

According to the statement, the attorney-general told Ahmed to submit a clear explanation to his decision to the Supreme State Security Prosecution.

For his part, Ahmed confirmed receiving the general prosecution’s memorandum, adding that the attorney-general rejected the Supreme Council's decision to ban publishing about the case.

The hospital, which is one of the largest hospitals worldwide specialized in children’s cancer treatment, is facing accusations of “administrative corruption, and illegal squander of donations”.

]]>
7/12/2018 2:34:17 PM
<![CDATA[Trump says 'ultimate deal' with Putin would be world without nuclear weapons]]>
Asked what would be the best possible result from his meeting with Putin, Trump said: "What would be the ultimate? Let's see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts. ... That would be my ultimate."

Trump is due to meet with Putin on Monday in Helsinki. ]]>
7/12/2018 1:52:05 PM
<![CDATA[Trump did not threaten to leave NATO, Macron says]]>
Some news agencies reported the U.S. president had threatened to pull out of the 70-year-old alliance over frustration with member states' lack of commitment to agreed goals including spending 2 percent of GDP on defence.

But Macron said no direct threat was issued. NATO sources said that while Trump warned that the U.S. could "go it alone" if others didn't step up, it fell short of a direct threat to formally withdraw.]]>
7/12/2018 1:48:09 PM
<![CDATA[Hundreds of former Pakistan ruling party members detained, they say]]>
No official reason was given but the party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), says it is an attempt to stifle its ability to launch street protests.

A police official who asked not to be identified said more than 100 PML-N workers had been detained.

"We received instructions to take prominent PML-N activists from their areas to avoid a law and order problem," the official told Reuters.

The crackdown on the PML-N, whose leaders have accused the military of attempting to destabilise the party, comes a day before the party founder, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is due to return to Pakistan where he faces arrest.

Muhammad Mehdi, the party's media coordinator, told Reuters that nearly 500 workers had been detained in a "massive crackdown", including raids on the homes of a number of some of the party's local councillors.

PML-N members have said the crackdown on workers who handle street level organising will make it harder for them to stage rallies and protests on Sharif's return, when he will challenge the verdict and sentence against him.

A Pakistani accountability court on Friday sentenced Sharif in absentia to 10 years in prison for corrupt practices linked to his family's purchase of upscale London flats.

Sharif has denounced the court proceedings as politically motivated and a judicial witch-hunt, often suggesting the military was to blame.

Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties, or to run as independents, ahead of the July 25 poll.

The run-up to the general election has been marred by accusations that the military is meddling in politics and muzzling the media to help usher cricketer turned politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into power.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for almost half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, denies involvement.

Khan has also denied colluding with the military.

The Punjab government's caretaker law minister, Shaukat Javed, told Reuters his office had not ordered the detentions.

"Punjab government has not issued any kind of instructions to police for a crackdown against PML-N activists," he said.

Dozens of PML-N activists were arrested earlier this week and appeared in court on Wednesday, accused of plotting unrest to coincide with Sharif's return.

A PML-N official told Reuters that police began monitoring his house and the residences of a number of other party activists on Wednesday night.

"I left my house last night and am hiding at a friend's house," Mustafain Shah said.]]>
7/12/2018 12:46:13 PM
<![CDATA[Israel says it hits Syrian army posts after drone incursion]]>
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, briefing Israeli reporters during a visit to Moscow, signalled that Israel would not act against President Bashar al-Assad in his efforts to regain control in Syria, while working to ensure Iranian forces who support him quit the country.

"We never had a problem with the Assad regime. For forty years (after the 1973 Middle East war), not one bullet was fired on the Golan Heights," a reporter for Israel's Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying.

"The heart of the matter is retaining our freedom of action against anyone who acts against us, and the removal of the Iranians from Syrian territory," Netanyahu said, a day after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Israeli military said it had hit three targets in retaliation for the incursion of a Syrian drone which it shot down over its air space hours earlier.

"The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) holds the Syrian regime accountable for the actions carried out in its territory and warns it from further action against Israeli forces," it said in a statement.

Israel issued black-and-white surveillance footage that showed missiles hitting what appeared to be a hut, a two-storey structure and a five-storey structure in hilly terrain.

Syrian state media said the missiles targeted positions around Hader village in the southern province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

"The aircraft of the Israeli enemy fired several missiles in the direction of some army positions," state media cited a military source as saying. Air defences thwarted the attack, which caused only material damages, it said.

Israel is alarmed by Iranian influence in Syria during the seven-year civil war, striking targets it describes as Iranian deployments or convoys of Hezbollah, a Lebanese movement backed by Tehran.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian government forces advance on rebels near the Golan, which Israel took from Syria in the earlier 1967 Middle East war. Israel worries Assad could let his Iranian allies entrench there or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarisation.

With the help of heavy Russian air power, Syrian government forces seized swathes of the southern Deraa province from insurgents in the past three weeks. The offensive is expected to turn next to rebel parts of Quneitra, closer to the Golan.

The pro-Damascus newspaper al-Watan said on Thursday the army sent reinforcements to launch a "broad military operation" and bring all the province under state rule.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel factions clashed with government forces overnight in Quneitra.

Earlier this week, state media said air defences struck an Israeli warplane and shot down missiles targeting the T4 air base in Homs province. Israel neither confirmed nor denied carrying out that strike. ]]>
7/12/2018 12:42:12 PM
<![CDATA[Pics: 10 people killed in horrible bus crash on Alex-Matrouh highway]]>
A horrible accident took place this morning at the 95th kilometer of the highway, when a bus packed with people collided with a goods vehicle leading to the death of 10 and the injury of 25 people, according to the latest reports.

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A horrible accident took place this morning at the 95th kilometer of the highway, when a bus packed with people collided with a goods vehicle

A security source identified the bus’s high speed as the cause of the accident, saying that high speed caused the bus to collide with a truck pulling a trailer.

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A horrible accident took place this morning at the 95th kilometer of the highway, when a bus packed with people collided with a goods vehicle

In August 2017, one person was killed and three others were injured when a car overturned on Matrouh-Alexandria International Coastal Road.

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

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

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

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

The country is among the 10 states enrolled in a UN program that aims to half the rate of road deaths by 2020. Since 2014, Egypt launched a number of projects and campaigns to monitor road safety; including building new roads, maintaining dilapidated bridges and carrying out random drug tests on drivers.
]]>
7/12/2018 12:19:43 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt not to witness partial solar eclipse on Friday - NRIAG]]>
The solar eclipse will last for three hours and 25 minutes and will be observed in south Australia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the head of the National Research Institute Of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) said on Thursday.

On July 27, Egypt will witness a total lunar eclipse which will be seen in parts of South America, much of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Hatem Ouda said.

This is the second lunar eclipse this year, he said. The first one took place in January.

The lunar eclipse will be fully visible for 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Ouda said the total lunar eclipse Blood Moon will be the single longest eclipse for at least the next 82 years.]]>
7/12/2018 11:59:22 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt launches program to raise awareness on children issues]]>CAIRO – 12 July 2018: Egypt’s national program, meant for protecting homeless children, organized Wednesday a meeting with a group of officials in charge of social media pages concerned with children's issues to develop mechanisms to spread awareness on such issues on digital media platforms.


The meeting was attended by representatives of international organizations, civil society organizations and the founders, including Samoscial Egypt, UNICEF, Banati Foundation, and Save the Children’s Emergency Fund.

The participants agreed on several recommendations, most notably the enhancement of cooperation between the participants and the comprehensive and full implementation of the national strategies launched on protecting homeless children.

In cooperation with the charitable fund of Tahya Masr, the Ministry of Social Solidarity has been implementing a national program to protect homeless children as part of the ministry's efforts to address such dangerous phenomenon.

The program also launched a hotline -16439- for children asking for help.

An overwhelming state of wrath and horror has dominated Giza residents after three children were murdered and found lying dead on the street.

Organ trade which dominated Egyptian people’s minds especially over the past few years has caused many people to think that the children were victimized by organ trafficking gangs. The youngest of the three children was only one and a half years old, according to the preliminary forensic report.

The bodies were badly decomposed which indicates that the children died few days ago, according to security investigations. The forensic report proved that the children were burnt and have suffocated to death, suggesting that they were trapped in a place where a fire broke out.

Refuting Organ trafficking possibility, a security source said that the body of one of the three children was found to be without any holes, adding that perhaps the holes found in the other two victims’ bodies were caused by the stray dogs or any other factors.

A number of forensic pathologists said they have collected DNA samples, to compare them with that of the families whose children were reported lost. The group said that the final report would be issued within two weeks.

A committee of many high-ranking security officers was formed to investigate the mysterious death of the three children, hear the eyewitnesses, and check the surveillance cameras positioned near the scene.

]]>
7/12/2018 11:43:44 AM
<![CDATA[ Health Min. confirms availability of baby formula in markets ]]>CAIRO – 11 July 2018: Strategic reserves of the baby formula milk are enough for many months to come, Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, announced on Wednesday.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Zayed confirmed that the ministry is committed to maintaining the required amounts of the baby formula milk reserves, pointing out that the ministry signed an agreement with the National Service Projects Organization (NSPO) to monthly pump 1 million baby formula packs into the local markets.

Since taking office in June, Zayed ordered to quickly provide the local market with large quantities of the baby formula milk since that market has been suffering huge shortage of the baby dairy products for so long.

Back in 2016, and after a major public outcry, the Armed Forces criticized what they called the “monopoly practices of the companies importing baby formula milk" and took it upon themselves to address the severe milk formula shortage by pumping locally-produced milk formula into the market at decreased prices.

In late January, former trade Minister Tarek Kabil unveiled plans by Poland's Polfa consortium to set up a complex for baby formula production in 10th of Ramadan city at investments of LE 600 million at the first stage.

The project is set to be financed through the Polish Development Bank, according to a statement by the ministry.

The second stage of the project will include the manufacturing of dairy products like cheese and butter, with total investments of LE 1.5 billion for the first and second stages.

Production is likely to start by the end of 2018. The project will help secure the local market's needs of baby formula with the possibility of exporting part of the output to some Arab and African countries.
]]>
7/12/2018 11:13:04 AM
<![CDATA[Libya’s recognized NOC resumes oil production, export]]>
Haftar handed back the control of the oil ports to Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, ending more than two weeks of dispute following his former decision to hand them to an internationally unrecognized oil authority in Benghazi.

Following his new decision, Hariga, Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina oil ports were all handed back to Tripoli’s NOC. NOC announced that the production and export of oil would return within few hours to the normal levels.

Haftar’s former decision aimed to help eradicate terrorism, as militant organizations had formerly gained a share of the oil revenues, Head of the NOC in Benghazi, Faraj Saeed al-Hassi, told Egypt Today in June.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari earlier justified the former move saying that it aimed to prevent oil revenues from being used to back militias such as “Chadian mercenaries”, and was due to the lack of recognition of chairman of NOC Tripoli, Mustafa Sanalla, for the “sacrifices” of LNA troops guarding the ports, Reuters reported.

Eastern factions have long accused the Central Bank of Libya of misspending oil revenues and allocating insufficient funds to the east.

Mismari announced in a press conference that the LNA had foiled five attacks on Libya’s oil crescent, which reportedly incorporates about 80 percent of Libya’s oil, causing the death of 184 LNA soldiers while defending the region.

Hassi claimed that the militant organizations attacking the oil crescent are funded from Libya’s oil revenues.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Gomaa
Parts of the reporting was taken from Reuters
]]>
7/12/2018 10:33:14 AM
<![CDATA[Environment Min. studies using electric vehicles in public transport]]>
The meeting discussed including such technology in Egypt’s public transport, exploring its economic feasibility and its role in achieving a sustainable and safe method of transportation besides its expected contribution to limit road accidents and decrease noise.

Applying the technology would also help save energy, and limit health problems and diseases that result from the environmental pollution, according to a statement by the ministry.

Fouad affirmed the importance of such studies, saying that they come within the framework of the ministry’s duty to limit pollution, preserve national resources and achieve sustainable development.

Fouad was named as the minister of environmental affairs in June, along with 11 other newly-appointed ministers, as part of the new Cabinet headed by Mostafa Madbouly who succeeded Sherif Ismail.

She is the third female minister to serve as the environment minister after Laila Rashid Eskandar and Nadia Makram Ebeid. Fouad is an assistant professor of economy and political science in Cairo University.

Fouad has served as the acting director of the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies since 2014.

She represented Egypt in a number of international conferences within the framework of the Green Climate Fund. In addition, she headed a committee that managed to get a fund of $54 million to support Egypt's environmental program for renewable energy.
]]>
7/12/2018 10:28:04 AM
<![CDATA[Surviving member of German neo-Nazi murder cell jailed for life]]>
Beate Zschaepe, 43, was found guilty of 10 counts of murder for her complicity in the deadly shootings of nine Turkish and Greek-born immigrants and a German policewoman.

Zschaepe and her former lovers Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt had formed a militant clandestine group they called the National Socialist Underground (NSU).

The trio carried out the killings from 2000 and 2007, as well as two bombings and 15 bank robberies, before the two men died in an apparent suicide pact after a bungled bank heist in 2011.

The scope of the NSU's crimes only came to light after the men's deaths, when Zschaepe released a macabre confession video set to a Pink Panther cartoon theme.

Germany, which has long struggled to atone for its Nazi past, was shocked to learn that the series of killings, previously blamed by police on immigrant crime gangs, had in fact been committed by organised fascists from the country's formerly communist east.

Judge Manfred Goetzl handed down the highest sentence citing the "exceptional severity of the crime," meaning Zschaepe could stay behind bars beyond Germany's regular maximum 15-year prison term.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter that the ruling meant Germany was "standing up to racist violence with the strength of the law," and added that "the victims remain unforgotten".

- 'Accomplices still out there' -

The mammoth trial had run since May 2013 and heard 800 witnesses and experts. Critics said many questions remain unanswered, including how the killers stayed undetected for so long and whether some undercover state informants knew of the NSU's existence.

Turkey's foreign ministry said the ruling "unfortunately has not revealed in all its dimensions the background of the NSU murders as well as its links with the 'deep state' and intelligence, and the real culprits have not been found".

Gokay Sofuoglu, chairman of the Turkish community association in Germany, told news agency DPA that for his group's members, "trust in public institutions has been deeply shaken".

In 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged that Germany would "do everything we can to clear up the murders".

That same year, then head of Germany's BfV domestic intelligence agency, Heinz Fromm, was forced to resign when it emerged his service had shredded files related to the NSU suspects.

The chairman of a parliamentary inquests into the case, Uli Groetsch, said it was clear that the three were "supported by a broad network of neo-Nazis".

On the eve of the verdict, Abdulkerim Simsek, son of the first NSU murder victim Enver Simsek, said: "I'm 100 percent sure that there are still accomplices out there."

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, urged the government to take the danger of rightwing extremism "more seriously", especially after the far-right AfD party entered parliament last year, warning this threatened the "erosion of our democracy".

- Anti-Semitic video game -

Zschaepe has admitted to crimes such as helping plot bank robberies but insisted she only learnt of the murders after they were committed, and her defence immediately filed an appeal.

The woman who grew up in the extremist skinhead subculture of post-reunification east Germany, last week told the court that racist ideology has "no meaning for me anymore".

Judge Goetzl, painting a picture of the extremism that consumed the group, said Mundlos "hated the multicultural melting pot in Germany" and had even developed an anti-Semitic video game in which players shot Jews.

"Zschaepe took on the far-right views of her environment," said the judge, adding that she formed a firm bond with racist friends.

Among them were four men also convicted Wednesday for supplying the NSU with the murder weapon, cash, identity papers and logistical and moral support during their years in hiding.

Ralf Wohlleben, a former member of the far-right NPD party, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for complicity in nine counts of murder.

Carsten Schulze was also convicted of complicity but got three years under the juvenile penal code, and Holger Gerlach received three years for backing a terrorist organisation.

Unrepentant neo-Nazi Andre Eminger was found not guilty of complicity but sentenced to two-and-a-half years for backing a terrorist group, a verdict that was greeted with applause from neo-Nazi supporters in the courtroom.]]>
7/12/2018 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Failure to educate girls could cost world $30 trillion a year ]]>
Women who have completed secondary education are more likely to work and earn on average nearly twice as much as those with no schooling, according to a report by the World Bank.

About 132 million girls worldwide aged 6 to 17 do not attend school, while fewer than two-thirds of those in low-income nations finish primary school, and only a third finish lower secondary school, the World Bank said.

If every girl in the world finished 12 years of quality education, lifetime earnings for women could increase by $15 trillion to $30 trillion every year, according to the report.

Other positive impacts of completing secondary school education for girls include a reduction in child marriage, lower fertility rates in countries with high population growth, and reduced child mortality and malnutrition, the World Bank said.

"We cannot keep letting gender inequality get in the way of global progress," Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank chief executive, said in a statement.

The benefits of educating girls are considerably higher at secondary school level in comparison to primary education, said Quentin Wodon, World Bank lead economist and main report author.

"While we do need to insure that of course all girls complete primary school, that is not enough," Wodon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Women who have completed secondary education are at lesser risk of suffering violence at the hands of their partners and have children who are less likely to be malnourished and themselves are more likely to go to school, the report said.

"When 130 million girls are unable to become engineers or journalists or CEOs because education is out of their reach, our world misses out on trillions of dollars," Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said in a statement.

"This report is more proof that we cannot afford to delay investing in girls," said Yousafzai, an education activist was shot in the head at the age of 15 by a Taliban gunman in 2012.

The report was published ahead of U.N. Malala Day on Thursday, which marks the birthday of the Pakistani activist.]]>
7/12/2018 3:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[China's ZTE clears hurdle to lifting U.S. ban]]>
The ban on China's No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker will be removed once the company deposits $400 million in an escrow account, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement announcing that an escrow agreement had been signed.

The ban, which was imposed in April and caused ZTE to cease major operations, has been a source of friction between Washington and Beijing, which are engaged in an escalating trade dispute.

ZTE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Today's announcement marks the beginning of the end of this long-running saga," said Washington attorney Douglas Jacobson, who represents ZTE suppliers.

The escrow agreement is part of a $1.4 billion settlement ZTE reached with the Commerce Department last month to regain access to U.S. suppliers, whose components it relies on for its smartphones and networking gear.

The ban was imposed after ZTE broke an agreement reached after ZTE pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court last year for illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The new settlement includes a $1 billion penalty that ZTE paid to the U.S. Treasury last month and the $400 million in the escrow account that the United States could seize if ZTE violates the latest settlement. The $1 billion penalty is in addition to nearly $900 million ZTE paid last year.

Once the ban is lifted, ZTE, which employs around 80,000 people, is expected to restart major operations. The reprieve for ZTE coincides with a new Trump administration threat of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

In its statement, the Commerce Department said the ZTE action is a law enforcement matter unrelated to broader discussions of trade policy.

"The ZTE settlement represents the toughest penalty and strictest compliance regime the department has ever imposed in such a case," the Commerce Department said.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in May that he had closed down ZTE and then let it reopen, although no agreement to lift the ban had yet been reached. He said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give ZTE "a way to get back into business, fast." ZTE had said the ban threatened its survival.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said last month that Trump decided to allow ZTE to again buy U.S. parts and components as a personal favor to Xi to show good will for bigger efforts.

U.S. suppliers have been anxious to resume business since U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the settlement on June 7. ZTE paid over 200 U.S. companies more than $2.3 billion in 2017, including Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp, Broadcom Inc and Texas Instruments Inc.

Shares of smaller U.S. suppliers, which are more dependent on ZTE, pared losses after the news, including optical component makers Acacia Communications Inc, Oclaro Inc and Lumentum Holdings Inc.

ZTE's shares were suspended for almost two months after the ban was imposed and have lost about half their value.

The company last week received a limited one-month reprieve from the Commerce Department to maintain existing networks and equipment.

Under the new settlement, ZTE was required to change its board and management within 30 days. It also will operate for the next 10 years under a suspended ban. The current ban could have lasted up to seven years.

In addition, the company must hire an outside compliance monitor selected by the Commerce Department. The department missed a 30-day deadline to choose the monitor, but said on Wednesday the timetable was adjusted to conduct "due diligence."

A controversial monitor appointed to a three-year term by a federal judge in Texas as part of last year's guilty plea already is in place.

ZTE also agreed to allow the U.S. government unfettered site visits to verify U.S. components are being used as claimed by ZTE, and to post calculations of the U.S. components in its products on its website in Chinese and English.

Members of the U.S. Senate last month urged Trump to reconsider the settlement, saying that ZTE posed "a significant threat" to national security.

The Senate paved the way for a showdown with Trump over the issue last month, when it passed an annual defense policy bill including an amendment attempting to reverse the deal. The measure could still be killed when Senate and House of Representatives meet in the coming weeks to forge a compromise version of the bill.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, on Wednesday called the ZTE deal "awful" and said it would "undermine our national and economic security." He said he hopes his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate will "maintain the Senate's strong language in the defense bill."

Reuters revealed on June 5 that ZTE had signed a preliminary agreement with the Commerce Department, along with the fine and other terms. It also broke news of the ban in April.

A U.S. investigation into ZTE was launched after Reuters reported in 2012 the company had signed contracts to ship hardware and software worth millions of dollars to Iran from some of the best-known U.S. technology companies. ]]>
7/12/2018 2:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Nigeria's President Buhari says will soon sign up to African free-trade agreement]]>
Nigeria is one of Africa's two largest economies, the other being South Africa. Buhari's government had refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own businesses and industry.

The administration later said it wanted more time to consult business leaders.

"In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries," Buhari told a news conference during a visit by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn't read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it."

Earlier Ramaphosa told a business conference in Abuja that South Africa saw huge benefits from the continental free trade deal and that a draft agreement relating to the movement of people was being reviewed.

In his first visit to Nigeria since becoming South Africa's president in February, Ramaphosa said he was seeking greater collaboration between the two countries.

He condemned xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa, including Nigerians, against a backdrop of economic hardship and soaring unemployment.

"This is a working visit to come to Nigeria and I've made it a specific issue that I want relations with Nigeria to improve exponentially," Ramaphosa told the conference.

Nigeria and South Africa have the two largest economies in Africa. Along with Angola, they make up about three-fifths of sub-Saharan Africa's annual economic output.

Both countries have been hit hard in recent years by low commodity prices that slowed growth, cut government revenues and weakened their currencies. But each has emerged from recession, largely because of a rebound in commodity prices.

The growth of the two economies played a large part in the World Bank's forecast that sub-Saharan Africa's economy will grow by 3.1 percent this year, up from 2.6 percent in 2017.

The continental free-trade zone, which encompasses 1.2 billion people, was initially joined by 44 countries in March. South Africa signed up earlier this month. Six countries, including Nigeria, are yet to sign the agreement.

Economists point to the continent's low level of intra-regional trade as one of the reasons for Africa's enduring poverty and lack of a strong manufacturing base.

African Union officials said countries that have signed the agreement will need to submit a schedule of tariffs by December, adding that they expect intra-African trade to double over the next four years once tariffs are reduced. ]]>
7/12/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Thai boys were sedated and stretchered from cave in dramatic rescue]]>
The video of the rescue, which ended on Tuesday when the final four boys and their 25-year-old coach emerged from the cave, was released by authorities who had until late Wednesday closely guarded the details of the seemingly unprecedented operation.

Other video footage shows several of the boys in hospital, in quarantine and wearing face masks but seemingly in good health as they nod, wave and flash peace signs to the camera.

The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday when the final members of the "Wild Boars" were freed from the cave which had held them captive since June 23.

The rescue sparked jubilation with Thais heaping praise on the rescue team of foreign and local divers as the triumphant tagline "Hooyah" pinballed across social media.

But Thai authorities have been coy on how a group of boys, many of whom could not swim and none with diving experience, could have navigated the treacherous narrow and submerged passageways of the Tham Luang complex, even with expert diving support.

After days of mounting speculation, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver broke the silence, revealing the boys were sleeping or partially-conscious as they were passed from diver-to-diver through the cave.

"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers... (as if) groggy, but they were breathing," Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong told AFP.

"My job was to transfer them along," he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred" and were monitored at regular intervals by doctors posted along the kilometres-long escape route.

He did not say if the coach, the only adult with the boys for nine days before they found, was able to dive and walk out unaided.

Footage released by the Thai Navy SEALs showed foreign and Thai divers using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul stretchers bearing two of the barely moving young footballers to safety, their exit framed by the jagged cave overhead.

Junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha on Tuesday said the boys had been given a "minor tranquiliser" to prevent anxiety during the complex extraction bid.

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible".

The rescue was fraught with danger, a point underscored last Friday by the death of a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver as he ran out of air in the flooded cave complex.

Then, with the final divers slowly exiting the cave on Tuesday, the pumps suddenly failed pushing the water level up towards head height in a previously wadeable section of the cave.

"If you didn’t use the water pump in that location, you could only come out with an oxygen tank," ex-SEAL Commander Chaiyananta said.

That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time.

- Saga grips the world -

Thailand spent Wednesday celebrating the successful mission.

It received blanket coverage in Thai media with newspaper The Nation running the headline "Hooyah! Mission accomplished" and the Bangkok Post emblazoned with "All Wild Boars saved".

Despite spending days in the dark, dank, cave health officials said the boys -- who are aged 11 to 16 -- are in good physical and mental health and eating normal food.

"It might be because they were all together as a team," public health ministry inspector general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters.

The saga of the "Wild Boars" gripped the world, with the lives of the group hanging in the balance as the threat of heavy rain injected urgency to an already perilous extraction bid.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid.

Duangduen Sittiwongsa, a classmate of 16-year-old Pheeraphat "Night" Sompiengjai, whose birthday fell on the same day the team entered the cave, said they would give him cake when he came back to school.

"We will sing a song for him," she said.

- Risky rescue -

Rescuers had weighed up several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season.

But they were prodded into the dangerous task of bringing the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rains menaced.

The group were taken out in three batches by a team of 13 international divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a "Hooyah" on their Facebook page.

That sign off quickly turned into a hashtag shared across social media, where luminaries of business, politics and sport extended their best wishes to the team and the rescuers.]]>
7/12/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[British ambassador hails Egypt's role in supporting refugees]]>
“The most important thing in any society is how it looks after the most vulnerable. Egypt has done so much to support refugees” Casson tweeted on Wednesday, affirming that “the UK is not leaving Egypt to carry this responsibility alone.”

“We’ve provided LE 75.9 million support for migrants & refugees, and EL 43.2 million for UNHCR,” he added.




Casson’s tweet followed a reception held at his residence on Monday with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to mark World Refugee Day which is being celebrated on June 20 every year.

High profile Egyptian officials attended the reception, alongside representatives of donor countries and agencies, diplomats, NGOs’ representatives, businessmen and celebrities who support refugees.]]>
7/12/2018 12:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Increase in Egypt’s cigarettes prices takes place Thursday]]>
The Chairman of Eastern SAE, Mohammed Haroun, said in a phone call with the Egyptian Satellite show, “Happens in Egypt”, that the current increase has been ratified by the Parliament six months ago.

The Price of cigarettes and tobacco products in Egypt went through an increase of LE 3.5 in November, as a result of the amendments value-added tax (VAT) law. The increase will include domestic and imported cigarettes.
]]>
7/11/2018 11:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi orders securing basic commodities, tightening market control]]>
Sisi’s remarks came during his meeting with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and ministers of defense, housing, justice, supply, tourism, finance and interior, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The president also stressed the need for continuing efforts to provide basic commodities for citizens at affordable prices and establish a modern and integrated grain storage system.

Sisi further reviewed efforts exerted to rationalize the use of water and improve its quality through establishing water desalination plants throughout the nation.

The president ordered stepping up efforts to attract more foreign investments into the country with the aim of raising growth rates and reducing unemployment and public debt.

The meeting also reviewed the government's plan to develop the tourism sector in Egypt, especially in the Red Sea governorate.]]>
7/11/2018 7:11:15 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir, Boeing delegation discuss developing national fleet ]]>
The two companies have a strong relation that extends to more than 50 years of cooperation.

EgyptAir has recently signed a contract with the American company Boeng to update its fleet with six new jets of B787-9 model, which is known as the “Dreamliner”.

In October 2017, Egypt received the eighth Boeing jet from the United States, as part of a deal for nine airplanes that EgyptAir had purchased to join its fleet of B737-800 NG airplane model.

This is the 65th airplane added to the six-year-old fleet according to a drawn replacement and renewal plan.

The airplane is the 25th from the model that is considered the bestselling in the 737 Boeing families. The 737 delivers superior reliability, fuel efficiency and high-value return operators required in today's competitive market, according to Boeing’s official website.

The aircraft is part of a $864 million deal between EgyptAir and Boeing. It includes delivering nine airplanes to the Egyptian company, according to the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram. Egypt received the first jet in December 2016.

Meanwhile, EgyptAir was hailed for its “honorable role” during a meeting of the Arab League. Secretary General of Arab League Ahmed Abul-Gheit praised on Wednesday the EgyptAir carrier for serving the participants of the Supreme Coordinating Committee, whose 47th round kicked off in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 3.

EgyptAir partook in the event as an official sponsor; its participation comes within the efforts to boost tourism in Egypt.

During the meeting, Abul-Gheit honored Osama Taha, the regional director of EgyptAir in Saudi Arabia, Medhat el-Gazar, the head of EgyptAir bureau in Jeddah, Bandar el-Fahid, the chariman of the Arab Organization for Tourism in Jeddan, and Waleed el-Hennawy, the head of the Arab Organization for Tourism.


]]>
7/11/2018 7:08:48 PM
<![CDATA[710 prisoners released per presidential pardon ]]>
The Prisons Authority continues to select the prisoners who qualify for conditional release, and those who served half of their sentences and were not involved in criminal cases.

A total of 506 other prisoners were granted a conditional release.

On June 21, some 405 prisoners were released per a presidential pardon, while 478 others were granted a conditional release on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr (Religious feast marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan). An earlier batch was released on the same occasion including 2,110 prisoners on June 15.

In May, the Interior Ministry's prison department pardoned 447 prisoners on the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the prison department also found that 473 inmates are qualified for release on parole. The Egyptian government frequently pardons prisoners during national celebrations.

Also in May, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pardoned About 332 prisoners. The pardon list included youths and prisoners with health problems.

In October 2016, President Sisi announced the formation of a presidential pardon committee, headed by political thinker, Osama al-Ghazaly Harb, for pardoning detainees with charges pending further investigation.

In November 2016, Sisi declared the first presidential pardon list, pardoning 82 detainees, including TV presenter and religious thinker Islam al-Behery, who was charged with “contempt of Islam”.

A second pardon list was declared in March 2017, pardoning 203 detainees. The list included five journalists, according to Masrawy news outlet. In June 2017, Sisi announced pardoning 502 detainees.

On the anniversary of October 6 War, 244 Egyptian prisoners regained their freedom after receiving a pardon upon a presidential decree.


Additional report with MENA

]]>
7/11/2018 7:07:09 PM
<![CDATA[Judicial supervision of local elections unprecedented: NEC]]>
Refaat added during the round table organized by Al-Ahram Center for Political & Strategic Studies (ACPSS) that the NEC has overseen all the elections that took place in Egypt; the municipal, presidential and parliamentary elections.

He also said that the commission carries out its mission according to the Constitution and law throughout the different stages of elections, adding that the number of those entitled to vote reached 60 million Egyptians.

Political parties are preparing for the local election, slated to take place at the end of 2018 or the early beginnings of 2019, as announced by speaker of the Parliament Ali Abdel Aal.

The Ministry of Local Development has reportedly allocated specific portions from its 2018/2019 budget to local councils, implying the government’s intention to permit municipal councils to work once again, MP Yousry al-Asiouty, member of the parliamentary Committee for Local Development, said in press remarks.

The local administration law will be expectedly passed during the current parliamentary session and then the government will be able to hold the municipal election.

The local administration law stipulates that 75 percent of the seats shall be dedicated to the single-member seats, while 25 percent goes to the candidates of the winning mixed-party list.

]]>
7/11/2018 7:05:02 PM
<![CDATA[Trump tells NATO leaders to up military spending to 4 pct of GDP]]>
The official said the president's remarks were not a formal proposal but came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defence.]]>
7/11/2018 6:00:52 PM
<![CDATA[UNESCO: Pollution caused by plastic wastes in seas harms world food security]]>
This remark came in Azoulay's speech delivered by the Head of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in Egypt Amany el Sikaily on her behalf on the occasion of the World Oceans Day in Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Wednesday.

Azoulay asserted that the discovery of a new "dead zone" in the Gulf of Oman has shed light on the phenomenon of the presence of oxygen-depleted regions in the oceans besides the problems of overfishing and pollution.

She further underlined that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed on January 5 the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to encourage international scientific cooperation in order to encounter such kind of challenges.

The IOC affiliated to the UNESCO will carry out preparations for this decade, the official affirmed.]]>
7/11/2018 3:58:08 PM
<![CDATA[IFAD plays important role in Egypt: Minister]]>
At a meeting with an IFAD delegation, the minister added that relations between Egypt and the fund are excellent.

The ministry will extend all support to the fund, he pointed out, adding that the ministry will work to remove all hindrances to setting up a regional office for the fund in Egypt.

The meeting took up joint agricultural projects that are carried out in Egypt. ]]>
7/11/2018 3:43:09 PM
<![CDATA[Extremism has no religion: Egyptian Mufti]]>
In his speech at an international conference on peace and security that is organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia, he added terrorism is adopted by the terrorist groups who have a warped mind and distorted logic.

The international community should stand united in the face of this obnoxious phenomenon, he pointed out, adding that issuing religious opinions is one of the most important missions of official religious institutions to rectify wrong concepts about Islam and educate Muslims on the true principles of their religion.

One of the most important reasons for the spread of extremism is that ineligible people are issuing religious opinions while they are not fit for that mission as they lack religious education, he pointed out, noting that these people are misleading Muslims with a view to achieving political gains that have nothing to do with religion.

The Egyptian Darul Iftaa (House of Religious Opinion) is exerting arduous efforts to fight this chaos of issuing religious opinions through publishing books and articles along with participating in international conferences on fighting terrorism and extremism, he added.

The Egyptian Darul Iftaa has set up an observatory for refuting wrong religious opinions, he said, adding that the observatory has issued several opinions to explain the true and tolerant teachings of Islam.]]>
7/11/2018 2:25:49 PM
<![CDATA[British PM May urges her party to back EU Brexit plan: spokesman]]>
"The PM urges all of the Conservative party to get behind the plan as the cabinet (of ministers) has agreed at Chequers (her country residence). We will be publishing the white paper tomorrow to give further details," he told reporters.

"We urge everyone to get behind that plan."]]>
7/11/2018 2:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[France warns Britain that time running out on Brexit]]>
Speaking at a financial services conference in Paris, Le Maire said that London's detailed Brexit proposals last week were positive but uncertainty remained.

"Time is running out, and the ongoing uncertainty is no good for anyone, in particular for business," Le Maire said. "We want an agreement with the UK but let's be clear: this agreement has to fully respect the EU’s integrity and rules."

He added that for financial services that meant "the only way forward is one based on reviewed and improved equivalence mechanisms."]]>
7/11/2018 2:20:51 PM
<![CDATA[Gov. obligates hospitals to play national anthem daily; why? ]]>
She said in an official statement issued on Tuesday that this decision would enhance values of patriotism and loyalty to the country. “This also would remind physicians of their professional principals and the humanitarian and noble role they play in the society,” Zayed said.

Hala was appointed earlier in June following assigning new Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly to form the new Cabinet. With her appointment, the number of female ministers in the current Cabinet reached a total of eight ministers for the first time in Egyptian history.

Zayed is the second female minister in the history of the Health Ministry since its establishment in 1937. Hala el-Rabat was the first female minister to hold the position from 2013 until 2014.

Zayed was the president of the 57357 Academy of Health Sciences, the chairwoman of the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption at the Ministry of Health and an advisor to the minister of health and population.

She has a master’s degree in obstetrics and gynecology and a doctorate and a master's degree in business administration; additionally, Zayed supervised a series of national projects in the health sector, in which the World Bank, the World Health Organization and a number of international donors contributed.

She also held other positions like the director general of the General Department of Hospitals in the Medical Therapy Sector of the ministry, the head of the Central Administration for Monitoring and Follow-up and the head of the Department of Grants and Loans at the ministry.

Since taking her new post, many officials and citizens called on Zayed to tackle all of the challenges waiting for her regarding the health sector in the country which requires a lot of reforms to be able to offer the citizens good quality of medical services. In her first statements, she assured she will be fighting corruption and neglect.

The minster pledged that she will be dealing directly with patients and will go around the country to check their needs and make sure they are receiving the best services from the government.

She also affirmed in her first statements that implementing the new Health Insurance Law will be her priority. On Friday, President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi directed implementing the first phase of this new law.

In an official statement issued July 6, presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady said the first phase of the new law includes preliminary procedures for the full implementation of the law, including:

“The elimination of patient waiting lists for surgery and critical medical interventions within six months, providing the needed stocks of infant formula and vaccines, and finishing the comprehensive survey and treatment of Hepatitis C virus for Egyptian citizens.”

In December 2017, Egypt’s Parliament approved the new national Health Insurance Law, raising a stormy debate between the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, which opposes the draft law, and parliamentarians. The law was criticized for imposing more burdens on the individual's income as the law raises the monthly insurance fees.

This, however, reflects the uncountable challenges zayed faces to develop the hospitals infrastructure and services; the minister's last decision about regarding the national anthem has raised several questions about Zayed’s assessment for priorities and decisions amid the current status of health services in Egypt.

]]>
7/11/2018 2:14:21 PM
<![CDATA[SIS: Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 'model' of human rights commitment]]>
The legal dossier was collected by Counselor Adel Maged, the deputy chief justice of the Court of Cassation. It was published in the first issue of "Studies in Human Rights" Magazine, which is issued by the State Information Service (SIS).

The study demonstrated the Armed Forces' full respect for international human rights standards in fighting terrorism.

It also asserted the Armed Forces' respect for the rules of engagement within the course of combat operations in line with international conventions and the UN General Assembly's resolutions.

SIS Chairman Diaa Rashwan said that "Studies in Human Rights" Magazine features the latest studies and reports related to human rights at the local, regional and international levels.

Abdel-Moeti Abu Zeid is the editor-in-chief of the magazine, which is published in Arabic, English and French, he added.

The first issue of the magazine also includes a report titled "Egypt's Voluntary Report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2018" by Minister Omar Marwan, and another report on "Egypt's Vision and Efforts on Respect and Protection of Human Rights" by Ambassador Ahmed Ehab Gamal El Din.

It also includes a report, titled "The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights at a Glance" by Dr. Moufeed Shehab.]]>
7/11/2018 1:04:12 PM
<![CDATA[2 million Egyptian women have no access to contraceptives: officials]]>
Maisa Shawki, former deputy health minister, said family planning services should be made widely available through providing contraceptives and raising awareness of both men and women about the importance of reproductive health.

Overpopulation and limited resources are among the biggest challenges facing development in Egypt, she added. However, she cited some improvement in population indicators after the start of the application of the 2015/2030 National Population Strategy.

Birth rate went down from 31.9 percent in 2012 to 26.8 percent in 2017 and growth rate of population declined from 25.4 percent in 2012 to 21.1 percent in 2017 , she added.]]>
7/11/2018 12:55:45 PM
<![CDATA[Population of Egyptians at home hits 97.19 million early in 2018: CAPMAS]]>
Cairo came first as the most densely-populated governorate with 9.7 million people followed by Giza which accommodates 8.8 million people, the agency said in a statement on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the World Day of Population.

Egyptians aged less than 15 years old constitute 34.2 percent of the total population while elderly people represent 3.9 percent, CAPMAS said.

Urban residents constitute 42.6 percent of the total production while rural ones represent 57.4 percent.

Birth rate declined from 2.9 percent in 2016 to 2.7 percent in 2017 and the natural growth rate of population went down from 2.5 percent in 2014 to 2.1 percent in 2017.]]>
7/11/2018 12:53:27 PM
<![CDATA[Prosecution interrogates Makram over ‘illegal’ publishing ban]]>
Head of the Press Syndicate Abdel Mohsen Salama and lawyer of the syndicate, Sayed Abu Zeid, attended the investigation session.

On Saturday, Attorney General Nabil Sadiq summoned Ahmed to investigate imposing a media gag on reports related to the 57375 Children Cancer Hospital. According to the General Prosecution’s statement, any decision for publication prevention should be based on Article 26 of the law on the media institutional organizations, without violating the powers of public prosecution.

The attorney-general addressed Ahmed in stating that the law authorizes the SCMR to guarantee and protect freedom of the press and citizens’ right to enjoy free and fair press within the framework of professional practices.

According to the statement, the attorney-general told Ahmed to submit a clear explanation to his decision to the Supreme State Security Prosecution.

For his part, Ahmed confirmed receiving the general prosecution’s memorandum, adding that the attorney-general rejected the decision from the Supreme Council to ban publishing about the case.

The hospital, which is one of the largest hospitals worldwide specialized in children’s cancer treatment, is facing accusations of “administrative corruption, and illegal squander of donations”.]]>
7/11/2018 12:51:39 PM
<![CDATA[Police kills takfiris planning for attacks in ‘Rabaa’ dispersal anniv]]>
Following the raid, the security forces could seize three machine guns, a cartridge firearm and two explosive devices possessed by the takfiris, according to the sources.

The investigations revealed that the terrorists had planned targeting state institutions and carrying out destructive attacks on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda sit-ins dispersal.

The protestors who backed ousted Muslim Brotherhood affiliated President Mohamed Morsi were dispersed on August, 14, 2013, as the security forces said that some protestors were armed. The dispersal of the two protests caused the death of tens of policemen and hundreds of Morsi supporters, according to reports. The two parties hold each other responsible for the violence.

According to the security source, the eliminated terrorists had contacted a number of terrorist leaders outside the country, who funded them to buy weapons and explosives.

Arish, the largest city in North Sinai, has witnessed numerous terrorist attacks since Morsi's ousting in 2013, which led to the death of hundreds of citizens, security personnel and army men.

In November, 2017, 311 Muslim worshippers were reported killed during Friday prayers, when a group of takfiri elements stormed Al-Rawdah mosque in Al-Arish, and opened fire on worshippers. The incident has been reported as Egypt’s deadliest terrorist attack in modern history.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced that Egypt would face terrorism with “brutal force”, placing terrorism combat on top of his priorities during his first and second terms.

In February 2018, army spokesman Tamer el-Refae announced in a strongly worded televised statement that the military and police forces initiated Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018.

The operation involved land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards, targeting "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in North and Central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya, strongholds of a persistent Islamic State (IS) group insurgency that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen.

During the ongoing military operation, Army and security forces managed to eliminate dozens of takfiri elements, seize a number of explosive devices, weapons and ammunition, and damage cannabis farms besides other accomplishments, according to the consecutive army statements released.
]]>
7/11/2018 12:49:55 PM
<![CDATA[Japan PM visits flood disaster zone, promises help as new warnings issued]]>
Torrential rain caused floods and triggered landslides in western Japan last week, bringing death and destruction to neighbourhoods built decades ago near steep mountain slopes.

At least 176 people were killed, the government said, with dozens missing in Japan's worst weather disaster since 1982.

In Kumano, a mountainside community in Hiroshima prefecture that was hit by a landslide last week, Ken Kirioka anxiously watched rescuers toiling through mud, sand and smashed houses to find the missing, including his 76-year-old father, Katsuharu.

"He is old and has a heart condition. I prepared myself for the worst when I heard about the landslide on Friday night," he said, pointing at a pile of mud and rubble where he said his father was buried.

"He is an old-fashioned father who is hard-headed and does not talk much," Kirioka said, adding he would stay until his father was found. "It would be too bad for him if a family member were not around".

Rescuers working under a scorching sun combed through heaps of wood and thickly caked mud in a search for bodies, helped by sniffer dogs. In some cases only the foundation of homes remained as they cut through debris with chain saws.

With temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher in the devastated areas in Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures, attention turned to preventing heat-stroke among rescue workers and in evacuation centres where thousands of people have sought shelter.

People sat on thin mats on a gymnasium floor in one centre, plastic bags of belongings piled around them and bedding folded off to the side. Portable fans turned slowly as children cried.

ABE PLEDGES SUPPORT

Abe, who cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the disaster, was criticised after a photograph posted on Twitter showed Abe and his defence minister at a party with lawmakers just as the rains intensified.

After observing the damage from a helicopter flying over Okayama, one of the hardest-hit areas, Abe visited a crowded evacuation centre. He crouched down on the floor to speak with people, many of them elderly, and asked about their health. He clasped one man's hands as they spoke.

Later he told reporters the government would do everything it could to help the survivors.

"We'll cut through all the bureaucracy to secure the goods people need for their lives, to improve life in the evacuation centres - such as air conditioners as the hot days continue - and then secure temporary housing and the other things people need to rebuild their lives," he said.

Abe is up for re-election as party leader in September and has seen his popularity ratings edge back up after taking a hit over a cronyism scandal earlier this year.

His government pledged an initial $4 billion towards recovery on Tuesday, and a later special budget if needed.

Officials turned to social media to warn of the additional danger of food-borne illnesses, urging people to wash their hands and take other measures against food poisoning.

Evacuation orders were issued for 25 households in the city of Fukuyama after cracks were found in a reservoir.

Water accumulating behind piles of debris blocking rivers also posed a danger after a swollen river rushed into a Fukuyama residential area on Monday, prompting more evacuation orders.

The intensifying heat was expected to trigger thunderstorms on Wednesday, with authorities warning new landslides could be set off on mountainsides saturated with water.

Japanese media on Wednesday focused on the timing of evacuation orders issued in the hard-hit Mabi district of Kurashiki city just minutes before a levee broke and water poured into the residential area.

A number of the dead in Mabi were found in their homes, suggesting they did not have enough time to flee, media reports said.]]>
7/11/2018 11:53:57 AM
<![CDATA[German neo-Nazi murder suspect faces verdict after 5-year trial]]>
Prosecutors say Beate Zschaepe was part of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), whose members killed eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman over seven years from 2000.

Zschaepe has denied taking part in the murders with two men, Uwe Boehnhardt and Uwe Mundlos. They killed themselves in 2011 when police discovered the gang by chance. But she has, through her lawyer, said she felt morally guilty for not stopping them.

"I am a compassionate person and was able to see and feel the distress and despair of the families," Zschaepe, 43, said last week in her closing statement at the regional court in Munich. "I apologise for the suffering I have caused."

That was only the second time that Zschaepe spoke in court after more than 400 days of trial hearings. She said she had lacked the physical and mental strength to testify and feared her words would be misinterpreted or twisted.

In her previous testimony in 2015, she denied being a member of the NSU and described feeling horrified and bewildered when Boehnhardt and Mundlos told her about some of the murders.

Last week, she said she did not know how the victims were chosen and that she had denied reality to some extent for a long time. Only once she had turned herself in did she realize the full extent of the crimes, she said.

The prosecution has demanded a sentence of life in prison. Zschaepe's lawyers have urged the court to convict her of the lesser charges of arson and robbery.

Relatives of NSU victims are unhappy with the trial.

"Why did the murderers pick my father?" Abdulkerim Simsek, son of Enver Simsek, who was shot on Sept. 9, 2000 and died two days later, asked at a news conference on Tuesday.

"After 437 trial days this, for us, important question has not been answered. I can't find closure because I have the feeling that not everything was done to resolve this case."

The NSU attacks were the most violent by a guerrilla group in Germany since the end of the far-left Red Army Faction's two-decade spree in 1991, in which 34 people are estimated to have been killed.]]>
7/11/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Motel 6 settles lawsuit over guest data given to U.S. immigration agents]]>
The settlement with eight Hispanic plaintiffs, including seven from Arizona and one from Washington state, was disclosed in a July 6 filing with the federal court in Phoenix.

Motel 6 and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which represents the plaintiffs, said the accord required court approval and would include a consent decree, with further documentation expected by Aug. 15.

Thomas Saenz, a lawyer for MALDEF, on Tuesday said settlement details should be made public in the next few weeks.

Motel 6 and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The chain is controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, which bought the brand in 2012.

MALDEF had sued Motel 6 in January, saying its release of guest lists was racially discriminatory and unconstitutional, and allowed law enforcement to make arrests without warrants or reasonable suspicion that crimes had been committed.

The lawsuit was filed four months after the Phoenix New Times said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials had arrested 20 people in six months at Motel 6s in Arizona, using guest lists to identify people by national origin.

Motel 6 was also sued in January by Washington state's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, who said six locations in that state provided data for more than 9,100 guests to ICE agents over a two-year period.

A spokeswoman for Ferguson did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.

Motel 6's management company, G6 Hospitality, has said it ordered its more than 1,400 U.S. and Canadian locations in September to stop voluntarily giving guest lists to ICE agents.

The case is Jane V. et al v Motel 6 Operating LP et al, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, No. 18-00242.]]>
7/11/2018 2:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[All 12 boys and coach rescued from Thai cave]]>
Elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs extracted the final batch of four boys, plus the 25-year-old coach, on Tuesday afternoon via a treacherous escape route that required them to squeeze through narrow, water-filled tunnels in darkness.

"All 12 'Wild Boars' and coach have been extracted from the cave," the SEALs said in a Facebook post, referring to the boys by the name of their football team.

"All are safe," they added, then signed off with what has become their trademark "Hooyah" that they used to celebrate the successful extractions of the other eight boys over the previous two days.

The last four Thai navy divers, including a doctor, who had been with the boys emerged safe from the cave late Tuesday, rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

The children, aged from 11 to 16, and their coach, ventured into the Tham Luang cave in mountainous northern Thailand on June 23 after football practice and got trapped when heavy rains caused flooding that forced them to take shelter on a muddy ledge.

They spent nine days in darkness until two British divers found them, looking gaunt but offering smiles to the divers and appearing to be in remarkably good spirits.

The initial euphoria at finding them dissipated as authorities struggled to devise a safe plan to get them out, with the shelf more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) inside the cave and the labyrinth of tunnels leading to them filled with water.

- Impossible to Possible -

Authorities mulled ideas such as drilling holes into the mountain or waiting months until monsoon rains ended and they could walk out, with the rescue chief at one point dubbing the efforts to save them "Mission Impossible".

With oxygen levels in their chamber falling to dangerous levels and monsoon rains threatening to flood the cave above the ledge where the boys were sheltering, rescuers decided on the least-worst option of having divers escort them out through the tunnels.

The escape route was a challenge even for experts -- a former Thai Navy SEAL diver died when he ran out of oxygen in a flooded area of the cave on Friday while trying to prepare the escape route.

Many of the boys could not even swim and none of them had diving experience, so the rescuers trained them how to use a mask and breathe underwater via an oxygen tank.

The rescue chief, after the success of the daring mission, revised his description of the efforts to "Mission Possible".

One fear had been that the boys would panic while trying to swim underwater, even with a diver escorting them.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha revealed on Tuesday the boys had been given some medication to help them remain calm.

"It was a minor tranquiliser to prevent (the) boys from being anxious," Prayut told reporters.

The ups and downs of the rescue bid entranced Thailand and also fixated a global audience, drawing support from celebrities as varied as US President Donald Trump, football star Lionel Messi and tech guru Elon Musk.

"On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand," Trump tweeted. "Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!"

Manchester United also invited the "Wild Boars", as well as those involved in the rescue, to travel to England and visit the club.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season," the club said in tweet.

- Health concerns -

Now they are out, concerns are set to focus on the physical and mental toll of the ordeal.

Experts warned that drinking contaminated water or otherwise being exposed to bird or bat droppings in the cave could lead to dangerous infections.

They also said counselling would be needed to deal with the psychological trauma of spending so long not knowing whether they were going to survive.

But there were some promising initial signs.

Medical chiefs reported on Tuesday morning that the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were in relatively good mental and physical conditions.

"All eight are in good health, no fever... everyone is in a good mental state," Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, said before all 13 had been rescued.

Nevertheless, the boys would remain in quarantine in hospital until doctors were sure they had not contracted any infections from inside the cave.]]>
7/11/2018 1:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pompeo to stress need to boost pressure on Iran on NATO sidelines]]>
Pompeo flew from Abu Dhabi, where he discussed Iran with leaders of the United Arab Emirates. Senior State Department officials have also completed three days of talks on Iran in Saudi Arabia, and "discussed new ways to deprive the regime of revenues," a State Department official told reporters traveling on Pompeo’s plane.

"In our meeting with the Saudi energy minister, we discussed maintaining a well-stocked oil market to guard against volatility," he said. "We discussed U.S. oil sanctions to deny Iran revenue to fight against terrorism. We talked about minimizing market disruptions and helping partners find alternatives to Iran oil."

At NATO, Pompeo would discuss Iran with ministers from Britain, France and Germany, and in other bilateral meetings, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said a meeting with political directors of the so-called E-3 countries of France, Germany and Britain, who signed an international agreement on Iran that the Trump administration has withdrawn from, would now be held in Brussels on Wednesday or Thursday. He said it was postponed for a couple of days due to scheduling issues.

The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington has since told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face U.S. financial measures, with no exemptions.

Since Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement, European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to maintain the nuclear curbs required in the deal.

But so far it has proven difficult to offset the impact of continued U.S. sanctions, with European firms reluctant to risk far-reaching U.S. financial penalties to do business in Iran.

"No matter how much people write about trans-Atlantic rifts, in the case of Iran we agree on much more than we disagree," the U.S. official said. "The European nations are as frustrated as we are with Iran's missile program, the missile attacks that they are facilitating."]]>
7/11/2018 12:37:06 AM
<![CDATA[Trump lashes NATO allies as he lands for tense summit]]>
Trump touched down in Brussels aboard Air Force One hot on the heels of a stern warning from the EU's top official that America should "appreciate" its allies.

The leaders of the other 28 members of the NATO alliance are hoping for a show of unity despite stark transatlantic tensions on a host of issues, most notably Trump's repeated invective against Europe over defence spending.

"Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made," he tweeted while his plane was in the air. "Will they reimburse the U.S.?"

Trump had said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Monday "may be the easiest" part of his upcoming European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.

"Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?" he told reporters.

He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking US imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market.

"It's certainly going to be an interesting time with NATO," Trump told journalists.

- 'Appreciate your allies' -

The meeting of Western leaders in Brussels has the potential to turn into another public bust-up following a divisive and bad-tempered summit of G7 nations in Canada in June.

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks -- including in three separate tirades on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday -- making the summit one of the most difficult in years for the military alliance that has underpinned European security since World War II.

European officials have expressed hopes that member states can paper over their differences, but European Union President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to the US leader on Tuesday.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many," Tusk said, before reminding Trump that European troops had fought alongside Americans in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"Please remember this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit, but above all when you meet President Putin in Helsinki. It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem," he said.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on July 16 for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the US into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Many European diplomats fear a re-run of a sequence in June when Trump clashed with his Western allies at the G7 summit, calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "dishonest and weak", then praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as "very talented" at a summit afterwards.

"He chews out the allies then embraces the adversary," one diplomat told AFP recently.

- 'Unwavering commitment' -

Trump set the stage for clashes at the NATO summit by writing to around a dozen allies to berate them for lagging on a 2014 pledge to try to spend two percent of GDP on defence by 2024.

Speaking to a cheering crowd at a rally this week, Trump told them that the US would no longer be "the schmucks paying for the whole thing."

According to a joint declaration prepared in advance of the summit, which was seen by AFP, NATO members will make an "unwavering commitment to all aspects of the defence investment pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit" which includes the 2.0-percent target.

But it adds that they will also "submit credible national plans on its implementation" in language that will perhaps please the US president.

New figures published on Tuesday showed that only seven European NATO countries -- Britain, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania -- would reach the 2.0-percent spending target in 2018.

But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that military spending had been rising in Europe since 2014 and members were making efforts to meet the objective, particularly Germany, which is often singled out by Trump for criticism.

Europe's biggest economy is on course to spend just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence in 2018.

US ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that Trump would also recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO -- Article 5 -- which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.]]>
7/11/2018 12:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt deputed world’s 25th most powerful country]]>CAIRO – 10 July 2018: Egypt was ranked 25th most powerful country in the world according to the US News and World Report’s annual report of 2018.


Egypt was selected by the media company as the 42nd overall best country, surpassing Peru, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon.


Egypt Ranking1

U.S. News & World Report worked with partners at WPP’s brand strategy firm BAV Consulting and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to identify a set of 65 country attributes - terms that could be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation.


Attributes by nation were presented in a survey where participants assessed how closely they associated one with the other.


Egypt Ranking2

“One of the world’s earliest and greatest civilizations,” US News described Egypt in the report. “The country is a literary center for the Arab world and art forms such as music combine Arab, African, Mediterranean and Western elements.”


The top 25 countries come as part of the media organization’s annual “Best Countries” report; it evaluated 80 countries based on the responses from 21,000 people.


The study analyzes a number of features to determine the ranking of a certain country, including adventure, citizenship, heritage, movers, cultural influence, power, quality of life, and Entrepreneurship.


Egypt Ranking3

As for overall best countries in the world, the top five were Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan.

]]>
7/10/2018 10:10:14 PM
<![CDATA[Children found dead in Giza, organ trade possibility excluded]]>
Organ trade which dominated Egyptian people’s minds especially over the past few years has caused many people to think that the children were victimized by organ trafficking gangs. The youngest of the three children was only one and a half years old, according to the preliminary forensic report.

The bodies were badly decomposed which indicates that the children died few days ago, according to security investigations. The forensic report proved that the children were burnt and have suffocated to death, suggesting that they were trapped in a place where a fire broke out.

Refuting Organ trafficking possibility, a security source said that the body of one of the three children was found to be without any holes, adding that perhaps the holes found in the other two victims’ bodies were caused by the stray dogs or any other factors.

A number of forensic pathologists said they have collected DNA samples, to compare them with that of the families whose children were reported lost. The group said that the final report would be issued within two weeks.

A committee of many high-ranking security officers was formed to investigate the mysterious death of the three children, hear the eyewitnesses, and check the surveillance cameras positioned near the scene.
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7/10/2018 8:59:05 PM
<![CDATA[UPDATE: Customs Authority head arrested four days pending investigation]]>
Abdel Azim reportedly received a LE 1 million bribe from a textile importer to skip his customs clearance procedures; investigation is still underway.

On Sunday, customs officials at the Cairo International Airport foiled a smuggling attempt of medicine and silver artifacts by eight individuals, including airport staff and pharmaceutical company owners, to evade taxes worth about LE 15 million.

The defendants claimed the medicine and silver artifacts were for personal use.

Customs officials at the Cairo International Airport was able to foil numerous smuggling attempts carried out in cooperation with airport staff over the recent period.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and were among the main causes for the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi always stressed on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down any violation. He hailed the role played by the ACA in different occasions.

Egypt ranked 108th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 34 points, down two points compared to 2015. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.

Additional reporting by Wala Ali
]]>
7/10/2018 6:36:02 PM
<![CDATA[Timeline: Thai cave rescue]]>
The final stage of the complex operation, which has gripped Thailand and dominated global headlines, put an end to the 18-day saga that started when the team entered the cave on June 23.

Here is a timeline of the efforts to find and free the group.

- Saturday, June 23 -

The youngsters, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach enter the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand during heavy rains after football practice.

They are reported missing after the boys do not come home that night.

Local officials find bicycles locked to a fence and shoes and football boots close to the entrance.

- Sunday, June 24 -

Park officials and police find handprints and footprints believed to belong to the boys. Relatives start to keep vigil outside the cave.

- Monday, June 25 -

Thai Navy SEAL divers enter the cave searching for the boys. Makeshift shrines are set up for parents to pray and make offerings as heavy rains continue.

- Tuesday, June 26 -

Divers are forced out of the cave by rushing floodwaters as they try to reach an air pocket called "Pattaya Beach", where the boys are believed to have retreated.

- Wednesday, June 27 -

A team of more than 30 American military personnel from the US Pacific Command arrive and are joined by three British diving experts who start to probe the cave.

- Thursday, June 28 -

Downpours create fast-moving floods inside the cave forcing a suspension of the rescue. Water pumps start draining rising, murky floodwaters.

- Friday, June 29 -

Thailand's junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha visits the site and urges relatives not to give up hope.

- Saturday, June 30 -

A break in the rain allows divers to reach further inside the cave but they are still a long distance from where the boys are believed to be.

- Sunday, July 1 -

Divers inch further in, as an operating base is set up inside "Chamber Three" and hundreds of air tanks and other supplies are pulleyed in.

- Monday, July 2 -

Finally, a miracle: the 12 boys and their coach are found alive late Monday evening about 400 metres beyond Pattaya Beach by the British cave diving team.

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the difficult task of getting the boys out safely.

- Tuesday, July 3 -

Much-needed food and medical supplies -- including high-calorie gels and paracetamol -- reach the boys as rescuers prepare for the possibility that they may remain in the cave for some time.

- Wednesday, July 4 -

Officials say the group are being taught how to use diving masks and breathing apparatuses. Teams pump out water around the clock to help clear the path for divers.

- Thursday, July 5 -

Authorities say expected rains may force a complex rescue sooner than first thought.

- Friday, July 6 -

Tragedy strikes: a diver helping to establish an air line to the boys dies after passing out while returning from the chamber, raising serious doubts over the safety of attempting a rescue.

Thailand's Navy SEAL commander says oxygen levels inside have dropped. He warns the window of opportunity to free the youngsters is "limited".

- Saturday, July 7 -

Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn says the boys are not ready to dive to safety.

A scrawled message emerges from the team's coach, offering his "apologies" to their parents, while in other touching notes the boys tell their relatives not to worry.

- Sunday, July 8 -

Divers lead the first four boys out of the cave as night falls.

Narongsak says late in the evening that the rescue mission will not start again for at least another 10 hours to allow oxygen and other supplies to be replenished.

- Monday, July 9 -

As dusk falls four more boys are rescued. The Thai Navy SEALs greet another seemingly successful day with a social media post saying "Hooyah".

- Tuesday, July 10 -

The last four boys and the coach are safely brought of the Tham Luang cave in one of the fastest days of the 72-hour operation, as congratulations poured in from world leaders including US President Donald Trump.

The Thai Navy SEALs said late in the evening that four of their colleagues who had helped with the operation were still coming out.

Health officials say the eight boys rescued on the first two days of the mission were in good physical and mental health but more tests are being carried out.]]>
7/10/2018 5:58:47 PM
<![CDATA[Pope Tawadros starts Austria visit]]>
The pontiff was welcomed upon arrival by Egyptian Ambassador to Austria Omar Amer and the embassy staff, in addition to some Austrian officials and Copts living in the European country.

Spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church Boulis Halim said in a press statement the pope attended a ceremony at Saint Antonios monastery in Vienna to present a book written by Austrian researcher Adolf Bayer.

During his visit to Italy, Pope Tawadros met Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace and led on Sunday a mass at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.]]>
7/10/2018 5:40:18 PM
<![CDATA[Awareness campaigns to prevent FGM pay off]]>
Fouad added that the council received a high number of notices from citizens asking about the phenomenon, which confirms the citizens' awareness and keenness to obtain information through the council.

“In the last period, awareness campaigns have stepped up through channels to prevent the phenomenon and help people to know about the psychological and health problems caused by this phenomenon,” she noted.

Fouad stressed the presence of programs that further raise the citizens' awareness on the phenomenon through civil society organizations, noting that the council cooperated with the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Interior to enforce the law and punish violators.

In the same context, member of the National Council for Motherhood, Azza al-Ashmawi, confirmed that during the coming period, other campaigns will be launched within the framework of the National Strategy against FGM to eliminate the phenomenon.

FGM is considered an attack on religion; it damages the most sensitive organ in the female body. In Islam, protecting the body from any harm is a must and mutilation violates this rule; therefore, if the parents of females who undergo FGM consent to the abhorrent surgery, they should be punished.

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

Over 94 percent of married women were exposed to genital mutilation, and 69 percent of those women agreed to the procedure being carried out on their daughters. Additionally, a pilot study by the Health Insurance Organization showed that 41 percent of female students in primary, preparatory and secondary schools had undergone FGM.

Another study by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population released in 2003 reported that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a widespread practice in Africa, the Middle East and regions known for heavily adhering to outdated traditions and customs.

The practice consists of having the external part of female genitals cut as a method to curb sexual desire. The fact is that regions with the highest numbers of FGM are not only ignorant of the risks of FGM, they are also ignorant of sexual health, psychological health and more.

On February 8, 2018, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the United Nations released a statement praising Egypt’s efforts to address the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The Ministry of Health and the Administrative Court of Justice decided that “FGM should be banned in hospitals and public/private clinics. And it should only be done if the female suffers from a serious disease, which is decided by the head of the department of gynecology based on a doctor’s recommendation.”

The Administrative Court of Justice approved that the surgery will not be against the law only if it is approved by the minister of health himself.

Dar Al-Iftaa stressed that if the surgery doesn’t have the necessary tools, sanitary requirements and the approval of a certified doctor that the patient is ill and is in need to remove this part of her body, then it’s considered illegal and religiously forbidden, and it should be banned.

UNICEF’s 2014 studies showed that 91 percent of females aging between15-49 undergo FGM in Egypt and over 80 percent of these females are from the age group of 0-15 years old. It has also been found that it’s more common in the rural areas and less common in the wealthy parts of the country.

Additional report with Menna Saad

]]>
7/10/2018 5:28:53 PM
<![CDATA[Complaint filed against Nawal el-Saadawi for defaming religions ]]>
During her interview with "Without Limits" TV program on BBC, Saadawi said that renewing religious speech means that religious texts in the Quran, Bible and Torah should be changed as the texts are fixed, while people’s interests are variable based on the era they live in.

Sabry further added that Saadawi's statement reveal clear blasphemy as it calls for atheism and disbelieving Quran’s texts, pointing out that this cannot be considered freedom of creativity and intellect as freedom should not be applied to the fixed Quran texts.

Saadawi was previously accused of blasphemy in 2007 after she had written an article entitled “God resigns”; she was charged by Muslim scholars of defaming God and the prophets, according to a statement issued by Al-Azhar.

Additionally, Sabry filed in 2008 a complaint against Saadawi calling for revoking her nationality after she called in a TV interview for rewriting one of the Quran verses to refer to God as a female, as the Arabic language is “sexist”.

Previously, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called for a “religious revolution”, but in a way that suits Islamic learning, through launching a national project that aims to confront misleading ideologies harming Islam and Muslims on social media, and through foreign visits, publications, and issuing fatwas that “suit the modern age”.

“We should closely examine the situation in which we are living. It does not make sense that the ideology we sanctify pushes this entire nation to become a source of apprehension, danger, murder and destruction to the entire world,” Sisi said in 2015 speech before Egypt’s top religious leaders on the occasion of the Birth of Prophet Mohamed.

“I am not saying the religion [itself]; I am saying the ideology, texts and thoughts that have been sanctified for hundreds of years. And disagreeing with [these texts and thoughts] has become very difficult,” Sisi added.

Born in 1931 in Kafr Tahla, a small village outside of Cairo, Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist, sociologist, medical doctor and one of the world’s most prominent contemporary writers with her works available in twelve languages.

She devoted her time to being a writer, journalist and worldwide speaker on women's issues; she faced imprisonment, exile and death threats in her fight against female oppression. Her writings have also addressed controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic violence and religious fundamentalism.]]>
7/10/2018 4:51:34 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi honors champions of mission to Mediterranean Games]]>
According to a statement issued by presidential spokesman, Bassam Radi, the president bestowed medals on several players and coaches who won medals at the tournament.



The statement added that the president affirmed the important role played by the Ministry of Sport, pointing out that the state puts youth at the top of its priorities because they are the future of our homeland.

Sisi also directed specific programs to encourage youth to participate positively in community work, stressing his full confidence in the capabilities of young Egyptians and their promising potential.

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The statement also added that the president directed the development of the Cairo Stadium according to the latest international standards.

Meanwhile, the minister of sport presented during the meeting the ministry's projects which are carried out according to strategic planning, highlighting the ministry's preparations to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, in coordination with the Olympic Committee and sports clubs.

Egypt participated in the 18th edition of the Mediterranean Games with 170 players. Tarragona, Spain hosted the tournament between June 22 and July 1.

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7/10/2018 4:08:20 PM
<![CDATA[Death toll rises as hope for Japan flood survivors fades]]>
Dozens of people are still missing, and with the rains finally letting up on Monday, rescue workers were able to reach previously cut-off places where authorities fear more bodies may be trapped beneath debris.

With the toll mounting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a four-country foreign trip, and he was expected to visit the disaster-hit region later this week.

Over 70,000 emergency workers have been deployed to dig through flood waters and the aftermath of landslides that have transformed the landscape in parts of central and western Japan.

But four days after the worst of the rains began, hope was starting to fade that the search would find new survivors.

"I have asked my family to prepare for the worst," said Kosuke Kiyohara, 38, as he waited for word of his sister and her two young sons in the town of Kumano.

"I can't reach her phone," he told AFP on Monday, sitting across from a house that had been ripped apart and tossed on its side by a huge landslide.

Rescue workers acknowledged the odds of finding people alive were getting longer.

"It's possible that survivors will be found, but as the days pass the likelihood becomes slimmer," a soldier nearby told AFP.

At the end of last week rivers engorged by more than a metre (three feet) of rain burst their banks, engulfing entire villages and forcing people onto rooftops to await evacuation by helicopter.

Hillsides gave way under the weight of water, with deadly landslides crushing wooden houses and erasing roads.

Search for survivors

Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that at least 141 people had been killed. Suga said 73,000 police, firemen and troops were taking part in the rescue effort, with 700 helicopters deployed to help.

In Kumano, soldiers and other emergency workers were using diggers to clear crushed cars and mangled homes, and chainsaws to cut up tree trunks.

But they were moving carefully, looking as they went for survivors, or the remains of those killed in the disaster.

In one part of Kumano, the nose of a white car was just visible underneath the top floor of a home that had been torn from the rest of the building and swept down a hillside.

Water was still flowing from the surrounding hillsides around the feet of shellshocked residents, some of whom wept as they saw their damaged district.

In neighbouring Okayama prefecture, rescue workers flew in helicopters over areas that are still submerged and otherwise unreachable, looking for signs of life.

"As far as we could see from the helicopter, no-one is now waving for help," a rescue worker from Kurashiki city told AFP.

Local government officials said pumping trucks were being deployed to help restore access to some of the worst-hit areas, and on Monday flood water was finally starting to recede as the rains stopped.

Landslide risk

Even as the rains let up, authorities warned the downpours had loosened earth on hillsides and mountain slopes creating new risks.

"We urge residents to remain cautious about possible landslides," a weather agency official told AFP.

And with many people stuck in modestly equipped shelters with few possessions, or living in damaged homes with no running water or electricity, the rising temperatures posed a new problem, authorities said.

At one point around five million people were told to evacuate, but the orders are not mandatory and many people remained at home, becoming trapped by rapidly rising water or sudden landslides.

Naoaki Ogawa, 68, was still at home with his wife, daughter and grandson on Friday night, when they saw a wave of mud carrying trees and cars with it tumble down the hill above and engulf the neighbouring house.

They tried to flee by car, but were trapped when a second wave swept down just in front of them, swallowing three cars.

They were rescued hours later, and returned to the town on Monday, where Ogawa found his telephone, filled with calls from concerned relatives and friends.

"I forgot to bring it with me," he said.

"So many people called. I want to tell them that I am okay. I am well."]]>
7/10/2018 3:53:30 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: "Miracle or science?"-Thai cave rescuers lead all 12 boys, coach to safety]]>


"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the SEAL unit said on its Facebook page, adding all were safe.

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Rescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018. REUTERS

The "Wild Boars" soccer team, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach became trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai after soccer practice and a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

British divers found the 13, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers.

Another four were rescued on Monday and the last four boys and the coach were brought out on Tuesday.

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Mae Sai, Thailand : CORRECTION / This handout video grab taken from footage released by the Royal Thai Navy on July 4, 2018 and taken on July 3 shows Adul Sam-on (R), a member of a Thai youth football team who is trapped with 11 other children and their coach, gesturing as he sits inside the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province. Born in Myanmar, raised by Christian teachers in Thailand, and trapped in a flooded cave for 13 days, Adul Sam-on is a stateless boy being praised for his unflinching politeness, English skills and composure throughout his underground ordeal. Images of the wide-eyed teen were beamed around the world when he was discovered alive with his young football team and their coach nine days after they went missing in the waterlogged Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand.


Celebrations will be tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver who died on Friday while on a re-supply mission inside the cave.

The last five were brought out of the cave on stretchers, one by one over the course of Tuesday, and taken by helicopter to hospital.

Three members of the SEAL unit and an army doctor, who has stayed with the boys since they were found, were the last people due to come out of the cave, the unit said.

Officials did not comment on the rescue mission as it took place, so details of the final day of the rescue and the condition of the last five to be brought out were not immediately known.

The eight boys brought out on Sunday and Monday were in good health overall and some asked for chocolate bread for breakfast, officials said earlier.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around in hospital.

Volunteers from as far away as Australia and the United States helped with the effort to rescue the boys. U.S. military personnel also helped.

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the rescue.

"On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand," Trump said on Twitter.

"Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!"

Authorities did not reveal the identity of the boys as they were brought out, one by one. Parents of the four boys rescued on Sunday were allowed to see them through a glass window at the hospital, public health officials said on Tuesday, but they will be quarantined for the time being.

Officials said the rescued boys had not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped.

The boys were still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and would likely be kept in hospital for a week for tests, officials said earlier.
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Mae Sai, Thailand : This handout video grab taken from footage released by the Royal Thai Navy late July 2, 2018, shows missing children inside the Tham Luang cave of Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province. Twelve boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded Thai cave for nine days were found alive after a painstaking search by specialist divers who finally discovered the emaciated group on a mud embankment. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /ROYAL THAI NAVY"

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7/10/2018 3:28:28 PM
<![CDATA[Italy’s Martella praises coexistence in Egypt ]]>
According to official statements by Egypt’s Ambassador in Rome, Hesham Badr, Martella expressed his appreciation to the efforts exerted by the Egyptian government, in cooperation with the Coptic Church and Al-Azhar, to fight terrorism and extremism.

He added that Christians and Muslims live in unity in Egypt, unlike other countries in the Middle East.

Pope Tawadros praised the Egyptian-Italian joint historical relations during his meeting with Martella, affirming that both governments are keen on boosting their relations.

The pope stressed on the important role played by Egypt’s Armed Forces to fight terrorism and implement a strict development plan especially in Sinai, and referred to the Egyptian government's role to re-open the churches that were damaged during the Muslim Brotherhood era after restoring them.

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria headed to Italy on Friday, where he joined Pope Francis in Bari and prayed for peace in the Middle East.

During the Prayer meeting on Saturday, Pope Tawadros II held a prayer in Arabic in the name of the victims who lost their lives during the recent conflicts and wars in the region.

“Lord, we pray to you, that your peace comes to our hearts. Remember, Lord, all the martyrs who died for your holy name. We ask you to give peace and tranquility to all areas of conflict in the Middle East.”

“We believe and confide that prayer possesses the greatest power to take us out of any problem, resolve conflicts and illuminate our future with peace and reconciliation,” Tawadros told the Italian news agency Sir on July 4.

“Presenting ourselves together as heads of churches to pray with one voice for all those who are fighting is a great encouragement to those who have lost hope, and it also fills our hearts with love and compassion for others as we intercede for them,” he added.

In this regard, Italian Foreign Minister Moavero Milanesi expressed on Sunday his pleasure with Pope Tawadros’ visit to Italy during a welcoming party held in the Egyptian Embassy in Rome, Italy.

“Following up the conflicts in the Middle East increases our support and strong relations with Egypt economically and politically,” Milanesi remarked.]]>
7/10/2018 1:01:43 PM
<![CDATA[Eleventh person rescued from Thai cave on third day of operation]]>
A Reuters witness saw three people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers separately on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.

Eight of the boys were brought out on stretchers over the first two days - four on Sunday and four on Monday.

Officials were not immediately available to comment on who had been brought out, and it was not clear what condition they were in. A person with knowledge of the rescue said just before the eleventh person was spotted, that 10 people had been brought out.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier the final operation would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy SEALs who have been accompanying them.

The rescuers have been learning from experience and were two hours faster in bringing the second batch of survivors out on Monday.

However, scattered monsoon rains continued to risk percolating through the limestone cave walls to flood the tunnels with fast-flowing water.

"I hope today we will be faster or the same speed as yesterday," Narongsak said.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS has been guiding the boys out through nearly 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels.

The "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

British divers found the 13, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.

The eight boys brought out on Sunday and Monday were in good health overall and some asked for chocolate bread for breakfast, officials said.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.

They are still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and would likely be kept in hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said.

Four more of the boys were carried on stretchers out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang cave on the Myanmar border at dusk on Monday, bringing to eight the number brought out after two rescue pushes on successive days.

People across Thailand, and the world, have cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.

Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a "kid-sized" submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand's interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.

Musk said on Twitter: "Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids' soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future."]]>
7/10/2018 12:25:05 PM
<![CDATA[China effective int'l partner of Arab countries: Egypt's Arab League chief]]>
This comes during his speech at the inauguration of the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) Tuesday, adding that both sides have since 2004 established about 15 mechanisms of cooperation as part of the CASCF.

Many memorandums of understanding have also been signed to activate cooperation in a number of fields, Abul Gheit added.

"Today, a Sino-Arab digital library will be launched", he said, adding that a final communique will be released later.

A joint executive declaration on the "Belt and Road" initiative will as well be issued, Abul Gheit noted.

"Today's meeting coincides with what Abul Gheit called growing challenges and pressures facing the Arab world, atop of which the Palestinian problem, especially after the US recognition of Al Quds as capital of Israel", he said.

He also stressed the importance of a comprehensive and permanent peace in the Middle East, noting that it is a strategic Arab choice embodied by relevant international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.

Abul Gheit said he is looking forward to furthering Chinese support for the just Palestinian cause and the struggle to establish an independent Palestinian state on the pre-67 borders.

He reiterated the need to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis in line with UN Security Council resolution No. 2254.

The Arab League chief also called for support for the legitimate institutions in Libya to maintain its unity and sovereignty.

Abul Gheit said the pan-Arab body is also committed to Yemen's unity, sovereignty and independence. The Yemeni problem, he stressed, should be solved in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative.

He also talked about terrorism as a grave threat to world peace and security.

The world community should unite its efforts to fight terrorism and address its political and economic roots, Abul Gheit said.

The AL chief put the volume of trade exchange between China and the Arab world in 2017 at 191 billion dollars.

According to him, the "Belt and Road" initiative is a promising chance for cooperation that would serve interests of both China and the Arab world.]]>
7/10/2018 11:56:29 AM
<![CDATA[Trump scolds NATO members days ahead of summit]]>
On the eve of his departure for the NATO summit being held on Wednesday and Thursday, Trump linked two well-worn gripes: funding for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other countries' trade practices.

"The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more," Trump wrote on Twitter.

In another tweet, the Republican president complained about Europe's trade surplus with the United States. Trump has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of steel and aluminum imports from China, the European Union, Canada and others, prompting retaliation against U.S. products. He is considering extending the levies to the auto sector.

Trump has been a harsh critic of NATO since the 2016 presidential campaign. After taking office, he affirmed the U.S. commitment to the defense of NATO allies but kept up complaints about Washington's shouldering the financial burden.

By current standards, Washington funds about 70 percent of NATO spending. NATO members have agreed to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense every year by 2024, but Germany and Spain are among the countries not expected to meet the target.

At the first NATO summit he attended last year, Trump denounced Europe's low defense spending and called for NATO to be on the front line against Islamic militants. He also surprised many NATO leaders by urging them to focus on illegal immigration.

This year, trade is on his mind.

"I'm going to tell NATO: You've got to start paying your bills. The United States is not going to take care of everything," Trump said at a rally last week. "They kill us on trade."

Founded to deter the Soviet threat in 1949, NATO is based on deep cooperation with the United States, which provides for Europe's security with its nuclear and conventional arsenals.

NATO has found renewed purpose since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, sending battalions to the Baltics and Poland to deter potential Russian incursions.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider a resolution supporting NATO and urging member states to work together at the summit to strengthen the alliance.

Many members of Congress, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, have sought to reassure allies nervous about some of Trump's statements that there is still strong support in Washington for traditional allies like the country's NATO partners.
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7/10/2018 4:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Britain to double Western Balkans funding, security staff]]>
With Britain set to leave the European Union next year, the UK government said the moves, which also include improving the Western Balkans countries' cyber capability and extending the presence of the pan-Balkans Strategic Reserve Force, showed it remain committed to the region's stability.

"History shows that a stable and secure Western Balkans region means a more stable and secure Europe," UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement ahead of summit of Western Balkans and some European leaders in London on Tuesday.

The Western Balkans consists of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, all of which want to join the EU.

The combination of UK measures pledged over the next two years will see its funding rise from 41 million pounds in 2018/19 to 80 million pounds in 2020/21 and be drawn from its "Conflict, Security and Stability Fund."

By doubling the number of UK staff working in the Western Balkans on security issues affecting the UK, it hopes to reduce drug-fuelled crime in Britain and strengthen the region’s own response to serious and organised crime and violent extremism.

Organised Crime Groups from Western Balkans countries like Albania have a significant nationwide presence in the UK. One crime network was recently estimated to have imported an average of more than 8,000 kg of cocaine a year into the UK, with an estimated street value of 800 million pounds.

Other measures outlined include launching the Balkans Organised Crime Observatory jointly with the Austrian and Norwegian governments.

There will also be 1 million pounds spent on training and advising on cyber security across the region, including direct support to "Computer Emergency Response Teams" in Serbia and Montenegro and information sharing among senior cyber officials.

A joint declaration was made on the principles of information-exchange that will help law enforcement agencies in the region share information more easily in the fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism.

Countries will also commit to concrete actions to tackle corruption, while the pan-Balkans Strategic Reserve Force (SRF) will be extended until the end of next year. The SRF is held at readiness in the UK to move into the Western Balkans if the security situation deteriorates.

An additional 1 million pounds was earmarked to help the region address difficult legacy issues, including supporting the organisations working to find and identify the 12,000 victims still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.
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7/10/2018 12:19:14 AM
<![CDATA[British PM May appoints Jeremy Hunt new foreign minister]]>
"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs," May's office said in a statement.
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7/9/2018 10:55:09 PM