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S.Africa outraged by changes to UN Western Sahara report

UNITED NATIONS: South Africa’s United Nations envoy voiced outrage on Tuesday at the watering-down of a UN report on the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which the Polisario Front independence movement says the world body changed due to French and Moroccan pressure. “That was very deplorable,” South African Ambassador Baso Sangqu told reporters after a …

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Gentrifying Egyptian street food?

By Heba Elkayal As global food trends pedaled sushi to people far from Japan and open seas, and micro-gastronomy introduced hot mousses and foamy foods, sincerity and satisfaction were lost in the world of gastronomy and food consumption. The global focus is now on street food. Local dishes are being rediscovered and attempts to evolve …

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Colombian artist hits 80 with no plans to retire

By Philippe Zygel / AFP As he plans to celebrate his 80th birthday in his native Colombia this week, painter and sculptor Fernando Botero says the idea of retiring his paintbrush frightens him even more than death. More than 3,000 paintings and 300 sculptures are still not enough for one of the world’s most famous …

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US, NATO ready plan to hand off Afghanistan combat

By Anne Gearan and Slobodan Lekic / AP BRUSSELS: The United States and its NATO allies are readying plans to pull away from the front lines in Afghanistan next year as President Barack Obama and fellow leaders try to show that the unpopular war is ending. Top military and diplomatic officials from the US and …

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History in the making; as written by the youth

By Anas Altikriti It might be a cliché and often an elaborate exaggeration to term a particular event “historic.” However, few can doubt that along with the Civil Rights movements, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the revolutions that have swept through the Arab world are no less …

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Pressure mounts to pull rival Sudans back from brink

By Ian Timberlake / AFP KHARTOUM: South Sudanese forces have made a diversionary attack near the contested Abyei region, state-linked media in Khartoum said, as international pressure mounted Wednesday to pull the rivals back from the brink of all-out war. The attack against Sudanese troops occurred Tuesday in the Bahr El Arab River area, 62 …

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Despite truce, Syrian troops resume attack on Homs

By Karin Laub / AP BEIRUT: Nearly a week after a cease-fire took effect, Syrian troops pounded a rebel stronghold Wednesday as the country’s foreign minister met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing during the latest round of talks aimed at preventing the truce from unraveling. Despite the persistent violence in Homs and other cities, …

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A post-Arab Spring strategy

By Volker Perthes BERLIN: More than a year into the Arab revolts, their outcomes remain highly uncertain. But some initial lessons for international politics — and for Western, particularly European, foreign policy — merit serious consideration. Almost everyone was surprised by the revolts, although the political and socioeconomic causal factors were well known. As is …

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Senegal’s resilient democracy

By Alfred Stepan and Etienne Smith DAKAR: Many commentators doubted whether democracy in Senegal, a country whose population is 95 percent Muslim, would survive its most recent presidential election, in which the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade, sought a controversial (and only semi-legal) third term. But Senegal’s long-established democracy not only survived; it emerged strengthened. Why? First …

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On the brink: Can non-violence bring Syria back?

By Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook PETALUMA, California: When the Arab Spring was initiated by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia, it ignited longings for freedom throughout the region; more than that, it took hold of the creative imaginations of non-violent activists and millions of dissatisfied individuals around the world. Has this hope ground to …

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PEC upholds bans on all 10 presidential hopefuls

By Reuters CAIRO: Ten candidates for the Egyptian presidency including Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and a Salafi preacher lost appeals against disqualification from the race, two sources on the committee overseeing the vote told Reuters. “All appeals have been rejected because nothing new was offered in the appeal requests,” a member …

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New blasts at Suez oil refineries

By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef CAIRO: Twenty-three workers at the Nasr Oil Company were injured after new explosions were reported at the company’s site in Suez Tuesday dawn, officials said. The injured were taken to the General Suez hospital with injuries to the spine and several cases experiencing difficulty in breathing and panic attacks, according to …

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Port Said trial adjourned to May 5

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: The Port Said Criminal Court adjourned Tuesday the trial of 75 men accused in the deaths of over 70 football fans in Port Said to May 5 to hear the testimonies of the witnesses. The court session was adjourned twice due to chaos caused by the defendants who were held inside …

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Salafi, Mubarak ex-VP fail in election appeals

By Ali Abelatti / Reuters CAIRO: The commission overseeing Egypt’s presidential election has upheld rulings disqualifying eight candidates including former spy chief Omar Suleiman and Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper said on Tuesday. The panel has yet to decide on appeals lodged by two other candidates including the Muslim Brotherhood’s …

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SCAF general slams parliament attempt to limit military judiciary powers

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Major General Mamdouh Shahin, member of the ruling military council, described the parliament’s suggested amendments on the Military Trials Law as an “infringement of a judicial authority on the jurisdictions of another.” The People’s Assembly discussed in its Tuesday’s session, attended by Shahin, a number of amendments on the military trials …

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Candidate bans may ease rancor of Egypt vote

By Tom Pfeiffer and Yasmine Saleh / Reuters CAIRO: A move to exclude some of the more divisive contenders from Egypt’s presidential election may help moderate candidates seen as better able to forge the consensus many believe can foster a peaceful transition to democracy. Two prominent Islamists — one a hardline Salafi sheikh, the other …

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On Int’l Street Children Day, NGOs shed light on phenomenon

By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef CAIRO: For long street children have been subject to abuse, humiliation and immense poverty. They also face greater risks of illegal detention and are the most subjected to police brutality, experts say. Street children make up around 8 percent of paid and unpaid labor, according to latest studies. On April 12, …

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Protests, uncertainty dampen Mideast economies: IMF

By Omar Hasan / AFP KUWAIT CITY: Growth in the Middle East and North Africa took a dive in 2011 because of the Arab Spring protests and resulting political upheaval, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the region, stretching from Iran to Mauritania, grew by 3.5 percent last year, …

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Qatar to keep short-term debt issuance steady

By Regan Doherty and Martin Dokoupil / Reuters DOHA/DUBAI: Qatar’s central bank will keep issuing 4 billion riyals ($1.1 billion) in treasury bills every month, its chief said on Monday, suggesting that policymakers are still comfortable with strong bank lending growth despite higher inflation risks. The world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter is expected …

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Alcotexa sells 951 T cotton in past week

By Mohamed Samir / Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s Alexandria Cotton Exporters’ Association (Alcotexa) committed to sell 951 tons of cotton in the week that ended on April 14, an Alcotexa official said on Tuesday. The sales comprised 569 tons of Giza 88 grade cotton and 382 tons of Giza 86, the official said. The deals bring …

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INTERVIEW: Turkish tourism feels ripples of Arab Spring

By Lin Noueihed / Reuters DJERBA: Thirteen months of unrest in Syria have hurt tourism in neighboring Turkey, which expects visitor numbers to remain stable in 2012 at more than 30 million, Turkish Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Monday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Mediterranean tourism conference in Tunisia, Gunay said …

DNE

Algeria’s frosty business climate may thaw

By Christian Lowe and Lamine Chikhi / Reuters ALGIERS: After a three-year campaign against one of its biggest foreign investors chilled Algeria’s business climate, the country is sending out tentative signals that it may be ready for a thaw. A period of aggressive economic nationalism, symbolized by the state’s drive to take control of the …

DNE

Egyptian designers approach spring and summer with prints

By Heba Elkayal After the sour, confused mood of late, young Egyptian businesses and brands are flourishing, giving a clear statement that regardless of all ongoing political and economical turmoil, all is well and all shall be well. Nothing reflected that attitude more articulately than the spring and summer collections of two Egyptian designers: Amina …

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Egypt to offer LE 2.5 bln in reopened bonds

By Mohamed Samir / Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Finance will offer LE 2.5 billion ($414.1 million) in reopened bonds at an auction on April 23, the central bank said on Tuesday. It will offer LE 1.5 billion in reopened five-year bonds maturing on April 10, 2017 with a coupon of 16.55 percent, and LE …

DNE

SODIC swings to 2011 net loss

Ehab Farouk and Tom Pfeiffer / Reuters CAIRO: Egyptian real estate developer SODIC said on Tuesday it fell to a net loss last year, when the industry was thrown into turmoil by challenges to state land sales and a mass uprising. SODIC, the country’s third-biggest listed developer, reported a loss of LE 193 million ($31.96 …

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Fans recall American artist Jackson Pollock at 100

By Frank Eltman / AP Out behind a small farmhouse on a Long Island country road sits an old gray barn where a tormented artist dripped paint off brushes, sticks — even turkey basters — onto canvasses spread out on a wooden floor. Besides making quite a mess of things, leaving splash marks everywhere, Jackson …

DNE

Turkey PM accuses Damascus of holding two journalists

By AFP ANKARA: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday called on the Damascus regime to account for the fate of two Turkish journalists missing in neighboring Syria since March. “The two Turkish journalists are still in the hands of Syrians, in a prisoner position,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party …

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Palestinians begin mass hunger strike on Prisoners’ Day

By AFP RAMALLAH: At least 1,200 Palestinian inmates of Israeli jails began an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday as rallies across the occupied territories marked Prisoners’ Day. As thousands gathered in towns and cities in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, three-quarters of the 4,700 Palestinians held by Israel began refusing food, the …

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Huge tire fire causes Kuwait ‘catastrophe’

By AFP KUWAIT CITY: Hundreds of Kuwaiti firemen on Tuesday fought to contain a massive fire in a dump for used tires, with some members of parliament calling the blaze an environmental catastrophe. Firemen from the national guard, the army and the oil sector joined efforts to extinguish the fire that was still raging 10 …

DNE

Hackers take down 15 Lebanese government websites

By Oliver Holmes / Reuters BEIRUT: A group calling itself “Raise Your Voice” hacked into 15 Lebanese government websites on Tuesday, demanding an improvement in living standards and an end to widespread electricity and water shortages. Lebanon’s economy has grown strongly in recent years but that growth has failed to translate into improvements in basic …

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