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Two female weightlifting champs get the boot

CAIRO: The Egyptian Weightlifting Federation has unanimously decided to strike off its register two high-profile weightlifters during a board meeting on Monday. Nahla Ramadan, a former world youth champion, and Esmat Mansour, who has secured a fifth place in the 2005 Women’s World Championship, have failed to attend the training camp of the national team …

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Hundreds of demonstrators arrested at Gaza solidarity protest

CAIRO: Two thousand demonstrators, including Members of Parliament, were arrested Wednesday afternoon in Downtown Cairo during a protest against the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, according to Gamal Nassar, media consultant for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The protest, which was jointly organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and various other political currents, was supposed …

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Street talk: This day in History

I rubbed my eyes repeatedly at midnight on the eve of the 28th of Ramadan. I desperately wanted to keep my eyes open to watch the Laylat Al Qadr sermon (the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Mohamed). It’s known that Prophet Mohamed [PBUH] used to intensify his …

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Defending champ Egypt beats Cameroon 4-2 at African Cup

KUMASI: Mohamed Zidan scored two spectacular goals in the first half Tuesday to lead defending champion Egypt to a 4-2 win over shaky Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations. Hosni Abd Rabou also scored twice for five-time champion Egypt. “We are giving everything for our fans and country, Zidan said. “We are giving everything …

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A Bollywood bride for Sarkozy?

Ever since French President Nicolas Sarkozy took himself off his country’s most-eligible-bachelor list by publicly acknowledging his affair with supermodel-turned-pop-musician Carla Bruni during a romantic trip to Euro Disney, he’s run into trouble. His ratings have dipped below 50 percent for the first time. Older French citizens don’t find the public spectacle of their leader …

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Lebanon and the Syrian-Israeli track

Are there prospects for peace between Syria and Israel? We re at a nail biting stage where the US administration seems intent on continuing the siege on Syria, and the Syrian-Iranian alliance is growing stronger and stronger. As US threats grow bolder, Syrian alliances with a number of resistance movements are also consolidated. Meanwhile, the …

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A wonderful day in the neighborhood

Good fences make good neighbors, the American poet Robert Frost once wrote, and he oughta know. The failed farmer-turned-schoolteacher was a professional Puritan who spent his lifetime not hugging people, though he is now described as one of America s most beloved poets . That is to say: what he wrote is beloved. Yitzhak Rabin …

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Sympathizers hungry for Al-Qaeda answers

CAIRO: Sympathizers submitted hundreds of questions to Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahri’s “on-line interview before a recent deadline. Among them: Why hasn’t Al-Qaeda attacked the US again, why isn’t it attacking the Israelis and when will it be more active in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria? So far, there have been no answers. Al-Qaeda’s media …

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Once the cheapest fast food, now a luxury

CAIRO: Mohamed Gaber, a 27-year-old civil servant, like many in the lower income brackets, drops by a street vender selling fuul medames (cooked fava beans) everyday to have a relatively cheap breakfast before rushing to work. However, for Gaber, who earns about LE 300 a month, fuul has become a luxury he may no longer …

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Musical worlds collide

More than any other musical genre, classical music has been the most resistant to embracing technology, fearing that it might detract from the essence of one of the oldest forms of music. Last Sunday, at the Cairo Opera House, Japanese duo Kiyonori Sokabe and Kanako Abe broke all rules with their trumpet recital “From Classic …

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Syria and the Palestinians: A love-hate relationship

For an entire century, Syria has had a love-hate relationship with Palestinians. The Palestinian cause has been at the core of Syria s ideological and political posture. The pan-Arab ideology always placed Palestine at the center of Greater Syria, and the ruling Syrian pan-Arab Baath Party followed the Palestinians in choosing a flag identical to …

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It's not about Iran

As President Bush traveled through the Middle East, the prevailing assumption was that Arab states are primarily focused on the rising Iranian threat, and that their attendance at the Annapolis conference with Israel in November was motivated by this threat. This assumption, reflected in the president s speech in the United Arab Emirates, could be …

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The Annapolis opening has closed

The prospect of a Syrian-Israeli peace settlement looms over the Arab-Israel and larger Middle Eastern arenas as a potentially significant but ever elusive issue. On the eve of the Annapolis conference, the dormant Israeli-Syrian track seemed infused with new life; a few weeks later it appears blocked yet again. Such fluctuations are not new to …

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Hard Talk :30 Years since the 1977 intifada

The 30-year anniversary of the January 18-19 1977 bread riots comes at a moment charged with speculations about the possibility of their recurrence. Will there be a similar widespread riot as a result of the growing social crisis and the massive strikes which reached record highs last year?Diverse groups are posing this question; some more …

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Development experts converge in Cairo for prep meeting

CAIRO: A high-level symposium on Sunday aimed at discussing issues in South-South development cooperation and aid effectiveness. The two-day Cairo symposium, titled “Trends in Development Cooperation: South-South and Triangular Cooperation and Aid Effectiveness, is part of the preparatory process for the first biennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). The forum will be held under the United …

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African Cup kicks off in Ghana

ACCRA: Downtown Accra is decorated with Go Ghana banners as this lively city of nearly 3 million people prepares for the start of the continent s most storied soccer tournament. A million visitors are expected in the West African state for the African Cup of Nations, which began Sunday with a sold-out opener between the …

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Canada to edit manual naming US as country where prisoners risk torture

TORONTO: Under pressure from its closest ally, Canada’s foreign ministry said Saturday that it will rewrite a training manual used by Canadian diplomats that lists the United States as a site of possible torture. The document, released Friday, singled out the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay. It also names Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, …

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Sustainability should be the objective, say experts

DUBAI: Organizations that wish to grow profitably in the future must focus their efforts to benefit shareholders, society and the environment simultaneously, said experts. Concentrating on any one of these areas at the expense of the other two may compromise a business’s long-term success, they added. A focus on sustainability provides the best means to …

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El Rabeh achieves highest yields

CAIRO: The Egyptian Investment Management Association (EIMA) announced that Prime Investment Asset Management’s El Rabeh Fixed Income Fund have topped the nine fixed-income funds operating in Egypt during 2007, achieveing the highest annual return to its certificate holders of 8.83 percent during the same period. Based on the CBE indicators, return on deposits averaged 6.75 …

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Musings: Rebuilding the State

The current situation in the Arab World begs the question: Were the “states that came into existence between the two world wars or after World War II states in the real sense of the word according to the definition of a “state by political historians and modern international law, or were they merely contrived phenomena, …

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Muslim charities, guilty until proven innocent?

High officials in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice, and other US government departments and agencies love to talk about how good they are at “reaching out to American Muslim communities. They should be reaching out. It is just possible that folks in these communities might be valuable sources of intelligence, …

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Nigeria's resurgent oil diplomacy

Russia is not alone in seeing oil as a means to transform its global standing. Nowadays, the mantra of President Umar Yar’Adua, who took power in June 2007, following controversial elections, is to transform the country into one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020. Yar’Adua and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are struggling …

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What About the World?

As America’s primaries move beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, it is simply impossible to predict who will be the Democratic and Republican nominees, much less who will become the 44th president of the United States. But it is not too soon to address the question of what effect US foreign policy is having on the …

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What's in a rumor? Sarkozy keeps reporters guessing

PARIS: Sarkozy, Sarkozy, wherefore art thou being so coy? Rumors swirled after a newspaper claimed that President Nicolas Sarkozy might already have married his sweetheart, model-singer Carla Bruni, in a small, secret ceremony at the Elysee Palace. Others say they might honeymoon at a resort near the Italian city of Verona – which, as the …

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Swiss suspend probe into alleged CIA kidnapping of preacher Abu Omar

BERN, Switzerland: Swiss authorities have frozen an investigation into CIA operatives suspected of illegally transporting an abducted Egyptian Muslim preacher through Swiss airspace, an official said Friday. The case was suspended in November 2007, said Jeannette Balmer, a spokeswoman for the Swiss federal prosecutor s office. Switzerland joined Italy, the country from which the preacher …

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More Mori Sushi

In a country that used to scoff at the idea of eating raw fish, the number of sushi addicts is growing faster than the number of outlets that can satisfy their cravings. Over the past year, Mori Sushi has become a favorite, and last week celebrated the opening of their Heliopolis branch on El Oruba …

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Designers call for a stop to quickie fashion

Fashion is on the move. While 2008 has just begun, the menswear preview collections currently showing on the Milan runway are all about how a guy should dress for the fall-winter 2008-2009.”Everybody is doing everything fast, Tomas Maier, creative director at Bottega Veneta, told The Associated Press after his much applauded show Sunday. “But it …

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