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Meca criticizes Coptic Church over Muslim-Coptic relations

Pope sends a memorandum to the President discussing injustice CAIRO: The Middle East Christians Association (Meca) released a statement last week condemning the Coptic Church’s attitude in dealing with Muslim-Coptic relations. Nader Fawzy, director of the Canada-based Christian NGO argued on the Meca website that Pope Shenouda, the highest authority in the Coptic Church, only …

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Fatah representative says his group won't hold talks with Hamas in Cairo

Associated Press CAIRO: A top Fatah official said Sunday that the moderate Palestinian group would not meet with the militant Hamas faction while in Cairo to discuss the security situation in the Palestinian territories with Egyptian officials. Deputy Prime Minister Azzam Al-Ahmed s comments came a little over a week after Fatah and Hamas reached …

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Ahli United Bank purchases Delta International

CAIRO: The Ahli United Bank Group celebrated the acquisition of Delta International Bank, one of Egypt s leading private banks in a press conference held at the Four Seasons Garden City, Monday. Reviewing its progress over the past decade, the Ahli United Bank Group promised to create an unrivalled ability to meet Egyptian customers needs. …

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The World Bank after Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz – former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, one of the most influential neoconservatives of President George W. Bush’s administration and a key architect of the Iraq war – has been forced to resign in disgrace from his current post as President of the World Bank. Technically, his resignation comes because of ‘ethical lapses’ …

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Some useful lessons from the Northern Ireland process

Today, we all can feel good about Northern Ireland. Protestants and Catholics–Unionists and Republicans in local parlance–are about to jointly run their government. Belfast, for decades the scene of urban terrorism and the deaths of so many innocents, has become a city of peace and possibility. We participated in this process as envoys for the …

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Poll of Muslim Americans finds them largely moderate, well-integrated

A poll of Muslim Americans released last Tuesday by The Pew Research Center found them largely integrated and content with mainstream American society. However, despite their general moderation, Muslim Americans held distinctly different views than the American public on several issues. Only 40 percent of the US Muslim community believe that the 9/11 attacks were …

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High calcium, vitamin D intake may have a down side

Reuters PHOTO CAPTION: Higher intakes of calcium and vitamin D have been promoted in recent years as a way to prevent bone loss with aging – but there may be a downside. In one of the first studies to examine the relationship between diet and brain lesions, researchers observed that elderly people who reported higher …

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Awareness campaign for viral hepatitis to kick off soon

CAIRO: The National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH) held a press conference Tuesday in Nasr City announcing the launch of a hepatitis awareness campaign. The first national viral hepatitis day festival is set to take place throughout select cities in Egypt on May 29, with Cairo’s venue expecting the largest turn out. …

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Bath, England: Springs, spa and history

The Associated Press As a spiritual hotspot since before the Romans, Bath, England, can once again serve up a near-religious experience, thanks to its new spa. The Thermae Bath Spa opened last summer and has proved to be a hit with stressed-out Brits and tourists from all over the world. The thermal hot springs have …

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Khaled Hosseini to release second novel

Associated Press It s an image that haunts Khaled Hosseini, the Afghan-born author whose debut novel, The Kite Runner, has become an international best seller. A bourqa-clad woman is led into a Kabul sports stadium and shot in the head by a Kalashnikov-toting soldier. The grainy video footage, secretly recorded in 1999 and broadcast widely, …

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Strange Bedfellows: The US-Palestinian Axis

On an average-size map of the world, there is no space to mark the locations of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. On one map, the former is outlined by a barely visible light blue line; Gaza is hidden behind the ‘m’ in the word Jerusalem. And that’s it. A speck on the globe. …

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Scientist races to save Ancient Egypt

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Egyptologist Sarah Parcak, PhD, is in a race against time. In Egypt, thousands of known and unknown archaeological sites are at risk of destruction from urban sprawl, expanding development and looting. Twenty-three percent of ancient sites in the East Delta region alone have disappeared in the past 30 years, …

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Africa's biggest trade bloc agrees tax system

Reuters NAIROBI: Africa s biggest trade bloc Comesa approved a common external tariff system on Wednesday, clearing a major hurdle for a customs union intended to boost trade in some of the world s poorest nations. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), which represents 20 countries, also urged member states who have …

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Looking back, the Iraq Study Group report is worse than we thought

Not everything dies when it should, and the report of the Iraq Study Group, released late last year, is a grim example. Even at the time it was issued, it was a remarkably vacuous and unrealistic report. Its key recommendations were hopelessly impractical and the detail report – while good on some aspects of historical …

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Envisioning Islamic democracy

Islam is often perceived as a potential threat to democratization, and justifications for this view tend to repeat ad nauseam the idea that for Islam, there is no separation between politics and religion. In the West, politics based on individual rights (as opposed to the common good) and religion as independent of the state have …

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The art of learning: college students speak out

CAIRO: After graduating high school from her hometown of Quito, Ecuador, Janan Delgado moved to Cairo to study Arabic. From her adolescence, Janan knew she was different because of her religious background. “I started out as the only veiled girl in school to being surrounded by practicing Muslims. The first Muslim settlers in Ecuador were …

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Breastfeeding fatwa continues to provoke criticism

CAIRO: Religious scholars condemned the breastfeeding fatwa that Sheikh Ezzat Atiya, president of the Hadith (Prophet Mohamed’s (PBUH) Sayings) department at Al-Azhar University, issued last week. Atiya had drawn on Islamic traditions which forbid sexual relations between a man and a woman who has breastfed him to suggest that symbolic breastfeeding could be a way …

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Shoura Council finalizes new teachers' law

CAIRO: The Shoura Council discussed yesterday the final concerns of the new teachers law adopted by the Ministry of Administrative Development. The law calls for firing teachers who give private lessons, instead there will be an increase in teachers salaries, says Moawad Khattab, member of the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the Shoura Council. Khattab …

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Etisalat Egypt announces 300,000 active customers in three weeks

Etisalat announced yesterday that it has recorded over 300,000 subscribers in the first three weeks since its launch on May 1. Significant traffic is also being experienced for data services such as its ring back tone service, and its mobile television service. Today, approximately 75 percent of customers are accessing data services across Etisalat s …

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Africa's largest trade bloc endorses customs union

Associated Press NAIROBI: Africa s largest trade bloc endorsed a tax plan Tuesday designed to make it cheaper and easier to do business on an impoverished continent struggling to lure foreign investors. The tax union endorsed at a summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, known as Comesa, was set to take …

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Europe's second chance is approaching in the Balkans

Confronting the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991, former European Union Council President Jacques Poos made his famous but now derided statement: “This is the hour of Europe . not the hour of the Americans. What the EU learned from the subsequent four years of Balkan disasters under its management is now being tested by another …

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Turkish anxiety on Kirkuk may mean new conflicts

Turkey is interested in the fate of the Kirkuk region of Iraq for three main reasons. First, Turkish policy-makers perceive the insistence of Iraqi Kurdish leaders to include the region within the Kurdish Regional Government as a sign of their intention to break away from Iraq. According to this view, Iraqi Kurdish leaders want to …

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Daawa's eventful past and vague future

Founded by Muhammad Baqer Al-Sadr and inspired by his ideas of Wilayat Al-Ummah (rule of the community), the Iraqi Daawa party has evolved from an underground movement espousing Islamic revolution to a major player in an Iraqi democratic government. The party has undergone tectonic ideological shifts but still faces major challenges in mobilizing support if …

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Desperately seeking security

JERUSALEM: In Israel, the concept of security is a powerful one. It is used to justify all military activity, including the occupation of Palestinian territories and the vast budgets applied to it. Indeed, a mystique has developed around security – national security is a phrase invoked not just to increase military budgets, but also to …

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