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Why secular parties are declining in the Middle East

Secular parties independent of governments are experiencing a deep crisis in most Arab countries. The decline affects liberal and socialist-oriented parties alike. While the crisis is real, continued decline is not inevitable: there still exist in the Arab world large potential constituencies that are disenchanted with incumbent regimes but not willing to commit to Islamist …

Daily News Egypt

El Gabaly demands more funds to fight bird flu

CAIRO: Egypt will need $350 million to fight bird flu, according to Minister of Health Hatem El Gabaly. The minister made the announcement on Sunday at a press conference following the signing of a US-Egyptian agreement to donate $24 million. USAID [US Agency for International Development] and Kuwait Fund for Arab and Economic Development are …

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Alleged negligence causes death of five-year-old boy

CAIRO: Five-year-old Galal Hisham Galal died Saturday from excessive bleeding, after being left to wait for two hours at Cairo’s El Demerdash hospital, the press reported. His transfer was requested by El Matareya Hospital which lacked the necessary equipment to treat him. Some 13 days ago, Galal had his tonsils removed at El Khazendar hospital. …

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Court allows Muslims to convert back to Christianity

CAIRO: The administrative court has initially approved appeals of Christian converts to Islam to revert back to Christianity during a hearing at The State Council on Monday. The court will review the case on Sept. 1 for a final decision. Naguib Gabriel, a human rights lawyer representing the Christian complainants, told The Daily Star Egypt, …

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Writer Oz wins Spanish prize for advocating Israeli-Palestinian peace

Associated Press Israeli intellectual Amos Oz was awarded the annual Prince of Asturias prize for literature Wednesday in recognition of his works denouncing extremism and advocating Israeli-Palestinian peace. The jury meeting in the northern city of Oviedo said Oz had contributed to turning the Hebrew language into a brilliant literary instrument while revealing certain truths …

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Admin court postpones government appeal in Nour's case again

CAIRO: After delaying the government appeal against a case filed by Ayman Nour’s supporters by one day, the administrative court agreed Monday to further postpone the hearing until Sept. 2, as requested by his defense team. Amir Salem, Nour’s lawyer, told The Daily Star Egypt that the government rushed in presenting the appeal because the …

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Ghazl Mahala workers threaten to hold 'open scale strike'

CAIRO: More than 10,000 workers in Ghazl Al Mahala Company have renewed their sit-in last Sunday for half an hour and threatened to escalate the protest to an open scale strike on July 21, Mahmoud Al Attar, an activist in workers movement organizing the protest, told The Daily Star Egypt. Workers in Mahala Textile Company …

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Freighter Temporarily Blocks Suez Canal

SUEZ/CAIRO: A cargo ship temporarily blocked all traffic on the Suez Canal Sunday after running aground halfway along the vital waterway. Traffic was interrupted at 6 am after The Atlantic, a 40,000-ton cargo vessel registered to the Marshall Islands, stopped near the canal port city of Ismailia, said an official at Egypt s Suez Canal …

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Eight men arrested while trying to illegally cross into Israel

Associated Press Writer EL-ARISH: Border guards on Saturday arrested six Sudanese, one Somalian and one Eritrean as they were trying to illegally cross from Egypt into Israel, a police official said. The Sudanese men, who were from the war-torn Darfur region, were attempting to enter Israel in an effort to seek political asylum there, the …

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Admin Court delays government appeal against Nour's release for one day

CAIRO: The administrative court postponed for one day the hearing of the appeal presented by the Egyptian government against a case filed by the supporters of former head of the opposition Al Ghad party Ayman Nour, demanding Nour’s release citing his critical health conditions. The final hearing on this case is scheduled for July 3, …

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Court postpones appeal of Al-Jazeera producer

CAIRO: The court postponed the appeal of Al-Jazeera producer Howayda Taha till Sept. 15. The court has transferred the documentary to a technical committee to examine the controversial scenes and determine if they were fabricated, Taha told The Daily Star Egypt. The court will base its final decision on the committee’s report in September. Taha …

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Tony Blair, the last interventionist

When Tony Blair, having procrastinated about his departure almost to the point of unreason, finally gives up the British premiership tomorrow, it will be to the general relief not only of the British public as a whole, but also of the overwhelming majority of his own party. After three terms in office, it could hardly …

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Accept reality when it comes to Hamas

In response to the formation of an emergency Palestinian government, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that Washington would remove the embargo on international aid for the Palestinian Authority. Rice’s decision appeared to be the start of a “West Bank first policy which aims to strengthen Fatah and weaken Hamas by demonstrating the stark …

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Doctors' Syndicate fights plans to cancel residency program

When Ahmed Darwish, Minister of State for Administrative Development, indicated to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper on May 27 that he intended to cancel the two-year obligatory residency of Egyptian medical school graduates known “taklif, he set in motion a huge debate within the medical community – one tinged with much criticism and cynicism. It all started …

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Hepatitis result of infected syringes, say students

CAIRO: Seven students were reportedly diagnosed with Hepatitis C after being injected with insulin shots using the same syringe in Sporting Student Hospital in Alexandria. However Ayman Kamel, an employee at Sporting Student Hospital in Alexandria who refused to disclose his full title, told The Daily Star Egypt that “no such thing ever happened. The …

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Israel president to quit in plea bargain to drop rape charge

Associated Press JERUSALEM: Israeli President Moshe Katsav agreed to resign Thursday in a plea bargain that drops rape allegations and the threat of jail time in return for pleading guilty to lesser charges. The deal was a dramatic reversal by Attorney General Meni Mazuz, who had announced in January that he planned to take Katsav …

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A special something for the one you love

Ever thought of buying your wife or girlfriend a piece of jewelry just to show how much you care? For no reason in particular – no birthday, Valentine’s Day or wedding gift. Most men would not give the notion a second thought. It is entrenched in Egyptian culture that such an expensive present means that …

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HEALTH MATTERS: Entertaining TV programs make you eat, study finds

Reuters People eat more when they are glued to the television, and the more entertaining the program, the more they eat, according to a recent research. It seems that distracted brains do not notice what the mouth is doing, said Dr. Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in …

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A piece of cake

Artellewa brings a new perspective full of colors, funny shapes to Ard El Lewa district Flying pink chicken or naked baked women? In either case, Malak Helmy didn t fail to grab our attention in the witty and eccentric way she garnished this beautiful and eccentric glass cube gallery. The JICPB Cube Gallery is an …

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With a grain of salt

Blair’s breakfast in bed! When I met Tony Blair on his first visit to Cairo a few months after he became Prime Minister, he paused when I asked him: “As Prime Minister of Great Britain, what do you miss the most? He thought about it for a while, his famous smile slowly fading away, and …

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Resolution 194 may cut both ways for refugees

In the course of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli war, about 700,000 Arabs were either expelled by the Israelis from territory it held or left their homes at the request of the Arab states. As Khaled al-Azm, then prime minister of Syria, recalled in his 1973 memoirs, “Since 1948 we have been demanding that the refugees return …

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A man who helped push the Middle East into chaos

In May 1997 Tony Blair was swept into power on an enormous wave of optimism. Britain’s youngest prime minister since 1812, his approval ratings were the highest of any postwar British leader. He won three elections, two of which, prior to the Iraq war, were landslides. Yet tomorrow, 10 years on, Blair will leave office, …

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From women's empowerment to peace

JERUSALEM: The academic year of 1995-1996 was most eventful for Israelis. November saw the assassination of our Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and several months later, a spate of bus bombings led to the election of Netanyahu. In November, shortly after the murder, and then again in May, the Ecumenical Institute at Tantur, overlooking Jerusalem on …

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A fading craft finds a new market abroad

CAIRO: The flat across the dusty alley from Ahmed Naguib Ahmed’s appliqué workshop is a makeshift warehouse filled with unsold work from craftsmen throughout the neighborhood of Al-Khayamiyya Street, “Tent Maker’s Alley, beyond Bab Zuweila. The walk-up’s largest room is filled with massive rolls of tent and textile fabric that are the namesake of this …

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Anti-smoking elicits mixed reactions

CAIRO: The new anti-smoking bill passed by parliament last week, though much-awaited by many, was received with disgruntlement by many others. The bill finally banned smoking for minors (citizens under the age of 18), indoor smoking, smoking in health and educational organizations, youth centers, legislative associations and any governmental authorities or clubs. According to a …

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Cairo conference endorses comprehensive Arab regional strategy on violence against children

CAIRO: Firm commitment to further advance efforts to fight violence against children throughout the Arab region and renewed pledges to enhance national infrastructures to eradicate its diverse manifestations was reiterated here, as the 3-day conference on the subject reached its conclusion today. The final declaration, which includes a proposal to develop an Arab strategy to …

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Cairo-Tashkent first direct airline starts Tuesday

CAIRO: The first direct and regular airline linking the Egyptian and Uzbek capitals will start operation next Tuesday, announced Atta Bek Merza Mohamedov, deputy director of the Uzbek national carrier s office in Cairo. The maiden flight run by Uzbekistan Airways is scheduled to land at Cairo International Airport next Tuesday at 21:30 Cairo time, …

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Fatah and Hamas fight it out on the virtual battleground

CAIRO: Away the streets of Gaza, the infighting between Hamas and Fatah has moved to a new battleground – that of the internet. Aside from the conventional electronic warfare on each group s website, on YouTube, the popular video uploading site owned by Google, supporters of each faction engage in yet another type of armed …

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'Unite against Zionist enemy,' Egypt's Bar Association tells Palestinians

CAIRO: Under the slogan Resistance versus Surrender the Egyptian Bar Association hosted a public seminar Wednesday to address the latest escalations in Palestine. The goal of the conference, as Lawyers’ Syndicate member Gamal Tag said is to call upon the Palestinians to unite against the Zionist enemy and stop inner clashes that only serve to …

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