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AFRICA: Creativity key to attaining millennium goals – ECA

ADDIS ABABA: Africa s economic growth is estimated to average 5.8 percent in 2007, but this rate of performance is insufficient to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, according to Léonce Ndikumana, chief macroeconomic analyst at the trade division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Countries will never be able …

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Ruling in Al Jazeera documentary postponed

CAIRO: The Nozha Misdemeanour court postponed its final ruling in the case of Al Jazeera producer Howayda Taha till May 2, but a documentary which she had produced – and was central to the trial – was not aired. Ramdan Mohamed, Taha’s husband, says promos of the documentary were aired on Al Jazeera’s documentary channel …

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Abu Dhabi Islamic races Saudis to buy Egypt bank

Reuters ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank said on Monday it was competing with Saudi banks to take over Egypt s National Development Bank and enter the most populous Arab country. It could be the first foreign acquisition for Abu Dhabi Islamic, the Gulf s sixth-largest Islamic lender by market value, which wants to expand …

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US Democratic congressman, Brotherhood meet

Associated Press CAIRO: A top US Democratic congressman met a senior figure of the officially banned Muslim Brotherhood, US officials and spokespersons for the Islamist group said. Visiting US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who ranks second in the House of Representatives, met with the head of the Muslim Brotherhood s parliamentary bloc, Mohammed Saad …

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Quick eats in Cairo

No time to cook? It’s a common complaint. For a student like me, grabbing a bowl of koshari or a quick sandwich from Baraka is easy enough. But what about those who have families to cook for? Luckily the ever-expanding world of Cairo take-out has something for everyone, and, surprisingly, take-out meals don’t have to …

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Get moving, Grandma!

Associated Press Exercise isn t just about improving your heart and fighting flab that comes with aging. It may also be the answer to preventing stiff, achy joints that can lead to debilitating arthritis. An Australian study suggests the more time older women spend exercising, the better their chances are of staying pain-free from one …

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Hubble Bubble: Points towards toil and trouble

Shisha, the social scourge In Egypt, the popularity of smoking shisha has become something of a phenomena; men, women and adolescents have taken up the habit oftentimes to “be part of the crowd and with the mistaken belief that it is healthier than cigarettes. The social pursuit of smoking shisha has undergone a huge resurgence …

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Shia on the Rise

October 680 AD marked the separation of the Shias from mainstream Islam. It was then that Hussein, son of Ali, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala, losing his claim to the leadership of the Muslims. A total of 1,299 years had passed before a powerful Shia leader summoned up the courage to reclaim the …

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Climate woes plague Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Following months of erratic weather local authorities and aid agencies warn they are stretched beyond capacity in Southern Africa, where unusually heavy rains, a string of cyclones, severe flooding and extreme drought continue to threaten the lives of over a million people. Communities in Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia are struggling to recover. …

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New book says Kissinger kept Nixon in the dark about October War

LOS ANGELES: Newly released documents show that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delayed telling President Richard Nixon about the start of the Arab-Israeli War in 1973 to keep him from interfering, according to new book excerpted in Vanity Fair on Monday. Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, is by presidential historian Robert Dallek, …

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'Norbit'. Not Funny

After his role in “Dreamgirls , one expected better of Eddie Murphy There was always something about Eddie Murphy that made you laugh. Even in some of his sillier and more outrageous roles like “The Nutty Professor , a sweet story evolved – but in “Norbit , there is neither laughter nor compassion. It is …

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The US-Iran nuclear standoff

JAKARTA: As local media pays more attention to domestic crises, from the natural disaster in West Sumatra to Lapindo Brantas in East Java, international issues seems overlooked. The tension between the USA and the Islamic Republic of Iran has reached a peak. The Middle East is currently engulfed by a war cloud. Washington and Tehran …

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Letter to Alan Johnston and his abductors

I hesitated many times before writing these sentences. I scribbled word after word before ripping them up. From the first moment, I thought that the news of your kidnapping would change quickly like the clouds of summer. I thought that you would call your friends and say they had got the wrong person. I thought …

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Europe lives in a dream world when it comes to Iran

Though the crisis triggered by Iran’s illegal capture of 15 British naval personnel nears an end, it is difficult not to see how the European Union’s irresolute and contradictory approach to the abductions only made matters worse. Faced with a country whose leader is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, the EU’s leaders simply dithered, fearing …

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Human rights in Syria; Pelosi's silence

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Damascus this week caused quite a stir. Before she even landed in Syria, the White House was calling her decision a “really bad idea. Pelosi’s spokesman was quick to defend the visit by saying that the speaker intended to use her trip “to discuss a wide …

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UN celebrates the International Day for Mine Awareness

CAIRO: In an attempt to raise awareness about landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and progress toward their eradication the United Nations celebrated the International Day for Mine Awareness yesterday. To commemorate this occasion and as reminder of the adverse effects of mines the United Nations in New York hosted a mock minefield and free …

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Devon in talks with buyer for its Egyptian assets

Reuters NEW ORLEANS: The chief executive of oil and gas producer Devon Energy Corp. on Monday said it is in talks with a buyer for its Egyptian assets and said it did not need to make any large acquisitions to meet its growth targets. We think we have created a very strong portfolio of North …

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When a dilettante takes on Hezbollah

We can thank the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for having informed Syrian President Bashar Assad, from Beirut, that “the road to solving Lebanon’s problems passes through Damascus. Now, of course, all we need to do is remind Pelosi that the spirit and letter of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well …

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Commentary: A Nuclear-free Middle East: Amen

Just because Iran and Israel are endangering the planet by pursuing nuclear energy, doesn t give Egypt and its neighbors the right to pursue these curse of the universe nuclear factories. The people in power in Egypt in 1986 had enough sense to halt their nuclear project after the Chernobyl catastrophe. The Egyptian government knows …

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FilGoal: Laporta, 'It's more than a match'

Al Ahly signs agreement with Barcelona for April 24 game CAIRO: During a press conference held in Cairo on Tuesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta hailed the game of his club against Al Ahly on April 24, saying it was more than an ordinary game due to the sportive, historical and cultural value of both sides. …

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Youth Views: What Iraq needs

CAIRO, RABAT and WASHINGTON, DC: Few would argue that the American-led invasion of Iraq has not had devastating consequences for both countries. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the war may now have cost over 600,000 Iraqis their lives. Nearly 3,000 American troops have died and the United States continues to spend massive sums …

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How does a keen advocate of reform face domestic resistance?

Having raised expectations for real political reform in Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah has instead announced that the time for change has not yet arrived. After reshuffling the Cabinet, everything remains the same. The Saudi population, 50 percent of which is under 15 years of age, will continue watching the same princes on television, some who …

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Russian foreign policy in the Middle East

Current Russian foreign policy in the Middle East can be described in terms of both continuity and novelty. As was the case in the previous years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, the Middle East does not rank high on the scale of Russia’s foreign-policy priorities. However in certain aspects, notably on the issue of Iran’s nuclear …

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The curtains are drawn open in Egypt

On March 26, fewer than 1 million Egyptians approved, in a national referendum, momentous changes in their Constitution. Local and international groups and observers dismissed the government’s claims that more than 27 percent of all registered voters participated in the vote. Except for the ruling National Democratic party, the referendum was boycotted by virtually all …

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I was misread on the finality of liberal democracy

Fifteen years ago in my book “The End of History and the Last Man, I argued that, if a society wanted to be modern, there was no alternative to a market economy and a democratic political system. Not everyone wanted to be modern, of course, and not everyone could put in place the institutions and …

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And the winner in Iraq is: the Al-Qaeda jihadists

It is a terrible mistake to discount Al-Qaeda’s operational abilities, now and in the future. If you read the accounts of Al-Qaeda insiders, the war on terror was essentially over in December 2001, after United States and coalition forces swept aside the Taliban and pummeled Al-Qaeda. According to Al-Qaeda’s own inner circle, 80 percent of …

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A rare rainbow at Guantanamo Bay

As the 15-seat propeller plane dipped hard right through the clouds, as we prepared to land at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, something rare flashed into view: thick beams of orange, yellow and green light arched from the sky, shining what, for just a moment, looked like rays of optimism over a …

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