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Latest in Politics


Ultra-athletes endure sand, heat to run across Sahara Desert

Associated Press WESTERN DESERT: In 111 days, three ultra-endurance athletes – an American, a Canadian and a Taiwanese – did something most people could only describe as insane: Running the equivalent of two marathons a day to become the first modern runners to cross the Sahara Desert s grueling 6,437 km. It will take time …

Daily News Egypt

Natural gas exports down 25 percent in November 2006

CAIRO: Egyptian exports of natural gas and its derivatives collapsed by nearly 25 percent to $233 million in November 2006 compared with $296 million a year earlier, according to a recent report by the Cabinet Information & Decision Support Center. Based on data from the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, the report notes rising local consumption …

Noozz

Pickpocket caught red-handed

CAIRO: Transport police finally got their hands on the notorious metro pickpocket, Al Gomhuria daily reported. Some of metro-users had earlier complained to the police that they had been robbed and implicated a woman in her 30s. Alerted about the repeated incidents, the police became suspicious of a woman who usually jumped into women’s car …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Shura approves government's request for $1 billion loans

CAIRO: The Financial and Economic Committee at the Shura Council (Upper house of Parliament) has approved a permission for the government to borrow $1 billion from the World Bank and the African Development Bank to finance the restructuring efforts at state-owned insurance companies and banks. Khallaf Abul Gaber, head of the Shura Council’s Financial Committee, …

Noozz

THE REEL ESTATE: The Illusion of happiness and the American dream

Shortly after the release of Dogville in 2003, Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier responded to American critics who accused him of offending a country he never visited, by saying that 60 percent of everything he experienced in his life was American; which makes him partly American, he said. I tend to agree. My generation is …

Joseph Fahim

Condoleezza Rice's useless summit: an Israeli view

In its February 16 issue, The Washington Post described Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s trip to the region as a “high-profile peace mission. There was only one problem with the wording. It appeared in a news-item on page 18, a clear indication of the relatively low priority the trip enjoys on the political agenda of …

Daily News Egypt

Corruption: an evil Arab governments are sticking to

Are economic and political reforms an effective way to combat corruption, or do changes such as privatizing state industries actually increase opportunities for corruption? There is not a single answer to the question, but a closer look at the types of corruption that are endemic in various Arab states and the nature of current reform …

Daily News Egypt

Muslim women keep faith with special swimsuits

Associated Press LOS ANGELES: Amana Siddiqi loved swimming as a child but gave it up as a teenager because her Muslim faith required she fully cover her body in public. At age 15, I started to cover, so I stopped going to public pools, said Siddiqi, now 27, whose parents come from India and Pakistan. …

Daily News Egypt

The US and Islam: a widening rift

It is no surprise that at the annual meeting of the US-Islamic World Forum in Doha last weekend, sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the state of Qatar, the focus of discussion returns repeatedly to American policies throughout the Middle East. The heart of US-Islamic relations is the discord over the Middle East, but that …

Rami G. Khouri

Egypt writer defiant and cynical despite tough struggle

Reuters CAIRO: Egyptian writer and journalist Ibrahim Issa likens his role in his nine-year-old struggle with the authorities to that of Zorro or Robin Hood – a mischievous, resourceful folk hero who keeps one step ahead of the enemy. Known for his sharp criticism of President Hosni Mubarak – still a risky venture in Egypt …

Alaa Shahine

Emirates Telecom to borrow LE 10 billion

CAIRO: Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (Etisalat) is looking to raise LE 10 billion in long-term finance, the company s chairman said on Tuesday. The cash will be used to pay off a bridging facility and shareholder loans, Mohammed Hassan Omran said at a conference in Dubai. Banks are expected to begin syndication in the next few …

Reuters

Rare wooden statue of ancient scribe found in Egypt

CAIRO: Archaeologists have found a rare double wooden statue of an ancient Egyptian scribe and his wife near a pyramid in Saqqara, south of Cairo, the country s supreme council of antiquities said Monday. The double statue of Ha-Kay and his wife Spri-Ankh was found in a mud brick tomb dating back to the late …

AFP

Mufti's 'hymen fatwa' causes shock waves among scholars

CAIRO: Reconstructive hymen surgery for women who lost their virginity before marriage is halal (religiously permissible), said to Aly Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Gomaa, the highest authority with the power to issue a fatwa (religious edict), appeared the popular terrestrial Channel Two’s talk show El Beit Beitek, where he condoned the controversial fatwa, …

Yasmine Saleh

Chomsky speaks on Iran, Iraq and the US's mafia complex

Noam Chomsky is a noted linguist, author, and foreign policy expert. On February 9, Michael Shank interviewed him on the latest developments in US policy toward Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Venezuela. This is Part II of a four-part series. Shank: Venezuela has been successfully defiant with Chavez making a swing towards socialism. Where are …

Daily News Egypt

Jailed student blogger faces threats as final trial approaches

CAIRO: Facing a prison sentence of up to 11 years for his controversial Internet writings on Islam and President Mubarak, Egyptian student blogger Abdelkarim Soliman Amer, also known as “Kareem Amer’, has reportedly received death threats from strangers as well as member of his own family. In conjunction with the final court ruling in the …

Alexandra Sandels

Experts sound alarm on human rights as PA debates 30 constitutional amendments

CAIRO: This week, members of the legislative and constitutional committee of the People’s Assembly (PA) will begin formally drafting more than 30 new amendments to the constitution, including controversial proposals on terrorism and the electoral process. Human rights activists and legal experts are denouncing the proposed amendments, which, they say, will broadly expand state power …


Release of 48 Al-Azhar students

CAIRO: The authorities released 48 Al-Azhar University students Monday, ending a two-month detention triggered by a military-style parade they performed on campus, said Mohamed Habib, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The students are members of the banned-but-tolerated MB group. The arrest was completely wrong and unfair from the start, Habib said, adding that …

Yasmine Saleh

Sudan apologizes for police assault of Egyptian workers

CAIRO: The Sudanese government has offered an apology to Egypt for the mistreatment of four Egyptian workers at a police station in Khartoum. Sudan’s Interior Minister Al-Zubair Bashir Taha apologized on behalf of his government to the Egyptian government and promised that an investigation will begin immediately. Egypt’s Ambassador to Sudan Mohammed Al Shazly and …

Abdel-Rahman Hussein

UAE's Amlak enters Egyptian mortgage financing market

LE 500 million capital venture to provide ‘Sharia-compliant’ financing CAIRO: An Egyptian-Gulf consortium led by the United Arab Emirates Amlak Finance (AF) has been licensed as the fourth mortgage finance company, the Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) announced late Monday. Amlak Finance and Real Estate Investments is due to open its Cairo office this month with …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Egypt students protest Jerusalem holy site dig

CAIRO: Around 400 students demonstrated Monday against Israeli renovations near Jerusalem s Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. It will never go down as long as we re alive, read dozens of identical banners at the protest, which was organized by Islamist students and teachers on Cairo University campus. Some students waved Qurans …

AFP

Freedom for Egyptian blogger and freethinker

Abdelkareem Nabil Suleiman, an Egyptian college student and blogger, will be sentenced on February 22 in Cairo. His alleged crime is expressing his own personal opinion on issues of education, women’s rights, and government reform. As punishment, he could spend the next 15 years in prison. This is a travesty that should not be allowed …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt drug seizures quadrupled in 2006

CAIRO: Egyptian cannabis seizures more than quadrupled in 2006, the country s top anti-drugs official said Monday. The problem is increasingly acute, Anti-Narcotic General Administration (Anga) chief Ahmed Kamaleddin Samak told the reporters as he presented his agency s annual report. More than five tons of cannabis were seized by police in 2006, in what …

AFP

Fighting despotism, armed with a keyboard and modem

When I launched my blog on February 6, 2005 I never imagined that it would become an obsession of mine or a mini-phenomenon for many people interested in the region. Yet within months of the beginning, it became clear to me that blogging was destined to become an integral part of my life, perhaps for …

Daily News Egypt

Iran and the talent for making enemies

America’s decision to target Iranian agents in Iraq who may be involved in supporting violent militias is but another sign of the massive influence Iran is exercising in that troubled country. But the United States in fact facilitated Iran’s growing influence by toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime and that of the Taliban in Afghanistan, thus removing …

Daily News Egypt