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Latest in Politics


Egypt's Mubarak visits Germany for talks with Merkel & Koehler

BERLIN: President Hosni Mubarak arrived in Berlin on Friday for talks with German leaders on issues including the Israeli-Paliestinian conflict and moves toward democracy in the Middle East. German President Horst Koehler greeted Mubarak at his Berlin palace. Mubarak meets Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday. Islamic militant group …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Mubarak opposes force in Iran nuclear crisis

ROME: President Hosni Mubarak, in Rome for talks, voiced opposition to any use of force in the Iran nuclear crisis, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Mubarak s spokesman as saying. The path of dialogue is the sole and only option, ANSA quoted spokesman Suleiman Awad as saying when referring to Mubarak s assessment of …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Mubarak holds talks with Berlusconi in Rome

ROME: President Hosni Mubarak met Italy s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday as the Middle Eastern leader began a three-country European tour which will also take in Germany and Austria. Mubarak paid a courtesy visit to President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi shortly after his arrival in Rome at the start of a 24-hour visit, before …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Youth explore water problems

CAIRO: There is a precious commodity that isn t traded on any exchange. It is more essential than oil and more useful to the maintenance of civilization than any metal. Yet it is also undervalued and overused and the issues relating to its abuse do not rank highly on in the public s list of …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Word on the Street

CAIRO: Economic reform seems to be of late the number one priority of the government, which is natural considering the majority of the new government come from a business background. Economic decisions taken or not will have a profound effect on the average citizen. The Daily Star Egypt was curious to see how economic reform …

Daily News Egypt

Corruption and oppression dominate news

CAIRO: Talk of corruption has marred the privatization of the Omar Effendi department store chain, while the new imprisonment sentence given to a reporter, combined with the closing down of the Muslim Brotherhood’s newspaper, have spurred concerns over the future of journalistic freedom. Newspapers were also concerned with updates on the financial compensation to poultry …

Sarah El Sirgany

Illiteracy still rife among rural women

CAIRO: Nesma and a group of fellow women farm workers sit out in the midday sun after a morning of harvesting spinach leaves from plush green fields in the Fayoum governorate in Lower Egypt, 80 kilometers south of Cairo. Living in one-room mud houses with their husbands and children, they manage to eke out a …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Hot Towels

CAIRO: Stereotyping and bigotry have always been frowned upon and according to Independent Filmmaker Amr El Bayoumi, “first it was the drunken Irish, the greedy Jew with the big nose, the lazy Mexican bandit type, the gun loading drug dealing African American. The storyline of Bayoumi’s short film Hot Towels addresses the issue that Arabs …

Farah El Alfy

Critical moment on the political horizon

CAIRO: During a transitional stage in Egypt’s politics, reassessment of public policies is a necessity. Author Alaa Al Aswani and politician Mona Makram Ebeid took turns reviewing Egypt’s most captivating public issues, with the state of democracy in Egypt topping the list in their open discussion last week. “A sound political authority is the only …

Pakinam Amer

Western demands on Hamas are unfair so Egypt says

CAIRO: An adviser to President Hosni Mubarak said on Tuesday the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas would be wrong to make unilateral concessions to Israel and Western calls for it do so were unfair. Presidential adviser Osama El-Baz, who met Hamas leaders last month, also said the Islamist group, which is forming the next Palestinian government, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Norwegian telecom company mulls bidding for third license

OSLO: Norway s largest telecoms company Telenor is considering a bid for Egypt s third mobile phone license, spokesman Esben Tuman Johnsen told Reuters on Wednesday. Telenor has been aggressively expanding its network of mobile subsidiaries outside its Nordic base and already operates in eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan and south-east Asia. Egypt is an …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

New natural gas field discovered in Sinai Peninsula

EL-ARISH, Egypt: Egypt has discovered a new natural gas field in the northern Sinai, the local government announced Tuesday. The state oil company Petrobel uncovered the field near the Sinai village of Ramana, 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of the Suez Canal, said Wahbi Abdullah, the director of production in the North Sinai Governorate. Abdullah …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Migrant workers face abuse

CAIRO: On Feb. 3, over 1,000 people died when a passenger ferry traveling from the Saudi Arabian town of Dubah to the Egyptian port of Safaga sank off the Red Sea coast. While the disaster served to highlight the shaky state of Egyptian transport infrastructure, it also showed the plight of Egypt’s economic migrants, who …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Preliminary report on ferry sinking in two months

CAIRO: A preliminary report into what caused an Egyptian ferry to sink in the Red Sea last month with the loss of about 1,000 lives would be released in two months time, the expert in charge of the investigation said Wednesday. Mohammed Abdel-Fattah Shama said the final report would not be ready until two months …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

A life fashioned from stone

CAIRO: Adam Henein is known in the art world as the man who makes stone speak. The carved depth of his sculptures has made him an internationally acclaimed artist and the foundation stone of the art in Egypt. The simple beauty in his lines is more than just his livelihood; it is what has sustained …

Najla Moussa

Official promises broken

CAIRO: Less than a week after parliament promised to amend the law to prohibit the detainment of journalists as a result of their stories, an independent female reporter was sentenced to one year in prison in a libel case. “Excessive [and] harsh, said Amira Malash, the sentenced journalist, referring to the court verdict. “The court …

Pakinam Amer

Mubarak would retire if he finds successor

CAIRO: The main political adviser to President Hosni Mubarak said on Tuesday that Mubarak would welcome retirement if he could find a replacement. But the Mubarak family is not thinking of putting forward the president s 42-year-old son Gamal as a successor, adviser Osama El-Baz told Reuters in an interview. Mubarak is 78 in May …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Vietnam signs cooperation and double taxation agreements with Egypt

CAIRO: The Egyptian Vietnamese Joint Committee concluded its second meeting this week after a lull of nine years with the signing of agreements on avoidance of double taxation and tourism cooperation. The committee includes a number of officials from both sides and is headed jointly by Minister of Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga and Vietnam s …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Promoting commitment to public service

CAIRO: Initiating activities aimed at engaging students in community service, fostering their efforts toward lifelong commitment and promoting philanthropy in the region are the main objectives of the newly inaugurated John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement. The center commemorates Gerhart’s legacy, the ninth president of the American University in Cairo (AUC). Gerhart, …

Sarah El Sirgany

Median o/n interbank falls to 8.45 percent

CAIRO: The median overnight interbank rate on the Egyptian pound fell to 8.45 percent on Tuesday from 8.598 percent on Monday as funds maturing into the market outstripped those sought in new auctions, traders said. Maturities today and tomorrow are larger than the auction which is meant to cover them, one of the traders said. …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Muslim Brotherhood launches bird flu awareness campaign

CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood has launched an awareness campaign of its own to contain the spread of bird flu and assist Egypt s dilapidated poultry industry. Strongly criticizing the government s handling of the recent outbreak in Egypt, the banned but tolerated group has sought to put their recent parliamentary gains into action through financial …

Vivian Salama

Activists condemn curbs on internet

CAIRO: Rights groups have condemned several Arab governments for blocking Web sites devoted to freedom of speech on political and social issues, calling the move an attempt to limit the free exchange of information. Most Arab governments largely oppress freedoms of the press and expression, said Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information s (HRinfo) …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

EFG-Hermes drags stocks down

CAIRO: Retail market leader EFG-Hermes dragged Egyptian stocks down on Tuesday in a market driven by anxieties over a 16 percent decline in the benchmark index over the past five weeks, brokers said. In a market lacking news, small investors watched shares in the investment bank fall and many of them decided to reduce their …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

The third operator is calling

CAIRO: Chairman of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA), Amr Badawy, announced that bidders with local partners will have more weight than those without and will immediately receive 25 of the 1550 evaluation points. Badawy also denied that having an international partner with over 51 percent is a condition for making a bid. This does …

Najla Moussa

Egypt, South Korea pledge to boost trade ties

CAIRO: The presidents of Egypt and South Korea pledged Tuesday to work to boost relations and increase the volume of trade between their countries that amounted last year to around $850 million. President Hosni Mubarak and his visiting South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun also covered international and regional issues, especially the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Principles of governance

CAIRO: Transparency and governance of corporations are increasingly important issues as public participation in capital markets grows. The popularity of the stock market was clearly demonstrated with several of last year s privatization offerings, including Telecom Egypt, for which numerous individuals put aside their savings to purchase shares. Furthermore, as local companies turn to foreign …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani