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Arab world urged to push harder for renewable energy

ALEXANDRIA: Arab states, likely to be among those hit hardest by climate change, are not doing enough to promote renewable energy, environmental experts said at a conference here. Carbon dioxide emissions in the region are increasing at one of the fastest rates in the world, nearly doubling in the period 1990-2003, a UN Arab Human …

Reuters

Desert spreading like 'cancer,' Egypt conference told

ALEXANDRIA: The desert is making a comeback in the Middle East, with fertile lands turning into barren waste that could further destabilize the region, experts said at a water conference on Thursday. Desertification spreads like cancer, it can t be noticed immediately, said Wadid Erian, a soil expert with the Arab League, at a conference …

AFP

Mars radar could help stave off drought in ME, says NASA

ALEXANDRIA: Technology used to discover underground ice on Mars could also be used in the search for water on Earth and help ward off conflict in the arid Middle East, a NASA scientist said Thursday. A probe launched by the US space agency NASA discovered in 2007 that the desert which covers Mars sat on …

AFP

Rights group launches Wasla monthly to showcase blogs

CAIRO: Recognizing the importance of citizen journalism, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) launched its first issue of its monthly Wasla Thursday, Egypt’s first newspaper with 90 percent content derived from blog entries. The newspaper “mirrors what happens on the blogs … We want to transfer what is discussed online to an audience …

Heba El-Sherif

Egypt sex selection clinics engender controversy

CAIRO: Some consider it medical progress, but baby gender selection in conservative Egypt has caused a stir among traditionalists who see it as an affront to ethics and have lashed out at clinics offering the service. Ashraf Sabry, a medical doctor, has defied social opposition and uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology to allow the …

AFP

Belgium first to ban burqa and niqab in public spaces

CAIRO: In a rare show of unity on Wednesday, the Belgian home affairs committee of the federal parliament spoke in a single voice and issued a decision to ban the niqab and burqa in public spaces. The new law states that anyone in public with their face covered or disguised in whole or in part …

Katharina Natter

Health Minister to allocate LE 200 mln to improving doctors' pay

CAIRO: Health Minister Hatem El-Gabaly announced Wednesday that LE 200 million will be apportioned to improving doctors’ pay. The announcement, made during a “surprise visit to the Faqous general hospital in Sharqeya, was reported yesterday by the state news agency. The funds will be directed towards specialists and assistant specialists, “as part of the health …

Sarah Carr

French government told to limit burqa ban

PARIS: France’s top administrative body advised the government Tuesday against slapping a complete ban on the full Islamic veil but said outlawing the burqa in some places was justified for security reasons. Lawmakers from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party said they were determined to push for a total ban of the full-face veil in draft legislation …

AFP

Court refuses religion change in Christian twins' documents

CAIRO: The Administrative Court at the State Council ruled Tuesday against a lawsuit filed by a Christian mother requesting a change in her twin sons’ identification documents from Muslim to Christian. Kamilia Gabballah, the mother of Andrew and Mario, failed to get approval to issue birth certificates for her two sons, registering them as Christians …

Essam Fadl

Outside experts to review WHO's swine flu response

GENEVA: A group of outside experts will scrutinize the World Health Organization s response to the swine flu outbreak and likely examine whether the global body could have been clearer when it declared a pandemic of what has turned out to be a relatively mild disease, the World Health Organization said Monday. The review, starting …

AP

Minister's alleged statement on healthcare causes confusion

CAIRO: Alleged plans announced by the minister of health to drastically reduce the number of illnesses covered by government-sponsored healthcare have been met by both NGO consternation and confusion, while government aides say they know nothing about the plans. Minister of Health Hatem El-Gabaly was quoted in Monday’s edition of government mouthpiece Al-Ahram as saying …

Sarah Carr

At least two migrants dead in Egypt boat accident

CAIRO: At least two Egyptians drowned when a boat ferrying illegal migrants to Italy capsized in the eastern Mediterranean off Egypt on Tuesday, a security official said. Rescue workers saved 25 passengers and recovered two bodies after their boat capsized three kilometers (two miles) off the coast of Borg Megheizal village in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, …

Agencies

Political analyst discusses Egypt's future as presidential elections loom

CAIRO: Egypt’s political future is likely to follow one of three scenarios that involve inheritance of power or the emergence of an independent presidential candidate, political analyst Amr El-Chobaki told online news portal Masrway in an interview published Sunday. As Egypt approaches the presidential elections in 2011, El-Chobaki explained, the first scenario would see the …

Heba El-Sherif

Ayew back in Zamalek squad

CAIRO: Ibrahim Ayew might play his first game with Zamalek since the African Cup of Nations after being included in their squad for Monday s Egyptian Premier League match at Ghazl Mahalla. The Ghanaian out-of-favor midfielder has been snubbed by Zamalek coach Hossam Hassan since helping his country finish runners-up to champions Egypt in January …

Hatem Maher

Red Bull gears up for record breaking skydive

CAIRO: For Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, jumping from an altitude of 36,576 meters (120,000 feet) and breaking world records at Red Bull Stratos does not only take courage and skill, but also trust in advanced technology and extraordinary, state of the art equipment. The Balloon Starting from the launch operation, a scientific balloon – made …

Tamim Elyan

Hamdi Qandil named spokesman of ElBaradei's National Coalition for Change

CAIRO: Members of the National Coalition for Change, headed by the former Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, chose journalist and outspoken talk show host Hamdi Qandil, to be the group’s official spokesman at a meeting attended by ElBaradei Thursday. Sources told Daily News Egypt that the meeting was convened to outline an organizational …

Essam Fadl

Doctors call for strike action, Syndicate board advises reconsideration

CAIRO: Doctors’ Syndicate head Hamdy El-Sayyed defended the Syndicate’s board yesterday during a charged general assembly meeting during which some doctors accused the board of being “unable or unwilling to stand up for doctors’ rights. Mona Mina, from the Doctors Without Rights (DWR) group, called for a delegation of doctors to present a petition of …

Sarah Carr

UN rights body suggests Israel pay for Gaza damage

GENEVA: Israel should pay Palestinians reparations for loss and damages suffered during last year’s war in the Gaza Strip, the UN Human Rights Council suggested Thursday. The 47-nation body didn’t call for similar payments by Palestinians to Israelis. The resolution was opposed by the United States and five European countries. Israeli Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar said …

AP

From Pyramids to Paris, millions to go dark for Earth Hour

SYDNEY: World-famous landmarks including the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower and Beijing’s Forbidden City will go dark Saturday as millions turn out the lights for “Earth Hour , a rolling grassroots movement aimed at tackling climate change. Now in its fourth year, the campaign promises to be the biggest yet with thousands of cities and towns …

AFP

UN rights body narrowly passes Islamophobia resolution

GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday narrowly passed a resolution condemning Islamophobic behavior, including Switzerland’s minaret building ban, despite some states’ major reservations. The resolution, criticized by the US as “an instrument of division , “strongly condemns… the ban on the construction of minarets of mosques and other recent discriminatory measures. In a …

AFP

Negotiations beak down between IOL staff and Qatar

CAIRO: Negotiations between lawyers from Islam Online (IOL) and Media International were stalled Thursday afternoon after both parties failed to agree on terms for a financial settlement slated to end an employee strike approaching its third week. Representatives of Abdullah El-Naggar, head of Media International’s board and member of the board of Al-Balagh foundation, IOL’s …

Heba El-Sherif

Sand Bags to Sand Dunes: the 8-month drive to South Africa

Egypt’s Black and White Desert normally hosts a smattering of tourists every evening. Student groups traveling from Cairo, tourists looking for a break from Ancient Egyptian monuments, and expats taking short vacations bus down to the desert on chartered tour packages, sleeping under the stars while their local guides set up camp and drive jeeps. …

Daily News Egypt

Bird flu remains a threat, says WHO

MANILA: Bird flu outbreaks that have killed seven people in several countries so far this year show the virus remains a threat to humans, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday. The newly confirmed human and poultry cases of avian influenza this year are a reminder that the virus poses a real and continuous threat …

AFP

Carrefour halts shark sales following HEPCA campaign

CAIRO: Carrefour stopped the sale of shark meat due to campaign efforts by the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA), Chahinaz El-Hossary, assistant to Carrefour Egypt’s general manager, told Daily News Egypt. “We did not know that it was forbidden, El-Hossary said, referring to the selling of shark meat in the hypermarket. She specified …

Katharina Natter

Hearing-impaired lead the way to science challenge

CAIRO: Marwa Abdel-Fattah signs by turning her nose up and shaking her index finger: she will not be snobby about giving Daily News Egypt an interview if Falcon Eye wins at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival. A team of six hearing-impaired children, Falcon Eye took the first place at the Egypt FLL Championship …

Chitra Kalyani

Farshout rape case adjourned to April 17

CAIRO: The Qena Criminal Court on Wednesday adjourned to April 17 the trial of Gerges Baroumi accused of rapping a 12-year-old girl in the town of Farshout. The rape, which occurred in November 2009, is believed to have triggered sectarian violence in the Upper Egyptian town. While police held Baroumi, a Christian, on charges of …

Essam Fadl

'Transplant tourism' causing global concern, say experts

MADRID: Moves to combat transplant tourism , in which patients from rich countries pay large sums to have organ transplants in poor ones, are gaining pace, experts told an international conference. The World Health Organization and the European Union have led the way in tackling the problem, the Madrid conference on organ donations and transplants …

AFP

Mubarak welcomes birth of first granddaughter Farida

CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak’s younger son Gamal, thought by many to be his political heir apparent, became the father of a baby girl on Tuesday, the official MENA news agency reported. “President Hosni Mubarak was blessed this morning with his first granddaughter, Farida, by his son Gamal Mubarak and Khadiga El-Gamal, MENA said, without providing …

AFP

Qatar ministry removes El-Qaradwi from Al-Balagh board

CAIRO: The board of Qatar’s Al-Balagh Foundation, the main funder of Islam Online (IOL), was dissolved late Tuesday by the Qatari Ministry of Social Affairs, according to Fathy Abu Hatab, a journalist at IOL. Sheikh Yousef El-Qaradawi,who headed the board, was informed of the decision Tuesday night via a message sent by Ali El-Emady. Ibrahim …

Heba El-Sherif