Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia: Monitoring group

Turkey has blocked online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Turkish telecommunications watchdog said on Saturday, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security. Turkey's communications ministry said Wikipedia was attempting to run a "smear campaign" against Turkey, saying some articles purported that Ankara was coordinating with militant groups, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. 'Censor Content'A block on all language editions of the Wikipedia website was detected at 8.00am (1.00am ET) on Saturday, monitoring group Turkey Blocks said on its website. Monitoring groups have accused Turkey of blocking access to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, particularly in the aftermath of militant attacks. But technical experts at watchdog groups say the blackouts on social media are intentional, aimed in part at stopping the spread of militant images and propaganda.

April 29, 2017 17:03 UTC

Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt gets wide local press coverage - Daily News Egypt

The historic visit of Pope Francis to Cairo on 28 and 29 April made the front page of Egypt’s local newspapers on Saturday. The newspaper reported that securing the Pope was the task of the military forces, as well as of 30,000 deployed police forces. State-owned media outlet Akhbar Al-Youm reported that Pope Francis led a mass in commemoration of the victims of terrorist attacks. The newspaper described Pope Francis as the messenger of peace. Meanwhile, Al-Shorouk newspaper reported on the baptism declaration between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

April 29, 2017 15:53 UTC

Door-knocking mission begins its annual visit to the US - Daily News Egypt

Washington DC- Thirty-five companies are set to start the annual door-knocking campaign in the United States on Sunday. Aclimandos added that the delegation this year is of unique importance, following the rapprochement between Egypt and the United States after President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to the US. Egypt is, therefore, the biggest recipient of US investments in Africa and the second largest in the Middle East. The United States are among the top 10 investors in Egypt. Aclimandos estimated the size of trade exchange between Egypt and the United States to be at $6.3bn in 2015.

April 29, 2017 15:22 UTC

IMF’s delegation to visit Cairo on Sunday - Daily News Egypt

A delegation from the International Monetary Fund is to visit Egypt on Sunday, according to a press statement issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Finance. The IMF’s delegation is visiting Cairo to evaluate the progress achieved by the government, in order to approve the second tranche—worth $1.25bn—of the IMF’s $12bn loan for Egypt. Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy said that the delegation would evaluate the plans Egypt has made to achieve the targeted GDP growth and the efforts to reduce the gap of budget and trade deficits. Deputy Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk said that the government’s programme aims at achieving a GDP growth rate of 5.5% by fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019. He added that Egypt aims at reducing the governmental debt to 90% of the GDP and also reducing the deficit to 3.5% of the GDP by FY 2018/2019.

April 29, 2017 15:11 UTC

Pope Francis holds mass in attendance of thousands, preaches coexistence and tolerance - Daily News Egypt

Thousands of joyful people attended a mass held by Pope Francis on Saturday in the well-secured Air Defense Stadium, in the attendance of several figures from the Egyptian Catholic Church. During the prayer, which was dubbed “The Pope of Peace in the Land of Peace”, Francis asked the worshippers to pray for refugees and victims of war and terrorism. The visit of Francis is the first visit by a Roman Catholic pope since 2000, when Pope John Paul II visited Egypt. It moves our hearts to love everyone without counting the cost, without distinction, and without preference.”After the mass, Francis visited the Coptic community in Egypt. Later he visited the Coptic Theological Seminary, where he met with representatives of different Christian factions.

April 29, 2017 15:02 UTC

Tight security presence marks Pope’s visit - Daily News Egypt

Security forces have intensified their presence, with a reported 30,000 security personnel during Pope Francis’ visit to Cairo on Friday and Saturday, in areas where the Pope was destined to visit, as well as other lively neighbourhoods around Cairo and Giza. On the second day of his visit, the Pope led prayers in the Air Defence Stadium, which was guarded by security forces and helicopters, although distant from crowded areas in Cairo. Earlier during the Pope’s visit, he met with Pope Tawadros II in Saint Mark’s Coptic Cathedral, which was bombed last December. However, the security forces of the Ministry of Interior, as well as the military forces, managed to maintain stability,” he added. Prior to the visit, Pope Francis had reportedly refused to stay in presidential palaces during his two-day visit to Cairo, as he also refused to commute in armoured vehicles, according to local Egyptian newspapers, despite criticism of Egypt’s security situation.

April 29, 2017 15:00 UTC

Al-Sisi honours Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt - Daily News Egypt

“A dear visitor, a unique personality, and a high-level religious and spiritual leader.” Those were the opening words of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s speech welcoming Pope Francis on Friday. Al-Sisi received the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church at the Itihadeya presidential palace. The pope was on an official visit to Egypt on 28 and 29 April. On a further note, the president praised Pope Francis’ efforts in renewing communication channels with Egypt’s Muslim institutions, namely Al-Azhar, opining that the move comes in accordance with his wishes to renew religious discourse to fight extremism. Earlier in 2013, Pope Tawadros II met Pope Francis in the Vatican.

April 29, 2017 15:00 UTC

Popes Francis, Tawadros II sign declaration to end controversy over rebaptism - Daily News Egypt

Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church signed a declaration on Friday during the former’s visit to Egypt, agreeing that rebaptism should not be held for Christians wishing to convert from one church to the other. “The declaration’s importance lies in its symbolism and the message within, which shows that churches are able to coexist,” he added. “I believe that the majority of Christians will not oppose the declaration. Of course there will be opposition, but I don’t think it will result in any severe consequences.”Researcher Marianne Sedhom from the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies described the consequences of the declaration as “merely theological,” explaining that it would have minimal impact on citizens but rather unified churches. Friday’s agreement will end the previous standards that were practiced under late Pope Shenouda III, who asserted that one had to undergo rebaptism if one was not baptised in an Orthodox Church, according to state-owned newspaper Al Ahram.

April 29, 2017 15:00 UTC

Egypt’s judges divided over controversial new judicial authority law

Egypt’s judges are divided over the controversial new judicial authority law ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday, which gives the President the right to select the heads of the judiciary authorities. Judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday that the Judges’ Club and the Supreme Judicial Council are at odds, as the later don’t wish to escalate against the law and wish instead to just appeal the case with the prosecution against it. However, Judge Mohamed Mansour, Head of the Judges’ Club, is supporting escalations against the new law, and supporting the calls for an urgent general assembly against it, to be held next Friday. 13 for the year 2017, published on Thursday evening in the Official Gazette, included amendments to the regulations of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, Law of the State Commission, the Judicial Authority Law and the State Council Law. The law gives the President the right to choose the head of each judicial body out of three deputies nominated by the General Assembly of the body.

April 29, 2017 15:00 UTC

Deficit of trade balance decreases by 46.24% in Q1 - Daily News Egypt

The deficit of the trade balance has decreased by 46.24% during the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to a press statement issued on Friday by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The amount of decrease amounted to $5.669bn, explaining that the deficit recorded $6.591bn in Q1 of 2017, instead of $12.260bn during the same period last year, according to the statement. The reduction of imports was another reason, according to the statement. Kabil said that the imports in this period decreased by 29%, recording $12.110bn compared to $17bn in 2016. Kabil said that the main countries were the United States of America, Britain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Lebanon.

April 29, 2017 14:31 UTC

Italy deports Egyptian linked to Berlin truck attacker

Italian authorities on Saturday deported back to Egypt an Egyptian man known to have links to Tunisian Anis al-Amri, the man who ploughed a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market in December of 2016, killing 12 people. The man, who hasn’t been identified, was classified as a threat to public safety. The Italian Interior Ministry said the man has been convicted in several crimes and deported from Italy in 2013, but returned after receiving a visa from the Italian embassy in Cairo. The man had alleged links to Amri, who carjacked a truck on December 19 and stormed a crowded market in Berlin, leaving 12 people dead. Amri was tracked down in Italy a few days later and shot dead by police.

April 29, 2017 13:41 UTC

Armed forces, over 30,000 policemen secure the Pope’s visit to Egypt

Egypt’s armed forces and over 30,000 policemen participate in securing Pope Francis' visit to Egypt upon orders of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, security sources told al-Masry al-Youm. The armed forces are alerted and in coordination with all security bodies of the Interior Ministry, to secure the Pope’s two-day visit. The sources said that patrols are combing the rout of the Pope, also checkpoints have been set up as well as more forces deployed, to secure the main roads which the Pope will use during the visit. The sources said that sniper teams are stationed on top of the buildings overlooking the route of the Pope. The sources said that over 30,000 policemen participate in the plan to secure the visit of the Pope.

April 29, 2017 12:22 UTC

25 years after Los Angeles riots, progress and distrust live side by side

A separate commemoration on Saturday at a prominent South Los Angeles church will bring together the African-American and Korean-American communities. But blight still mars South Los Angeles, where many residents struggle to find work and earn enough to live on, and many in Los Angeles think that riots are not just a thing of the past. Unemployment in South Los Angeles, the epicenter of the 1992 riots, stands at 13 percent, compared with 10 percent for all of Los Angeles County, according to the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. In some residential blocks of South Los Angeles, storefronts that were destroyed are still vacant, highlighting the morass in the neighborhood. Watson said in an interview at his house in South Los Angeles.

April 29, 2017 11:37 UTC

Turkey arrests American and Briton entering from Syria

One American and one British man, allegedly members of the "Islamic State" militant group, IS, were arrested in Turkey after crossing the border from Syria and handing themselves over to the authorities, officials said Friday. A Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol, said American Kary Paul Kleman and Briton Stefan Aristidou arrived at Oncupinar border crossing in Kilis province on April 20 and were arrested four days later. A British Foreign Office official said British authorities are in contact with Turkish authorities "following the detention of a British man on the Turkey/Syria border." Aristidou's British wife and child would be deported to the UK, according to the Turkish official. Anadolu said two Egyptians and four more children were also traveling with the group and will be deported.

April 29, 2017 11:15 UTC

Trump's first 100 days - a chaotic discovery of power?

From his resounding setbacks in Congress to his stunning policy flip-flops, Donald Trump has faced a steep learning curve in his opening months at the White House. With the arrival of the symbolic milestone of 100 days in power on Saturday, a cold, hard reality is setting in for the billionaire businessman who promised supporters he would "win, win, win" for them. At this stage of his presidency, Donald Trump is the least popular leader in modern US history -- even if his core supporters still fully back him. President Trump rallies his "friends" from the NRA telling them the "assault" on their right to bear arms is over http:In just his first few weeks in office, Trump suffered some crippling blows. All too aware that he doesn't have much to show for those days, Trump lashed out with a tweet decrying the "ridiculous standard of the first 100 days" -- one his own team has repeatedly said is vital.

April 29, 2017 10:52 UTC

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