Security services besieged on Sunday al-Balabeesh village and Naga al-Sheikh Embader in Sohag to arrest criminals and weapon smugglers. Huge number of troops in 30 armored vehicles took part in the raid to storm houses at the villages and arrest the criminals. Security source from Sohag security department said the raid will surround areas that are known for sheltering weapon traders in villages near to the mountain including Balabeesh village. The raid started at 5 am and was lead by several generals in the Interior Ministry. Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
Nasr asserted that the political leadership pays special attention to women and works to enable them politically, economically, and socially, as well as provide necessary support. These reforms aim to enable women to reach decision-making positions in the state. Nasr said that the ministry will move quickly to establish a Cairo-based office to facilitate work of Egyptian and Arab businesswomen at the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, adding that she is keen to listen to all suggestions and obstacles facing businesswomen to improve the investment climate. According to Nasr, the Ministry of Investment aims to allocate 50% of the ministry’s funds and grants for women in coordination with development partners. The minister concluded that the ministry’s efforts will not achieve their goal without the collaboration of Arab women investors.
This was the first appeal session against the member’s acquittal. The Ahlawy members received an acquittal in mid-November, but the prosecution appealed it. They were arrested on 23 September after Al-Ahly SC headquarters was stormed amid demands to attend a handball match between Al-Gezirah Club and Al-Ahly. Over the past three years, a number of Ultras members were arrested on accusations of inciting riots and bullying. Ultras members are commonly portrayed in the media as “thugs” that consider the state and the Ministry of Interior as enemies.
Iran's foreign minister brushed aside new pressure from the United States on Sunday, declaring that his country is "unmoved by threats" but responds well to respect. "Iran doesn't respond well to threats," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of top diplomats and defense officials. We don't respond well to sanctions, but we respond very well to mutual respect. Asked how long it would take to make one if it did decide it wanted such weapons, Zarif replied: "We are not going to produce nuclear weapons, period. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman insisted that the main challenges facing the region are "Iran, Iran and Iran."
Partners for Transparency (PFT) recorded 66 corruption cases in January 2017 that were all monitored by different concerned bodies. The ministry recorded the most corruption cases over the past few months, as in December it recorded 11 incidents and 15 in November. PFT relies on information circulated in different media outlets to document corruption cases in ministries and governmental institutions. This is the institution’s 19th report documenting monthly corruption cases and legislative procedures. PTF has stated in late January that there were a total of 968 incidents of corruption in Egypt in 2016.
Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco says one person has been killed and three others injured as a result of an oil pipeline leak in the east of the kingdom. The company said in a statement Sunday that an emergency response team managed to contain the leak Saturday in Abqaiq. It did not provide details on how the contractor was killed. Two contractors who were hurt in the incident have been released from the hospital, while an Aramco employee who was injured remains in stable condition. The company says it plans a thorough investigation of the accident.
A year ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan in a failed attempt by the Obama administration to convene a wider regional summit on Israeli-Palestinian peace, Israel's daily Haaretz said on Sunday. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not attend the Aqaba meeting but was updated by Kerry, Haaretz said. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, also at the Munich conference, said he supported the creation of a Palestinian state. "The end game is no doubt a two-state solution," Lieberman said, adding a peace accord should be reached within a regional deal. Asked whether Lieberman would be meeting in Munich with any senior Arab officials, his spokesperson declined to comment.
The US dollar exchange rate continued its decline in banks on Sunday; the lowest rate found in banks was LE15.80 to the dollar in the National Bank of Egypt (NBE). The US dollar exchange rate reached LE20 in December but recent projections by EFG-Hermes say it should decline further to 14.5 during the next few weeks. Banque Misr is selling dollars at LE15.81, and buying at LE15.76; Banque du Caire is selling at LE15.85, and buying at LE15.75. Ahmed Shams el-Din, head of research at EFG-Hermes, said Sunday that he expects the US dollar exchange rate to stabilize at levels between LE15 and LE17 during the current year. A severe shortage of dollar liquidity when markets opened for the first time after the flotation resulted in low volumes and the pound weakening to LE20 to the dollar.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decided on Saturday to ban the entry of any type of motorbike and their spare parts to the regions of central and North Sinai. Meanwhile, anonymous militants on Saturday evening blew up the residence of a non-commissioned police officer in the suburb of Al-Obour in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, the journalist said. Moreover, a security conscript was injured by sniper bullets while he was stationed at a security checkpoint located south of Al-Arish. Since 2013, state security forces, represented in both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province,” known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Abou Zaid said that the US side is eager to listen to the Egyptian point of view on different counter-terrorism issues and to discuss the situation in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Palestine. Egypt is scheduled to participate in the anti-terrorism conference in London during March, where Egypt is planning to introduce a new perspective for ways to counter the Islamic State (IS), Abou Zaid added. Shoukry’s US visit will last for two days and will mainly focus on bilateral relations between both countries and ways to advance them. It will be Shoukry’s first meeting with Tillerson since the latter’s appointment to the position in early February. The visit comes as a response to a previous invitation by Tillerson to Shoukry during a phone call that took place last week.
The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has completed the maintenance of production plants of 27,000MW for next summer. The total number of electricity production units across Egypt currently stands at 155 units with a total output of 32,300 MW. EEHC conducts maintenance in cooperation with private sector companies, including Siemens and General Electric. The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has allocated EGP 11bn for the operation and maintenance of production plants and electricity distribution networks during the current year. The ministry has also been seeking to obtain EGP 4bn from the government to ensure the provision of electricity without blackouts.
The Administrative Court rejected on Saturday a case calling for the dissolution of all political parties formed after the 25 January Revolution. After the revolution, which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, dozens of parties were established, including different political and religious groups, some of which continued to participate in the political scene. In the same context, the court refused a case calling for the dissolution of political parties that are part of the pro-Morsi Anti Coup Alliance (ACA), formed after July 2013. The alliance includes parties like the Building and Development, the Freedom and Justice, and the Tahrir Islamist parties. The same court also rejected on Saturday a lawsuit demanding Al-Nour Party’s dissolution on the grounds of its religious basis.
Furniture and decor exhibition Le Marche is back on for April after Tarek Nour Advertising received official permission from the Egypt Expo and Convention Authority (EECA) to organize the event after it had been canceled in December without clear reason, al-Mal newspaper reported on Sunday. The owner of the advertising agency and al-Kahera Wal Nas channel, Tarek Nour, said he has received preliminary approval to organize the event, adding that final procedures are ongoing with security authorities. In December, the Interior Ministry informed Nour of its decision to cancel the show, just two days before the inauguration. Le Marche is the largest exhibition of furniture and decor in Egypt. Local media reports have suggested that the cancelation was in response to criticism of the government on a TV show owned by Nour's satellite channel al-Kahera Wal Nas.
In the presence of poets and writers from all over the world, the Cairo Literature Festival kicked off its third round. The first time it included 13 countries, the second time it went up to 15 countries, finally reaching 18 countries this year. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who had been awarded the 2006 Noble Prize in literature, was present. “This time, women were the heroines,” said Mohamed El-Baely, since the motto of the festival was “Women are the ink and the soul of writing.”Writers from 18 countries participated in the 2017 Cairo Literature Festival. “This is why I consider this festival an opportunity to enhance literature exchange between Slav and Arabic literature in both directions.” she added.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed to Tunis on Sunday to take part in a foreign ministers meeting on the Libyan crisis. The ministers of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia will be in attendance. The meeting will tackle developments in the Libyan crisis, in addition to coordinating efforts to find solutions among Libya's three neighboring countries. The ministers will also discuss the outcomes of the meeting held recently in Cairo among Libyan rival parties. Shoukry visited Tunisia last month and met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, as well as his counterpart, to discuss efforts made by Egypt to resolve the issue.