Gunmen killed six people in an attack on a police station in a small South African town on Wednesday, stealing quantities of weapons and a vehicle in what police were treating as a robbery. Five police officers and an off-duty soldier were killed in the attack in Nqcobo, about 800 km (480 miles) southeast of Johannesburg, police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said. The gunmen also shot a bystander who turned out to be a off-duty soldier as they fled in a stolen police vehicle, Naidoo said. South Africa’s police minister, Fikile Mbalula, called the attack a national tragedy. South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world.
February 21, 2018 08:26 UTC
A person inspects damaged building in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria February 20, 2018. It followed a massive escalation in strikes that began late on Sunday. The enclave is home to 400,000 people.Pro-government forces fired rockets and dropped barrel bombs from helicopters on the towns and villages of the rural district just outside Damascus, where rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad have their last big redoubt near the capital, it added. "We are waiting our turn to die. But a former al Qaeda affiliate is not included in the truces and it has a small presence there.
February 21, 2018 08:26 UTC
Pro-government Syrian forces moved into the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin on Tuesday despite warnings from Turkey, which halted the irregular troops’ advance with artillery fire. Convoys of pro-Syrian government militia members were seen in video passing a Kurdish YPG militia checkpoint into Afrin. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said hundreds of pro-Syrian government forces had entered Afrin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said artillery fire pushed back “Shiite militia” and “the case is closed for now.”However, it was unclear if the pro-Syrian government militia forces had fully pulled back. Turkey has warned that it will hit back at pro-Syrian government forces if they moved into Afrin, which is controlled by the YPG militia.
he Turkish military and their Syrian rebel allies on January 20 launched “Operation Olive Branch” against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin. It also further complicates the multi-sided conflict in northern Syria involving Kurdish forces, pro-Syrian government forces, rebel factions, Turkey, the United States, Iran and Russia. The United States is concerned the Turkish attack on Afrin will distract from defeating IS and providing stability in SDF areas. The Turkish military and its Syrian rebel allies in October set up military posts in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, to the south of Afrin. Russia controls airspace over Afrin, meaning that any Turkish military intervention requires Russian approval.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out the United States as a broker for peace with Israel on Tuesday, calling for an international peace conference by mid-2018 with the key goals of full UN membership for the state of Palestine and a timeframe for a two-state solution. Abbas called Trump’s pro-Israeli action “dangerous” and has said the president’s action destroyed his credibility as a Mideast peace broker. “It has become impossible today for one country alone to solve a regional or international conflict without the participation of other international partners,” the Palestinian leader said. Abbas presented the Palestinians “peace plan” to the council. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that “there is no Plan B” to a two-state solution.
Nineteen people including 12 military personnel were injured on Wednesday in an explosion on a bus in Sri Lanka, said the military, adding they do not know the cause but suspect it may be a bomb or grenade. Since the end of Sri Lanka’s nearly three-decade civil war in 2009 there have been no targeted attacks on the military. “There had been an explosion in a passenger bus. We suspect it as a bomb blast,” military spokesman Sumith Atapattu told Reuters. Tamil Tiger rebels commonly used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to target civilians and military personnel during the civil war, which killed at least 100,000 people.
February 21, 2018 07:07 UTC
A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/FilesSEOUL - 21 February 2018: A better deal for South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry might be in the offing as the market regulator changes tack from its tough stance on the virtual coin trade, promising instead to help promote blockchain technology.The regulator said on Tuesday that it hopes to see South Korea - which has become a hub for cryptocurrency trade - normalize the virtual coin business in a self-regulatory environment.“The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation,” said Choe Heung-sik, chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters.The latest news suggests authorities might adopt a lighter regulatory touch, a step change from the justice minister’s warnings in January that the government was considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, throwing the market into turmoil.FSS has been leading the government’s regulation of cryptocurrency trading as part of a task force.Cryptocurrency operators see Choe’s comments as positive step for the industry’s plans for self-regulation.“Though the government and the industry have not yet reached a full agreement, the fact that the regulator himself made clear the government’s stance on co-operation is a positive sign for the markets,” said Kim Haw-joon of the Korea Blockchain Association.South Korea banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading as of January 30 to stop cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering and other crimes.Three local banks including Shinhan Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, NH Bank, are currently offering cryptocurrency accounts to around five local virtual coin exchanges.Choe said that Kookmin Bank and KEB Hana Bank may have also put in place an appropriate system, though they haven’t as yet started handling transactions.“I hope they (the banks) no longer fear authorities once they have the right system,” Choe added.An official from FSS told Reuters tough regulatory oversight of illegal trade in cryptocurrencies will remain in place.Bitcoin BTC=BTSP, the world's most heavily traded cryptocurrency, is now changing hands at a three-week high of $11,160 on the Luxembourg-based Biststamp exchange after falling as low as $5,920.72 in early February.South Korean electronics giant Samsung has already started production of cryptocurrency mining technologies, local media reported in January.
February 21, 2018 04:07 UTC
Soccer Football - Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Real Madrid vs Paris St Germain - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - February 14, 2018 Real Madrid’s Marcelo celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Paul HannaMADRID - 20 February 2018: Real Madrid could be without left back Marcelo and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric for their Champions League last-16 second leg at Paris St Germain in two weeks' time after the pair were diagnosed with hamstring injuries.Marcelo was one of Real's best performers in the 3-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu last week and scored the final goal of the game to give them a two-goal cushion in the tie.He was forced off, however, during his side's 5-3 win at Real Betis on Sunday with a hamstring injury.Real released a statement on Tuesday confirming the player had injured his right hamstring and said Modric, who played against PSG but was an unused substitute against Betis, had the same injury.As is customary at Real, the club did not reveal how long either player would be out of action although Spanish newspaper Marca said there was a possibility both players could return in time for the second leg at the Parc des Princes on March 6.Real coach Zidane told a news conference ahead of his side's Liga game against Leganes on Wednesday that he was optimistic about Modric. "He has sustained a hamstring problem which is why he didn't train and he is focusing on recovering as quickly as possible," Zidane said. "I think it's a small problem and as always I have every faith in everyone that works here, the doctors and physios, that they will ensure he returns quickly. "Modric and Marcelo have been ruled out of Wednesday's game away to Leganes along with German midfielder Toni Kroos, who is nursing a knee injury sustained after the first leg against PSG.Real are fourth in the Liga standings on 45 points, 17 behind leaders Barcelona, but victory over Leganes would lift them above Valencia and into third place.Leganes, who are 13th, are in their second season in Spain's top flight and knocked Real out of the King's Cup in the quarter-finals last month, before eventually losing to Sevilla in the semis.
February 21, 2018 00:00 UTC
The Observatory said the bombardment had killed more than 106 adults and children in eastern Ghouta on Tuesday alone. Factions in Ghouta fired mortars at Damascus on Tuesday, killing six people and injuring 28, Syrian state TV said. Fighting has raged on in eastern Ghouta even though it falls under the ceasefire plans that Moscow brokered with the help of Turkey and Iran. Moscow did not comment on the renewed bombing in eastern Ghouta on Tuesday. He said Moscow and its allies could “deploy our experience of freeing Aleppo … in the eastern Ghouta situation”.
February 20, 2018 22:07 UTC
The Libyan delegation meeting with Egyptian officials- press photoCAIRO – 21 February 2018: Egyptian Officials assigned to unify the Libyan military forces met Libyan Army delegation in Cairo on Tuesday in order to continue the discussions started on February 16th.The meetings deeply discussed the methods to unify and restructure the Libyan Military forces after a long split that was led to by the outbreak of the Libyan revolution in 2011.The Libyan delegation highlighted the gains of unifying Libyan Army’s warring factions, as every Libyan now believes that a united Libyan Army represents a cornerstone of Libya’s national security.The Libyan delegation members asserted through a statement that a unified Army will protect the State’s national interests in the future, including the protection of any elections held in the future.The delegation noticed that the international society is full of praise for the whole process of unifying the Army, as the meetings are considered to be unbiased and in the favor of the national interest.The delegation’s statement assured that the Army will not play any political or sectarian role in the Libyan Arena, as it will carry out its duty as a professional institution assigned to protect the State’s interests and borders.The delegation’s statement said more meetings to be held in the Egyptian Capital of Cairo in March in order to continue unifying process.Egypt has launched an initiative in 2017 to unify the warring factions of the Libyan Army in order to restore the absent State.
February 20, 2018 22:07 UTC
The Eastern Ghouta suburb is one of the last remaining areas of rebel control in Syria. There are a total of 400,000 residents in Eastern Ghouta and rebel-controlled areas amount to about 100 square kilometers (40 square miles). Syrian rebel groups are negotiating with Russia, a major Assad ally, to end the bombardments on Eastern Ghouta. Jaysh al-Islam: The Jaysh al-Islam, or Army of Islam, coalition is centered in the Damascus area and Eastern Ghouta. It is the largest rebel faction in the Eastern Ghouta region, with an estimated 10-15,000 members.
February 20, 2018 21:22 UTC
BT100 honors Egyptian tycoons and key business figures - Egypt TodayCAIRO – 20 February 2018: In the glamorous BT 100 awards ceremony organized by Business Today Magazine, Deputy CEO at Misr El Kheir Foundation Mohamed Abdelrahman was honored on Monday for the foundation's remarkable impact on society.The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qadi and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.It was held under the auspices of a number of pioneering corporate entities from various business sectors, including the National Bank of Egypt, the African International Bank, PepsiCo, CIB, Banque Misr and e-payment solution provider Fawry. Other companies include Hesham Talaat Mustafa Group, Jumia, Hyde Park, Ghabbour Auto, Aptech, Taaleem and WE.The ceremony’s awards selection was based on a comprehensive study conducted in accordance with financial and economic standards set by Business Today Magazine’s economic specialists and experts.The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in the Egypt 2030 Vision.
February 20, 2018 21:11 UTC
According to the court ruling, the CBE and the Real Estate Registration Office will take the necessary actions to seize and freeze Aboul Fotouh’s bank accounts. Aboul Fotouh was arrested last week over over six charges, including incitement. Lawyer Samir Sabry accused Aboul Fotouh of “spreading fake news” and demeaning Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Highlights from Aboul Fotouh's political lifeAboul Fotouh abandoned the MB due to crucial differences between the group’s thoughts and his own. Masr al-Kawya is an Egyptian centrist political party founded in 2012 by Aboul Fotouh.
February 20, 2018 21:00 UTC
An employee shows the logo of ride-hailing company Careem on his mobile in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah July 17, 2017. Mohamad TorokmanCAIRO –20 February 2018: Ramy Kato, head of operations at Careem Egypt was honored on Monday at BT100 for the company’s leading innovation and creativity in the automotive sector.Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held on Monday the 15th edition of its award ceremony “BT100” to honor top 50 influential figures and 50 innovative companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017.The awarded companies included OPPO Electronics Corporation, Jumia Egypt and Nestle Egypt for their remarkable market share growth in 2017.The event hosted more than 600 attendees, including state ministers, headed by Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy, Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Shaker, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady.The awarded entities were selected based on their overall performance in the past year, impact on the economic progress, stock exchange performance, creativity with practical solutions, sustainable public-private partnerships and alignment with the goals outlined in Egypt 2030 Vision.
February 20, 2018 18:45 UTC
Bavarian Auto Group Chairman Farid El-Tobgy - Egypt TodayCAIRO – 20 February 2018: Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today honored on Monday Hisham Shokry, Chairman of Rooya Group for Real Estate Investment, for his prominent contributions in the development of the real estate sector. Business Today held on Monday the 15th edition of its award ceremony “BT100” to honor top 50 influential figures and 50 innovative companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy in 2017. The awards aim to celebrate the exceptional success that has developed valuable contribution in the country, as well as resonating influence and motivation for other companies to impact economic prosperity in the future.
February 20, 2018 18:33 UTC