Sisi reviews government's preparations for Ramadan

TV Screenshot of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's speech at a joint press conference Thursday, January 18, 2018. CAIRO - 23 April 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi reviewed the government's preparations for the holy month of Ramadan.This came during a meeting between Sisi and a number of ministers and the acting chief of the General Intelligence, as well as the head of the Administrative Control Authority.Spokesman for the presidency Bassam Rady said the meeting dealt with the government's preparations for the holy month of Ramadan, adding that Sisi stressed the need to continue efforts to control markets through tightening inspection of retail outlets in governorates to ensure the availability of commodities at appropriate prices, especially in most needy areas and prevent monopoly.The meeting also tackled efforts to develop the wheat storage system across the country by increasing the number of silos and developing old ones, in addition to building new ones in cooperation with the Saudi and Italian sides in a number of governorates, Rady explained.Furthermore, the meeting dealt with the latest developments concerning the recovery of state land, social housing projects and the progress made in the construction of the new administrative capital, as Sisi directed to accelerate the pace of implementing these projects, he said.In addition, Rady pointed out that the meeting discussed procedures taken to activate the Safety Certificate for Egyptians, which aims to provide death and accidents insurance to any citizen who lacks insurance protection.Moreover, he underlined that the meeting shed light on the results of the Arab summit which was held in the Saudi city of Dhahran.

Source:Egypt Today

April 23, 2018 15:00 UTC


Why banning Blue Whale game is not easy

Screenshot of Blue Whale ChallengeCAIRO – 23 April 2018: The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) assured that banning all websites and platforms that allow access to suicide-encouraging games like the Blue Whale is not an easy task, in response to the orders of Attorney General Nabil Sadek to take necessary measures to ban them.Khalid Sherif, board member of the NTRA, asserted the possibility of blocking the websites and platforms that include the Blue Whale game in the state, but at the same time it’s impossible to close the whole game completely, and so teenagers still can access the game through other means.He pointed out to Egypt Today, “It’s possible to block the websites that allow access to Blue Whale game by IP address, but still it can be circumvented by teenagers.”“Blocking is not that effective since many blocked websites have pages on social media that they can be accessed through. Moreover, it is possible to apply means to circumvent the block, like proxy or VPN services,” cybersecurity expert Adel Abdel Moneim told Egypt Today.“It is not only Blue Whale that threatens the teenagers; there are many other games like this horrifying game,” he added, asserting that the solution is not only in banning, but the country should focus more in diffusing awareness and raising education.The top prosecutor explained his decision that such games are dangerous to the lives of youth and teenagers.“Those games target the young people, incite them to commit suicide and hurt their beloved ones, which threatens the safety of the Egyptian family and the national security as well,” the attorney general’s statement reads.Sherief Abdelbaky, head of the Egyptian Federation for Electronic Games, stated on April 5 that blocking any site or game needs high technical capabilities and he suggested providing support and strong local game alternatives.His statement came as a reply to demands calling for the blocking of the Blue Whale game after it allegedly claimed the life of the son of former Egyptian MP Hamdy al-Fakharany and others.Known as the Blue Whale Challenge, the game requires players to go through 50 dangerous tasks over the course of 50 days. The tasks often begin with self-harm, leading up to the final challenge, which is suicide.Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, the Sunni Islamic institute concerned with fatwa (Islamic edict) issuance, has religiously forbidden playing the Blue Whale game, which pushes children to commit suicide.In its new fatwa, Dar al-Ifta clarified the reasons for banning this deadly game, mentioning that the player commits illegal actions.“The users are asked to cut themselves with a sharp weapon such as a needle or a knife, and this act is religiously forbidden. The preservation of a person’s life is one of the most important purposes in Islam,” the fatwa read.Egyptian writer Ghada Abdel Aal has launched an alternative charitable game called the Green Whale, which requires players to go through daily charitable challenges, countering the effects of the horrifyingly dangerous game, the Blue Whale.The game assigns 30 charitable acts that need to be completed before Ramadan, varying from helping a person to cross the street, to feeding animals, making children happy, raising funds to save a woman debtor from going to prison and visiting orphanages.Despite the awareness campaigns that have been raised recently in media outlets against the deadly online game, Beheira governorate has seen another case of an Egyptian teenager committing suicide after playing the game, putting into question the effectiveness of these campaigns.The 12-year-old Egyptian child committed suicide by taking poisonous pills on Thursday. The case was linked to the Blue Whale game after initial investigations showed that the Blue Whale-shaped sign was carved onto his arm.

Source:Egypt Today

April 23, 2018 14:03 UTC


WB president lauds success achieved in Egyptian economy

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim takes to the stage to deliver remarks at the plenary session at the IMF-World Bank annual meetings at Constitution Hall in Washington October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstCAIRO - 23 April 2018: President of the World Bank (WB) Group Jim Yong Kim lauded the success achieved in the Egyptian economy and the legislations to improve the investment environment.Jim said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had courageously eliminated the challenges facing development in Egypt and set plans that contributed to the success of the Egyptian economy.The bank is working on investing in education, health and social protection to increase growth, Kim said.This came during Kim's meeting with Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr during the Spring Meetings of World Bank in Washington in the presence of Egyptian Education Minister Tareq Shawqi and a host of the bank officials.In a statement on Monday, Nasr said that investing in humans is a top governmental priority.She also thanked the bank for supporting the strategy of developing education by 500 million dollars.The government is working on developing Sinai as soon as possible at the directives of President Sisi, Nasr said.Both sides discussed the bank's support to the sector of energy.Also, Nasr headed the meeting of Africa Gathering in the presence of the president of the World Bank and the African governors in the bank.Egypt exerts every effort for achieving development in Africa, she said.The Spring Meetings this year are exceptional as the World Bank is trying to re-identify "funding development" which will have role in supporting achieving the aims of sustainable development, Nasr added.Nasr also attended a meeting of the International Finance Corporation under the rubric "partnership for prosperity.. Entrepreneur and comprehensiveness".Nasr said that achieving sustainable development and boosting economic comprehensiveness top the priorities of the government's agenda.The government works on enabling the private sector to play an important role in the development process, he said.

Source:Egypt Today

April 23, 2018 13:52 UTC


EGX30 passes 18,000 points, market cap. gains LE 4.39B

File - EGXCAIRO – 23 April 2018: The Egyptian Exchange’s (EGX) benchmark EGX30 passed 18,000 points by the end of Monday’s session, amid Egyptian and Arab selling.EGX’s indices ended the session on a mixed note for the second consecutive session, and market capitalization gained LE 4.39 billion ($247.7 million).The benchmark EGX30 increased 1.22 percent, or 182.61 points, to end at 18,080.70 points.The equally weighted index EGX50 climbed 0.79 percent, or 24.22 points, to reach 3,087.43 points.On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.28 percent, or 2.45 points, ending at 863.24 points, and the broader index EGX100 slipped 0.04 percent, or 0.82 points, to close at 2,273.15 points.Market capitalization gained LE 4.39 billion, recording LE 993.15 billion, compared to LE 988.44 billion in Sunday’s session.The trading volume reached 376.07 million shares, traded through 34,454 transactions with a turnover of LE 1.9 billion.Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 286.29 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 117.13 million and LE 169.17 million, respectively.Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 23.04 million and LE 21.51 million, respectively, while Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 145.31 million.Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 28.18 million and LE 264.78 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 192.78 million.El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops, October Pharma and Suez Bags were top gainers of the session by 8.33 percent, 8.32 percent and 7.51 percent, respectively.Meanwhile, Credit Agricole Egypt, Raya Contact Center and El Obour Real Estate Investment were top losers of the session by 7.20 percent, 6.29 percent and 6.06 percent, respectively.EGX ended Sunday’s session on a mixed note, as EGX30, EGX50 and EGX100 increased by 0.66 percent, 1.59 percent and 0.04 percent, respectively, while EGX70 declined by 0.17 percent.

Source:Egypt Today

April 23, 2018 13:41 UTC


Parliament approves draft law to amend Agriculture Law

FILE - Egyptian parliamentarians hold talksCAIRO – 23 April 2018: Parliament approved on Sunday the government-drafted law to amend some provisions in Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966.During the plenary session attended by the ministers of water resources and irrigation and agriculture, a plan to fairly distribute available water amongst agricultural crops was reviewed.Article 1 in the Agriculture Law refers that the minister of agriculture shall determine the areas to cultivate certain crops, and shall ban other crops in certain areas. In 1902, 1906, 1929 and 1959, Cairo signed agreements with the Nile Basin countries which guarantee 55 billion cubic meters of Nile water per year for Egypt.Egypt suffers from a water deficit of 30 billion cubic meters; it annually needs at least 90 billion cubic meters of water to cover the needs of 90 million citizens. According to the ministry, this decline will save three billion cubic meters of water. At the same time, the ministry is working on launching campaigns to raise farmers’ awareness to reduce water usage.On the other hand, some experts expect that reducing the rice cultivated areas will lead to a decrease in production, decrease the quantities offered in the markets and lead to higher prices and a trend towards imports to cover the needs of the local market to insure food security.The Ministry of Agriculture has identified 53 varieties of strategic water-saving crops that are adapted to the different environment and climate conditions, focusing on breeding during the coming period, which included seven varieties of rice.

Source:Egypt Today

April 23, 2018 13:41 UTC


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