The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) issued Tuesday its annual report titled “More Than One Authority to Oppress” in which it monitored the situation of freedom of expression and speech in Egypt in 2016. Press and media freedomPress and media freedom came on top of the problematic issues in Egypt, reaching new levels in 2016 with the assault on the Press Syndicate and the sentencing of its leaders to prison. Media expert Yasser Abdel Aziz told Daily News Egypt that, in general, the status of press freedom in Egypt isn’t well, despite the ambitions for openness and independence after the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June. “For the first time in a hundred years of broadcast, Egypt will have a media syndicate,” he said. Major General Hamdy Bakhit told Daily News Egypt that this legal method is required to serve requirements of current security conditions in Egypt.
The Italian city of Udine celebrated the Fencing World Cup for juniors under 20 years, which ended on Friday. Egypt’s Mohamed Hamza won the tournament’s bronze medal. Hamza defeated Romanian Silvio Rosso 15/6 in the round of 64. He won Spain’s Roger Garcia Alzorriz in the round of 32 15/6. The Egyptian champion continued his victorious streak at the quarterfinals, defeating his Russian rival, Gregory Siminiok, 15/12.
Two Egyptian squash players, Youssef Ibrahim and Mohamed Saied, represented Egypt in the 2017 Squash Open D’Italia. Saeid exited the tournament after losing the first round’s match to France’s Baptiste Masotti by a score of 3-0. Masotti won the first two games 11-2 and 11-5. Ibrahim won against France’s Victor Crouin 3-0 (11-4/11-4/12-10). Ahmed Al-Sarraj, representing Jordan, left the tournament after losing to England’s Nick Mulvey 3-0 (11-7/11-1/11-6).
A recent report by HC Securities and Investment stated that improving clarity on foreign exchange (FX) supply and demand dynamics should steadily encourage foreign investors to leverage lucrative interest differential. The company said in its report on Egypt’s macroeconomy, issued every three months, that slower private consumption and investment growth on the short term is to be offset by an improved net import position. Chief economist at HC Securities and Investment Sara Saada said that the post-floatation signs are positive, even if some hurdles remain. Moreover, she noted that the parallel market and official exchange rates have largely converged, and the Egyptian pound has relatively stabilised against the USD. “The government’s secured loans from the IMF, World Bank, the African Development Bank, as well as the Eurobond sale, should all go into financing the deficit.
The Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) is considering the implementation of four projects to produce derivatives of propylene, ammonium, formaldehyde, and medium density fiberboard (MDF) with investments amounting to $5bn. Business development engineer at the company Nouran Salah said that ECHEM will complete the technical and financial studies for the propylene production projects next month, in cooperation with the consulting firm Technip. She pointed out that the company is negotiating with Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemical Company to buy hydrogen. ECHEM has implemented seven projects in Suez, Port Said, Damietta, and Alexandria in the framework of the national plan for the petrochemical sector with investments totalling $8bn. The Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco) complex in Alexandria is ECHEM’s latest project and one of the most important pillars of the national petrochemical plan with investments of $1.9bn.
Armed forces affiliated to the third field army managed on Saturday to kill a leading figure in the IS-affiliated group of “Sinai Province” in a sweeping operation in central Sinai. He had been responsible for killing five security conscripts recently, a North-Sinai-based journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity. Soliman killed five security conscripts on 23 January when they were back to their military units based in central Sinai following a short vacation. Recently, the IS-affiliated group “Sinai Province” published photos of the five conscripts killed by the militants. Since 2013, state security forces represented by both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province,” known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) arrested the customs commissioner at El-Bada’e village at Cairo airport and the director of opinion and legal research in Port Said Customs, both for attempting to waste EGP 12m from the state treasury. The aforementioned amount represents the value of customs of contraband goods and fines owed, according to an ACA statement. The ACA has been actively trying to tackle corruption cases across various entities in Egypt in December. The report referred to the State Council officials’ case as “one of the biggest corruption cases in Egypt.”In 2016, the ACA revealed a major corruption case that led to the ouster of the former Minister of Agriculture Salah Helal. The former minister and three other officials in the ministry were also arrested on charges of accepting bribes worth more than EGP 11m.
"La La Land" is set to sweep the Oscars, but the race to be crowned Hollywood's leading man is going down to the wire, say bookmakers who are seeing record bets on the Academy Awards this year. Bookmakers, however, are overwhelmingly confident that "La La Land" will take home the best picture statuette on Sunday, Feb. 26. Punters are finding several ways to put their money behind "La La Land." The odds for "La La Land" to beat the record for most wins is 10/1. Alex, 31, of London, who did not want to give his surname, said he'd backed "La La Land" to win best picture in early December at 4/5.
An experience that mimics the sensation of licking your fingers can enhance the taste of creamy foods. This is the concept behind the new spoon created by a British design studio, which specialises in the invention of eating implements of the future. The goal of the invention is to make food taste even better, and it is an ambition that is based on evidence. According to a University of Oxford study, the new accessory can enhance the taste of food by up to 40%. The glass version of Goûte, which is made by a traditional glass blower in Britain retails for £29 (RM156).
Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday praised the role of Al-Azhar as a beacon of Islamic moderate thought, highlighting its role in disseminating the true ideas and religious teachings of the Muslim faith to confront extremist religious ideas, and drying the intellectual sources of terrorism and extremism. The remarks of Sisi on Al-Azhar come amid recent signs of disagreement and tension sparked between him and the top Sunni institution's Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. Azhar has recently confirmed the validity of verbal divorce, which Sisi has called for new measures to restrict. However the disagreements between Sisi and Al-Azhar date back to last year over the renewal of religious discourse. In July, the government decided to make all mosque preachers deliver an identical, government-approved sermon during Friday prayers.
With Mardi Gras, Pancake Day and Candlemass just around the corner, pancakes will be on the menu this February in various parts of the world. Crêpe Suzette – FranceCrêpe Suzette is the ultimate French pancake. Paratha – IndiaThere are many kinds of breads in Indian cuisine that can resemble pancakes. Dosa – IndiaAmong the various forms of Indian flatbreads and pancakes, dosas are a must-try. These Southern Indian pancakes are made from black eyed peas and fermented rice.
Marc Jacobs Beauty has presented a limited-edition makeup collection, directly inspired by the brand’s spring 2017 New York fashion show, held back in September. The collection promises runway-inspired beauty looks for the spring 2017 season. This very limited edition collection comprises three essentials from Marc Jacobs’ permanent collection in shades directly inspired by the label’s colourful spring 2017 collection. In September, Marc Jacobs sent models down the New York runway sporting dreadlocks, wearing girly outfits and strutting in eight-inch platforms decorated with patterns created by British illustrator Julie Verhoeven. The three makeup must-haves come in a pouch designed by the illustrator Julie Verhoeven, who worked with Marc Jacobs on the spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection.
Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday to increase trade between the two countries to $1 billion over two years,q through a number of joint ventures in various fields. The volume of bilateral trade between Egypt and Kenya in 2016 was around $451 million. The Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation reported that the two countries agreed to remove double taxation on imports, which means that goods from either country will only be subjected to import duty. Sisi left Cairo on Saturday to Nairobi on an official state visit to Kenya for one day. Sisi and Kenyatta agreed to hold the meetings of the seventh session of the joint committee, chaired by the foreign ministers during 2017, with good preparation for the development of relations between the two countries in various fields.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday rejected cases demanding the dissolution of the Salafi Al-Nour Party, saying it has no jurisdiction to do so. State-run MENA news agency reported that several cases were filed with the court demanding the dissolution of Al-Nour and other political parties. The court said that the Political Parties Affairs Committee is the legal body entitled to dissolve any political party, but only after due investigation by the general prosecution. In the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, the Al-Nour Party won the second-highest number of seats after the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Nour Party ran in the last elections as the only Islamist party that is still active, following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013.
According to the Russian state-news agency Sputnik, the Tourism Committee in the Egyptian parliament has received confirmations from the Egyptian ambassador in Russia that the first Russian flight to Egypt will be on 23 February. The agency moreover noted that a high official in the Egyptian Tourism Ministry asserted on condition of anonymity that his ministry has known the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt will soon commence. Meanwhile, the agency quoted a denial from a high-ranking consultant inside the Egyptian embassy in Russia that there is a definite appointment for the resumption of flights between Egypt and Russia. He instead said that negotiations are still ongoing between the Egyptian and Russian officials, and that the resumption appointment is still not yet determined. Similarly, head of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports, Mohamed Saied, asserted that no official notification until now has been delivered to them regarding the resumption of flights between Egypt and Russia.