Israeli defence minister Avigdor Liberman said on Monday in a media statement to the Israeli Defence Forces’ (IDF) radio that Israel’s army does not let anything happen without a response, in reference to the two rockets recently fired from Sinai. It was clear that Liberman’s allusion was a response to the recent rocket attack launched from Sinai towards Israeli territories. “If any fighter or drone tried to penetrate the Egyptian border, it will be downed by the Egyptian Air Defence. The discourse of Israeli drones hovering over Sinai are part of IS propaganda aiming to allege that there is an absence of Egyptian sovereignty over the peninsula,” he added. Bashat asserted that Israel will not be able to respond to the rockets fired from Sinai against its territories because of the peace treaty signed in 1979.
Egyptian and Palestinian officials say the changes could signal a new era of closer cooperation after years of tension. They want the crossing to be opened and more trade," one senior Egyptian security source said. While it doesn't engage directly with Hamas, Israel is working with Egypt on border security and monitoring of Gaza. Egypt has given Hamas a list of about 85 fugitives, who it says are implicated in attacks and wants extradited, the Egyptian security source said. Despite mutual distrust, Hamas and Egypt kept communication channels open, with Hamas officials regularly invited to Egypt.
Economic growth in the 19-country eurozone accelerated in February to reach the strongest pace in nearly six years, a closely watched survey found Tuesday. The firm's purchasing managers' composite output index - a broad gauge of economic activity - spiked to 56.0 points in February from 54.4 the previous month. "The eurozone economy moved up a gear in February," said Chris Williamson, the firm's chief business economist. "With inflows of new orders also surging and firms becoming even more optimistic about the year ahead, growth could even lift higher in coming months." Given the uncertainties, few in the markets think the European Central Bank will soon bring an end to its stimulus efforts to revive the eurozone economy.
The Cairo Criminal Court continued on Monday to look into the case of the Beladi Foundation for Street Children and heard the arguments presented by the prosecution. Earlier in September, the White House called on Egypt to release Hegazy. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the White House’s demand by saying that it is an explicit intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs. Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, called on Egypt to release Hegazy immediately after the latter spent 900 days in pre-trial detention. The Egyptian foreign ministry condemned the requests, stating that Hegazy is accused of violating the law and exploiting street children.
A committee in the Press Syndicate said the final list of the election is ready and published, in which the candidates can start their campaigns, members in the committee told local media. Seven candidates are running for the position of head, including two women, according to a list published on the syndicate website. The three withdrawn candidates withdrew hours before the committee closed its doors for receiving withdrawal requests. Moreover, the committee is scheduled to meet with candidates for the positions of head and six members of the syndicate on Wednesday. There are a number of current figures in the syndicate, include secretary-general Gamal Abdel Rahim, head of the Freedoms Committee Khaled El-Balshy, and syndicate members Hanan Fikry and Osama Dawoud.
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly sought possible support on Monday for “interdependence and dignity” programmes with Richard Dictus, United Nations (UN) and UN Development Programme resident coordinator in Egypt. A statement from the ministry on Monday said that the meeting tackled ways of collaboration and the UNDP’s desire to support the ministry in its monetary support, interdependence and dignity, all other social protection programmes, and healthcare efforts for people with disabilities. The interdependence programme offers monetary support for families that suffer from severe poverty and that need monetary and service support, under the condition of having children under age 18. The monetary support is worth EGP325 monthly, in addition to 60 pounds for primary-school children, 80 pounds for middle-school children, and 100 pounds for secondary-school ones. The government plans on increasing the number of families benefiting from the monetary support to reach 1.5m by next year, including 1.05m to benefit from the interdependence programme and 450,000 from the dignity programme.
The UK is keen to increase its investment in Egypt in the coming period, British ambassador to Cairo John Casson said on Tuesday in a meeting with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr at the ministry headquarters. He added that 2017 would demonstrate the UK's commitment toward deepening economic cooperation with Egypt. A statement issued by the ministry said Casson put emphasis on the UK's support of Egypt's economic growth through increasing investment, which reached US$30 billion so far. The UK government offers economic support through funding a number of economic and social development projects as part of the British Partnership Program, Casson mentioned. She pointed out that Egypt enjoys large, promising opportunities for investment in various sectors.
Tired of tourists powering up batteries for hours, Vienna cafe owner Galina Pokorny has introduced a 1 euro ($1.06) fee for those who plug in their mobiles for too long. "Tourists -- always electricity, electricity, electricity. said Pokorny, owner of the cafe, located inside a colorful patchwork of apartments designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. "I run a cafe, not an internet cafe," she said, adding that she knew of no other cafes that levy a similar charge. Pokorny introduced the charge last year, she said, but it gained attention on Wednesday when tabloid Oesterreich published the "bizarre bill" one of its reporters was presented with, featuring the 1 euro charge for "electricity".
The total length of the paved road network in Egypt reached 174,600km in 2015/2016, compared to 168,400km in 2014/2015—an increase of 6,200km, equivalent to 3.68%. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) bulletin on roads and bridges inventory in 2015/2016, issued on Tuesday, the length of the paved road network of the General Authority for Roads and Bridges reached 27,000km in 2015/2016, compared to 25,000km in 2014/2015, an increase of 9.1%. Meanwhile, the departments of roads and localities accounted for 139,000km in 2015/2016 compared to 136,000km in 2014/2015, an increase of 2.4%, while the New Urban Communities Authority’s paved roads reached 9,000km in 2015/2016 compared to 8,000km in 2014/2015, an increase of 8.3%. Finally, there were 6 bridges belonging to the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation, accounting for 0.2%. Furthermore, the total number of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation’s bridges amounted to 4,481 bridges, including 1,640 pedestrian bridges, 2,724 cars bridges, and 117 other bridges for other purposes.
PAYFORT, an Arab online payment gateway, announced a new partnership with Amadeus, promising to deliver full integration with Amadeus e-Power’s online travel booking solution for travel agencies. Omar Soudodi, managing director of PAYFORT, expressed his pleasure to announce PAYFORT’s partnership with Amadeus. He said that integrating the company’s payment gateway with Amadeus e-Power will help open up a world of opportunity for Middle East travel agencies. PAYFORT expects the volume of e-commerce transactions in the Middle East’s travel sector to exceed $15bn per annum by the year 2020. He added that the partnership with PAYFORT makes it easy for regional travel agencies to offer customers payment options and enhance customer-service levels.
Central Bank of Egypt governor (CBE) Tarek Amer approved an agreement with investors to restructure their debts owed to banks in US dollars. The solution reached on Monday concerns companies with sales of up to LE500 million, and short positions not exceeding US$5 million. He pointed out that the dollar debt crisis was triggered by the US dollar exchange rate, which appreciated after the decision to float the Egyptian pound in November. He explained that about 800 companies owe banks US dollar debts; the situations of other companies which were not included in Monday's agreement will be studied to find solutions for them, in coordination with the banks and the CBE. He said 70% of US dollar debt crisis has been solved, which contributed to rescuing companies and workers from unemployment.
Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdul Aal will meet on Tuesday with vice-president of the German parliament Johannes Singhammer, with the attendance of the Foreign Affairs Committee, state-run media outlets reported. The meeting will discuss regional and international issues and strengthening their parliamentarian cooperation amid the strong relationship both countries are witnessing in this current stage. During the meeting, Al-Sisi sent his greetings to German chancellor Angela Merkel, praising the Egyptian-German relations, and referred to the multiple meetings held with the German chancellor over the past two years. The meeting was held in the presence of the German ambassador to Cairo, Julius Georg Luy. The visit of Singhammer to Egypt came days before Merkel’s scheduled visit in March.
An Israeli military court has sentenced a soldier to 18 months in prison for the fatal shooting last year of a wounded Palestinian attacker. The verdict deeply divided Israel, where military service is compulsory and support for young soldiers is widespread. He was captured on video fatally shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker in the West Bank city of Hebron last March. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and prominent hard-line politicians have called for the soldier to be pardoned. Dozens of the soldier's supporters gathered outside the court ahead throughout the sentencing.
Scores of bodies of African migrants washed ashore in Libya, in the western city of Zawiya on the Mediterranean Sea, a spokesperson for the Libyan Red Crescent said on Tuesday. The drownings -- at least 74 bodies were found in Zawiya -- are the latest tragedy at sea after migrant deaths rose to record levels along the Libya-Italy smuggling route over the past months. The Rec Crescent's spokesman Mohammed al-Misrati told The Associated Press that the bodies were found on Monday morning and that the Red Crescent workers retrieved them between 1pm and 7pm. According to Leggeri, migrant deaths along the central Mediterranean route stood at 4,579 for last year, which still might be much less than the true loss of life. Rights groups have documented migrants' horror journeys involving torture, rape, and forced labor inside Libya.
The statue was destroyed as a result of a devastating earthquake that swept the country at that time. Dr. Mustafa Waziri, the general director of Luxor monuments, declared that the first edifice in Luxor Temple was adorned with six statues, two in a sitting position and four in a standing position. However, many of these statues were destroyed, and the temple only has two remaining statues in a sitting position and one in a standing position. Waziri also added that the work will continue day and night in order to finish this huge project that will change the looks of Luxor temple forever. Last week, Al-Anani and Bokova reopened the fully restored Stoppelaëre house in Luxor.