On Sunday, an Egyptian court acquitted Aya Hegazy and seven others of the charges of trafficking. Egypt has witnessed dozens of organizations that used similar slogans but later found to have caused more damage than good. Egypt has chosen a difficult path: keeping the state institutions, even if these institutions suffer from corruption, inefficiency or lack of accountability. But it is important that the state institutions remain intact and subject to structural reforms. Any assessment of the situation in Egypt without accounting for the current circumstances and fears is an evaluation away from reality.
Paris prosecutors leading the investigation have since detained three of the suspected gunman's family members for questioning. According to authorities, however, there was no link between the man and the Paris attack. Read more: What you need to know about the French presidential electionThe 11 presidential candidates were appearing on television on Thursday evening, making their final election pitches to voters, as the assault happened, shortly before 9 p.m. local time (1900 UTC). He added that there was nothing in the shooting investigation linking immigration to the incident. Conservative candidate Francois Fillon, meanwhile, said that the fight against "Islamist totalitarianism" should be a priority of the next French president.
The world’s largest carmaker had admitted that nearly 600,000 of its diesel cars in the US were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road. VW’s lawyer Jason Weinstein said the fine was an “appropriate and serious sanction.”Judge Cox also assigned Larry Thompson to be an independent monitor overseeing VW for the next three years. Last month Judge Cox called VW’s deception “a very, very, very serious crime”, adding he would consider a motion to allow additional restitution to victims. Volkswagen also faces problems from Brussels, with EU commissioner for consumer affairs Vera Jourova complaining that nine million European customers who bought VW diesel cars were not being treated in the same way as their US counterparts. During a meeting in Brussels in March, Jourova and representatives from consumer protection authorities in 22 European countries agreed on the need for coordinated action to help VW owners.
President Donald Trump on Friday welcomed back to the United States Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker whose release from jail in Egypt was sought by Trump when he met Egypt's president early this month. Trump and his aides had engaged in behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to gain her freedom after attempts by the previous Obama administration failed. She was released from jail on Tuesday after nearly three years of detention on human trafficking charges. Aides said Trump had personally requested her release in a meeting April 3 with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi but had done so privately and made no public mention of her case. She had been in custody for 33 months in violation of Egyptian law, which states that the maximum period for pretrial detention is 24 months.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed strong Egyptian-American relations, and Egypt's keenness to further strengthen bilateral relations under the new American administration. During the meeting with US Secretary of Defense James Matiss, attended by Egypt's Defense Minister Sidqi Sobhi, US Deputy National Security Advisor for for Strategic Affairs Dina Powell, and US Ambassador to Cairo Stephen Beecroft, Sisi expressed his aspirations to continue negotiations over strengthening military cooperation between the two countries. Sisi called for intensifying international efforts to dry out the sources of terrorism and to send a decisive message to the countries that support terrorism and finance terrorist organizations. Matisse stressed the strong military cooperation between the two countries and the special relations between the Egyptian and American defense ministries. He praised Egypt's efforts in the field of combating terrorism and its positions on supporting stability in the region and resolving its crises.
Under an agreement with its international bailout creditors, Greece needed to clock a primary surplus of only 0.5 percent of output in 2016, followed by 1.75 percent this year and 3.5 percent in 2018. Unveiling debt figures alongside the budget surplus, the Greek statistics office said the country’s arrears stood at nearly 315 billion euros ($338 billion) or 179 percent of output, up from 177.4 percent in 2015. IMF-EU riftGreece and its creditors have been at odds for months over the country’s fiscal performance, delaying the conclusion of a key bailout review which could unlock needed bailout funds. The IMF, which has reservations on whether Greece can meet high primary surplus targets, has yet to decide if it will fund Greece’s current bailout, which is its third rescue package and expires in 2018. “We have committed to fulfilling the obligations undertaken to our creditors despite the political cost,” Tsipras said.
For UNESCO’s World Book Day on April 23, we take a look at some quirky and impressive literary achievements.Nowadays, books are increasingly read on screens rather than paper. To promote the written word, UNESCO initiated World Book Day in 1995. On the name day of Saint George, roses and books are given as presents in Catalonia. April 23 is also the day William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, two of the most significant writers in the world, passed away. To celebrate World Book Day, click though the gallery above for some astonishing record-breaking books.
As the rebel slave who defied his captors, Kunta Kinteh, immortalized in print and on screen in the series "Roots", put Gambia on the map for historical tourism. Now, the descendants of slaves are urging action to preserve historial sites on Gambia's Kunta Kinteh island. Although "Roots" has been criticized for historical inaccuracies, it indisputably heightened awareness of the horrors of the slave trade when published in 1976. UNESCO, which declared the island and its nearby villages a World Heritage site in 2003, describes it as "extremely vulnerable to erosion" and "needing protection". He wants the international community to undertake a total revamp of Kunta Kinteh island and related sites, which include a colonial warehouse and a Portuguese settlement.
In a press statement, on Friday, Abu Zeid reiterated Egypt's stance calling for a firm response to all terrorist organizations, to end these despicable acts. He expressed condolences to the family of the victim and wished a speedy recovery for the injured. Abu Zeid stressed Egypt's continued support for the French government and people against terrorism which unequivocally threatens all countries.
Road accidents killed 16,000 people and left 60,000 injured in 2016, the head of the Egyptian Society for Road Accidents Victims Care Samy Mokhtar said. During the launch of the campaign "Women's Role in the Consolidation of the Principles of Road Safety", in cooperation with the Higher Institute of Public Health at Alexandria University, on Thursday, Mokhtar said that 80 percent of accidents were caused by humans due to reckless driving and errors by pedestrians. He revealed that governorates of Upper Egypt have the highest rates of road accidents, followed by the governorates of Lower Egypt, especially Alexandria governorate. Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
AFP reports that the 'world's heaviest woman', Eman Ahmed from Egypt, has shed half her weight -- around a quarter of a ton -- in the two months she's been in India for treatment. The world's heaviest woman, Eman Ahmed from Egypt, was flown to an Indian hospital in Februaryafter an eminent Mumbai-based surgeon, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, succeeded with his fundraising initiative in order to fly Eman to India for treatment. Eman has suffered from obesity since she was a child due to a hormone imbalance and problems with her glands. As she reached adulthood, she gained so much weight that she could only move around her house in Smouha, eastern Alexandria, by crawling on her hands and knees. Many doctors had reviewed Eman's case, including in Greece, but she had continued to gain weight, making her medical condition more critical still.
Campaigning officially started on Friday for Iran's May presidential election, pitting pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani against hardliners just as the United States reassesses its policy on the Islamic Republic. Rouhani won a landslide victory in 2013 on a platform of ending Iran's diplomatic isolation and reviving the country's crippling sanction-hit economy. On April 4, the U.S. Senate has delayed a bill to slap new sanctions on Iran due to concerns about the election. Rouhani engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that secured removal of most of international sanctions against Tehran. The four other candidates are Iran's first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, former conservative culture minister Mostafa Mirsalim, former pro-reform vice president Mostafa Hashemitaba and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf.
The UN honored Egyptologist and former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass on Thursday for his role in protecting antiquities, on the occasion of his appointment as United Nations Ambassador for Culture and Antiquities. Hawass stressed the need to protect antiquities in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq. He also referred to the achievements of Egypt in the field of archaeology, including the construction of new museums, the opening of archaeological sites and restoration projects. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi saved Egypt's antiquities, said Hawass; adding that Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany plans to prepare a database for all the antiquities of Arab countries which are currently under threat of terrorist attacks, in order to facilitate their tracking and restitution if stolen. Hawass concluded by saying that Egypt has plans underway to take part in the restoration of destroyed antiquities in the region.
Israel has reopened its border crossing to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula shut over a week ago over intelligence warnings of possible attacks. Israel's counterterrorism office said on Friday the Taba crossing is reopened but warned that the threat to Israelis in Sinai remains "severe, concrete and immediate." It recommended against visiting Sinai now and advised those already there to "leave immediately." Israel shut the border a day after militants in Egypt bombed two churches earlier this month, killing dozens of Christian worshippers during Palm Sunday ceremonies. Sinai is popular with Israeli tourists for its pristine beaches and coral reefs.
Syria's state-owned news channel Ikhbariyah also reported on the resumption of the twin evacuations, part of a swap deal among Syria's warring factions. The exchange was delayed by a late rebel demand that the government of President Bashar al-Assad free 750 prisoners. Asked whether the Syrian military had moved its combat aircraft to a Russian base in Latakia, Mattis said: "They have dispersed their aircraft, no doubt. The apparent movement of Syrian aircraft follows the recent US missile strike ordered by President Donald Trump against a Syrian airbase implicated by the US in an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun on April 4. Sarin or similar toxinOn Wednesday, the global chemical arms watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said it had "incontrovertible" test results showing that sarin gas or a similar toxin had been used.