Militants kill Christian in Sinai, second in a week

Suspected Islamic militants gunned down a Coptic Christian teacher on his way to school in northern Sinai on Thursday, the second killing of a Christian in less than a week in the turbulent region, officials said, amid fears of escalating attacks on Christians. On Sunday, suspected militants gunned down a local vet, Bahgat Zakher, in al-Arish, and in late January, Wael Milad, a merchant, was killed by militants who stormed his shop. Both were Coptic Christians. The Copts have long complained of discrimination and have frequently been targeted by Islamic militants. Since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak, northern Sinai has plunged deeper into strife, with Islamic militants gaining a strong foothold.

February 16, 2017 13:23 UTC

Villagers glorify their children in China festival

Looking like living dress-up dolls, elaborately costumed children are paraded through an eastern China village as firecrackers roar, commemorating the end of barbaric child sacrifices hundreds of years ago. Nearly 700 years ago, people in the area sacrificed children to ward off local demons. To honour them, Tufang villagers bore palanquins upon which young children stood, arrayed in colourful ancient Chinese dress along with exaggerated make-up and elaborate head-dresses. The ceremonies accompanied the Lantern Festival, which officially fell this year on February 11, but whose run-up and aftermath are marked by Hakka observances in Fujian. A similar observance took place in the Fujian village of Luofang, where 14 children were dressed in traditional attire to represent the seven dominant local families.

February 16, 2017 12:53 UTC

2 killed, 5 injured in car accident in New Assiut

Two people were killed and five others injured as a truck hit a microbus on the Cairo-Assiut desert road, near the entrance of New Assiut city. The victims were a 52-year-old man and one other unidentified person. Assiut Security Chief Atef Qeleiy was notified by a police report that the accident left people killed and injured. The injured were transferred to the university hospital in New Assiut, while the victims were transferred to the morgue of Abanoub Public Hospital. Traffic flow was facilitated after the accident, alleviating backups.

February 16, 2017 12:25 UTC

Egypt not informed of Israeli ambassador's withdrawal: spokesperson

The Foreign Ministry was not informed of Israeli ambassador David Govrin's pullout from Egypt, ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said. The Israeli Embassy in Cairo did not notify the Foreign Ministry in this regard, he added, pointing out that the ministry does not know the reason behind Govrin's travel to Jerusalem. Israeli media quoted Israeli officials as saying that Govrin was withdrawn from Egypt over "security concerns". "Due to security concerns, the return of the Foreign Ministry embassy staff to Cairo has been restricted," the Telegraph cited spokesperson for Shin Bet, Israel's lead security agency, as saying. Govrin took office as the new Israeli ambassador to Cairo in February 2016.

February 16, 2017 12:12 UTC

Washington DC restaurants to close in immigrant solidarity show

A number of Washington D.C. restaurants are planning to close on February 16, 2017, as part of a nationwide protest organized against Donald Trump's immigration policies in the US. video displaying 'A Day Without Immigrants' boycott which comes after recent immigration raids that rounded up 680 people for expulsion. Agence France Press published adisplaying 'A Day Without Immigrants' boycott which comes after recent immigration raids that rounded up 680 people for expulsion.

February 16, 2017 11:37 UTC

US dollar hits lowest against Egyptian pound in almost a month

The US dollar exchange rate continued to decline on Thursday to stand at LE16.45 for purchasing and LE16.5 for selling at National Bank of Egypt. At Banque Misr, the purchasing rate registered LE16.4, while the selling rate was LE16.45. At Banque du Caire, the purchasing rate was LE16.45, while selling rate reached LE16.55At the Arab African International Bank, the purchasing rate stood at LE16.46, while selling rate was LE16.56. At the Commercial International Bank, the purchasing rate registered LE16.4, while selling rate was LE16.5. At the National Bank of Greece, the purchasing rate was LE16.44, while selling rate registered LE16.54.

February 16, 2017 11:34 UTC

Some Egypt airport security details remain problematic: Russian official

"Cairo has improved most security aspects providing for safe Egypt-Russia flights, but Moscow believes that a few details remain problematic," said Valentina Matvienko, Russia's upper house of parliament speaker. "The work on this project is almost finished; most items on the agenda for the improvement of security on flights from Egypt have been carried out. The source said last month that biometric equipment, one of the Russian experts' demands to enhance Egyptian airport security -- which Cairo has acquired and installed -- was not yet functioning at Cairo International Airport. Since then, Russia stopped all civilian flights to Egypt, a popular destination of Russian holiday-makers. Meanwhile, Matvienko said she would go to Egypt at the beginning of March on a planned official visit unrelated to the flight security issues.

February 16, 2017 11:23 UTC

“Age of Magnificence” is back for a new season of drama - Daily News Egypt

Many would not be able to name a certain point in time that resembles the age of magnificence. Over a year ago, Zaam launched a theatrical-bags collection that remains, despite the seasons, an evident local success story. Known for his personal style and eye for details, Azzam said, “RTW garments have always been part of the plan. “So far, ‘Age of Magnificence’ is the best collection I have ever designed, especially the flap bags. “’Age of Magnificence’ was launched over a year ago; yet, I still receive orders of it until this very day,” said Azzam.

February 16, 2017 11:13 UTC

Egypt looks into implementing electronic visa application system

Interior Minister Magdy abdel Ghaffar met on Wednesday with Telecommunications Minister Yasser al-Qady to discuss the development of a system to issue electronic visas, which will positively affect incoming tourism, according to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s instructions to expedit its implementation. Electronic visas, or e-visas, can be obtained and paid for by travellers in advance through an online system, which speeds up immigration and arrival procedures at airports. Abdel Ghaffar said the ministry is keen to upgrade the technological systems used for security. He confirmed the necessity of concluding the upgrade in accordance with a timeline in keeping with the government’s strategic goals. Meanwhile, Qady highlighted the importance of positive cooperation between the two ministries when developing these services for foreign nationals.

February 16, 2017 10:54 UTC

Two-state solution only possibility for Palestinians and Israelis: UN Secretary-General - Daily News Egypt

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met on Wednesday with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Cairo. Al-Sisi referred to Egypt’s role in this context to bring the Libyan factions closer and affirmed that Egypt is keen on not interfering in other countries’ affairs. The meeting tackled ways to enhance cooperation between Egypt and the UN at various levels and on different issues. This is in addition to promoting international efforts to counter terrorism and halt the flow of funds, weapons, and fighters to terrorist groups. Guterres further “commended Egypt’s role as a chief contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations.

February 16, 2017 10:49 UTC

Egypt to unleash its medical tourism potential in Sharm el-Sheikh conference

A press conference will be held on March 2, 2017, to announce the details of the sessions of the Medical Tourism Conference, scheduled to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh between March 23 to 25, said Atef Abdellatif, a member of the South Sinai Investors Association. The aim of the conference is to highlight Egypt's great and untapped potential in therapeutic and health tourism, said Abdellatif. South Sinai is rich in many areas that are fit for therapeutic resorts, such as St. Catherine, known for its natural herbs; the valleys of South Sinai, Mount Sinai, Pharaoh's Baths, Oyoun Mousa (the Springs of Moses). Abdellatif also stressed the fact that activating therapeutic tourism would provide new job opportunities for young people. Egypt's Health Ministry earlier last week announced the details of its medical tourism program for Hepatitis C virus patients, in coordination with the Tourism Ministry.

February 16, 2017 10:37 UTC

Supreme Court nomination crisis - Daily News Egypt

In February 2016, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Antonin Scalia died, leaving a vacancy at the highest federal court of the United States. Neil Gorsuch, a 50-year-old federal appeals court judge on the 10th circuit, was born in Denver, Colorado. The Supreme Court consists of nine members: the chief justice of the United States and eight associate justices. However, the judges of the Supreme Court need to receive 60 votes in favour. The second element is that the Supreme Court has very broad powers, both at the legal level and in the political role of its provisions, so if we gathered together the Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court and added up all of their powers, they would merely equal the US Supreme Court’s powers.

February 16, 2017 09:43 UTC

Unexpected Idaho fossil evidence found after mass extinctions 252 mn years ago

Fossils, including sharks, sea reptiles and squid-like creatures dug up in Idaho reveal a marine ecosystem thriving relatively soon after Earth's worst mass extinction, illustrating the remarkable resiliency of life. Even the asteroid-induced mass extinction 66 million years ago that doomed the dinosaurs did not push life to the brink of annihilation like the Permian one. An artist's depiction of the diversified and complex Early Triassic marine ecosystem of southeastern Idaho, US, revealed soon after the Earth's worst mass exinction, contradicting long-held notion life was slow to recover from calamity (Illustration courtesy of Jorge / Reuters). The Idaho ecosystem flourished 1.3 million years later, "quite rapid on a geological scale," according to Brayard. The Idaho ecosystem, in the earliest stages of the Triassic Period that later produced the first dinosaurs, included some unexpected creatures.

February 16, 2017 09:23 UTC

Iranian president visits 2 Gulf states to improve ties

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with the leaders of Oman and Kuwait on Wednesday as part of a two-state visit aimed at repairing ties with Iran's Gulf Arab neighbors. Tehran's relations with members of the six-nation, Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council have been strained since Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Bahrain broke off diplomatic relations with Shia power Iran last year. Other Gulf states downgraded their relations with Tehran in solidarity. Those moves were prompted by the storming of Saudi diplomatic missions by Iranian protesters angry over Saudi Arabia's execution of Shiite prisoners, including a leading dissident cleric. The sultanate has the most cordial relations among the Gulf states with Iran and shares control of the Strait of Hormuz with the Islamic Republic.

February 16, 2017 08:54 UTC

IS expands hold in border camp for Syrians: Jordan commander

Armed Islamic State extremists are expanding their influence in a sprawling camp for displaced Syrians on Jordan's border, posing a growing threat to the US-allied kingdom, a senior Jordanian military commander said. Brig Gen Sami Kafawin, chief of Jordan's border forces, spoke to The Associated Press during a tour of the remote desert area, just west of where Jordan, Syria and Iraq meet. A flight in a Jordanian military helicopter on Tuesday offered a view of the Rukban camp, an expanse of tents and makeshift shelters housing tens of thousands of stranded Syrians. Conditions in Rukban and the smaller Hadalat camp deteriorated sharply after Jordan sealed its border in June, following a cross-border IS car bomb attack that killed seven Jordanian border guards. "We consider the whole Syrian border as a potential threat, but in this area, it is imminent all the time."

February 16, 2017 08:50 UTC

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