Israeli forces on Sunday knocked out a tunnel in the Gaza Strip dug by Hamas militants to mount cross-border attacks, the military said. The tunnel had been cut off during the 2014 Gaza war and Hamas had tried to put it back into operation, a military spokesman said. It had been dug inside the Hamas-ruled enclave several hundred meters away from Israel’s border fence. Since then, Israel has been working on advanced counter-measures including a sensor-equipped underground wall along the 60-km (36-mile) Gaza border, a US$1.1 billion project it aims to complete by mid-2019. Israel last went public with an operation against a Gaza tunnel in the area in January, saying that the secret passage had also run through neighboring Egypt.
March 18, 2018 10:41 UTC
Each winter, camels lope around the moon-like desert landscape of the lowest place on Earth under the watchful eyes of their Bedouin Arab herders, in an ancient tradition passed from father to son over the generations. Ali El Guran brings his herd of more than 100 camels from southern Israel to the Dead Sea every November to pasture. But for three months a year, El Guran and the other herders live as their forefathers have for generations. El Guran sells some of the baby camels as well as camel milk to make a living. As winter comes to an end, the area gets very hot and the camels are taken to a higher elevation, where it’s cooler.
March 18, 2018 10:07 UTC
Mackett of the Business District Project in the New Administrative CapitalCAIRO – 18 March 2018: Prime Minster Sherif Ismail laid the foundation stone of the Business District in the New Administrative Capital.A number of people participated in the launch, including: the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Mustafa Madboli; Major Chairman of the New Administrative Capital Company, Ahmed Zaki Abdeen; the Chinese ambassador to Cairo; and officials from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).Ismail said that this project includes the construction of 20 towers, stressing that the project is a great civilization shift that will provide thousands of job opportunities.The investment for this project totals around $3 billion, financed by Chinese loans. The New Urban Communities Authority will repay 15 percent of it as a deposit, while the remaining percentage will be repaid over 10 years after the project’s construction, Minister of Housing Madboli said.Madboli added that the total area of the project is 1.71 million square meters, located on an area of 195 feddans.He clarified that the project will include the tallest building in Africa, which will be up to 385 meters high.
March 18, 2018 10:04 UTC
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said during a visit to East Port Said industrial zone on Saturday that the government is undertaking economic reform measures to provide funds for the Sinai Development Project totaled at LE275 billion. Sisi suggested that part of the amount which the Egyptian people donated to dig the New Suez Canal — LE64 billion in total — is being used to construct the canal’s tunnels. Sisi clarified that the government started the three projects in parallel — the New Suez Canal, tunnels and the East Port Said industrial zone. Chief of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces Kamel al-Wazer answered Sisi’s question on the reasons for the late completion of the East Port Said Development Project and said that stones required for the project are being transferred from Suez quarries because they are cheap. Wazer said that the deadline for the project will possibly extend until October 2018, three months later than the original deadline.
March 18, 2018 09:56 UTC
A senior North Korean diplomat handling North American affairs was heading to Finland on Sunday for talks with the US and South Korea. Choe Kang Il’s trip comes ahead of a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Choe was in the delegation North Korea sent to last month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. So far, North Korea has yet to comment publicly on what it hopes to gain from the talks. Senior South Korean officials who traveled to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this month and met with Kim say he is willing to discuss the North’s nuclear weapons program.
March 18, 2018 09:56 UTC
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will visit Egypt on Monday to discuss issues of common interest between the two countries during a bilateral summit with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He added that the meeting will discuss efforts to resolve the outstanding issues between the two sides and to consolidate bilateral relations. Egypt relations with Sudan soured in January after negotiations on the impact of the GERD stalled. Another source of tensions between Egypt and Sudan is the dispute over the Halayeb and Shalateen region. Sudan accuses Egypt of occupying the territory, while Egypt says it is rightfully under its sovereignty.
March 18, 2018 09:33 UTC
Turkey’s president said Sunday that allied Syrian forces have taken “total” control of the town center of Afrin, the target of a nearly two-month offensive against a Syrian Kurdish militia, which said the fighting was still underway. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Turkey-backed forces have taken control of half the town, with intense fighting still underway. Turkey views the Kurdish forces in the Afrin enclave along the border as terrorists because of their links to the Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey. The Observatory says nearly 200,000 people have fled the Afrin region in recent days amid heavy airstrikes, entering Syrian government-held territory nearby. The Kurdish militia and the Observatory said Turkish jets struck Afrin’s main hospital on Friday, killing over a dozen people.
March 18, 2018 09:00 UTC
A young Egyptian participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in KSA- Egypt TodayYoung Egyptian participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in Australia- Egypt TodayAn old lady participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in Riyadh- Egypt TodayAn old lady participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in Kuwait- Egypt TodayAn old lady participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in KSA- Egypt TodayA young Egyptian participates in the Egyptian presidential elections in KSA.- Egypt TodayDeep look on people challenged with disabilities in Egypt CAIRO - 24 February 2018: Through the initiative of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare 2018 as the year of those challenged with a disability, numerous efforts and decisions have been taken to assure them proper living conditions, but indeed more efforts need to be exerted. CAIRO – 17 March 2018: A huge number of Egyptians living abroad went to Egyptian embassies and consulates to cast their vote in the 2018 presidential election on its second day.Many scenes were highlighted through the election process, but the most inspiring scenes were for people with disabilities and old age who were keen to participate in their country’s future despite the challenges they may face.A young Egyptian with a physical disability in Australia traveled a long distance to vote in the Egyptian consulate in Sidney. He told journalists that he exerted many efforts to partake in the election and that he supports President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who is running for a second term against politician Moussa Moustafa Moussa.The Egyptian community in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait flocked in large numbers to vote in the presidential election. Many were seen holding Egyptian flags and wearing t-shirts with the name of Egypt. Again, there was an encouraging scene of a young Egyptian with a physical disability who lives in KSA and insisted on going to the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh to vote, as there is a remarkable improvement in the care of people with disabilities in terms of accessibility at polling stations.Wheel chairs didn’t prevent old ladies from being part of their country’s future, either.
March 18, 2018 08:15 UTC
Two Israelis were killed and at least two others wounded Friday in a suspected car ramming near the Jewish settlement of Mevo Dotan in the northern West Bank, Israeli media reported. Israel’s Defense Forces said a Palestinian “ran over (Israeli) soldiers who were securing routes” on a highway in the area, describing it as a deliberate attack. Israel’s Shin Bet security service said he had spent time in prison for security offenses and was released last year. The Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued a statement praising the “operation” but did not take responsibility. The incident came as hundreds of Palestinians staged protests across the West Bank to mark 100 days since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israeli’s capital.
March 18, 2018 08:03 UTC
FILE - The central Bank of EgyptCAIRO - 18 March 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, is scheduled to issue LE 14.5 billion in treasury bills on Sunday.The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 6.7 billion with a 91-day term and the second worth LE 7.7 billion with a 273-day term.T-bills are usually issued every Sunday and Thursday.For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 370 billion, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.
March 18, 2018 07:52 UTC
Russian military spokesman Vladimir Zolotukhin said at least 11,000 people have fled the besieged area of eastern Ghouta in Syria on Saturday amid a brutal government offensive against the last rebel stronghold in the country . Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, cited similar figures of people fleeing the area. “Around 10,000 civilians streamed out of the rebel enclave into regime-held areas” on Saturday morning, Rahman said. Last month, Syrian government forces launched a major offensive in eastern Ghouta, marking one of the conflict’s bloodiest moments since the war erupted in 2011. Nearly 1,400 civilians have been killed since Damascus launched its military operation in eastern Ghouta on February 18.
March 18, 2018 07:41 UTC
Sahin Alpay, a journalist for the now defunct Zaman a court ordered his conditional release late Friday. Travel ban, house arrestUnder the terms of his release, Alpay is barred from leaving Turkey and confined to his house for the duration of his trial. He has denied any involvement in the failed coup and sworn to challenge the allegations made against him. Post-coup purgeSince the failed coup, Turkey has launched a nationwide crackdown, arresting more than 50,000 people in the armed forces, police, schools, judiciary and media. According to the Turkish Journalists’ Association, roughly 160 journalists remain in jail.
March 18, 2018 05:03 UTC
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has accused the European Union of adopting a patronizing stance in talks with eastern European members about the distribution of migrants. “The EU commission is often patronizing,” he told the newspaper. Merkel firmly rebuffed Seehofer last week, saying that Germany’s 4 million Muslims belonged to the country, as did their religion. Johannes Kahrs, a member of parliament and spokesman for the conservative wing of the SPD, accused Seehofer of using his new ministerial post to campaign for the CSU in Bavaria. “Building bridges and not digging trenches is the responsibility of all decent Germans,” he told the Handelsblatt newspaper.
March 18, 2018 03:56 UTC
2018 FIFA World Cup logo - Press image courtesy of FIFA's official websiteCAIRO – 18 March 2018: FIFA has officially announced that the 2018 World Cup hosted by Russia next June will witness the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.The decision came during the latest meeting for the FIFA council held in Colombia last Friday, while FIFA had agreed in principle to start using VAR in the World Cup in a meeting held in Zurich in the beginning March, according to Super Kora.VAR will be used in the most important football competition in the world for the first time in the 2018 World Cup, held in Russia from June 14 to July 15. It will help the referees make decisions in several situations in the games, such as knowing whether the ball entered the goal properly or not, checking the decision of penalty kicks, fining players with direct red cards, and removing the confusion of misjudgment on a particular player instead of another one.
March 18, 2018 03:56 UTC
Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Hamburger SV vs Hertha BSC - Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany - March 17, 2018 Hertha Berlin fans REUTERS/Fabian BimmerBERLIN, March 18 (Reuters) - A first ever Bundesliga relegation for league ever-presents Hamburg SV edged a bit closer on Saturday after they lost 2-1 at home against Hertha Berlin to stay anchored in 17th place.Hamburg, the only club to have played in the Bundesliga every season since the league's creation in 1963, are seven points away from the relegation playoff spot occupied by Mainz 05, with just seven games left.They have won only four Bundesliga games all season.Everything looked to be going well for the former European champions and their new coach Christian Titz when Douglas Santos put them ahead in the 25th minute.But Hertha struck twice in the space of seven minutes in the second half, with goals from Valentino Lazaro and Salomon Kalou, to snatch the three points.Eintracht Frankfurt boosted their chances of a top-four finish -- and Champions League action next season -- with a 3-0 victory over Mainz to climb to fourth on 45 points.League leaders Bayern Munich could seal their sixth straight title on Sunday with a win at RB Leipzig but they need Schalke 04, in second, to drop points against VfL Wolfsburg later on Saturday and for third-placed Borussia Dortmund to draw or lose against Hanover 96 on Sunday.
March 18, 2018 03:00 UTC