A controversy erupted Tuesday on Egypt’s social media outlets following the circulation of photos of a statue of world-renowned late actress Marilyn Monroe. Social media users claimed the statue is a form of defamation, citing that Monroe’s facial and physical features are unclear and the color of the statue is inappropriate. The statue which was created by Head of the Sculpture Department at Minya University Ehab al-Asyuti, is one of his artistic works featured at a solo exhibition inside a gallery which is run by the Culture Ministry’s s Visual Arts Sector. Al-Asyiuti responded to the criticism saying that his critics are not sculpture specialists to voice aesthetic opinions. He further noted on the privately-run TV channel Dream that the lighting surrounding the statue is the main reason behind its unappealing appearance.
June 21, 2017 13:52 UTC
The head of the Constitutional Court issued on Wednesday a temporary order to suspend all previous court orders issued by both the State Council and the Court of Urgent Matters regarding the Red Sea islands agreement. The order came in accordance with Article 32, which stipulates to request the Higher Constitutional Court to adjudicate a dispute over the implementation of two contradictory final judgments in a certain case. It is the government’s third appeal against the Administrative Court ruling, as there were others that were raised in Cairo’s Urgent Matters Court. The Urgent Matters Court had previously overturned a verdict that included annulling the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement. There are disputes between the government and opposition groups—including parliament members and public figures—regarding the islands’ sovereignty.
June 21, 2017 13:41 UTC
International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed on Wednesday an agreement with Randa abul Hassan, country director of the United Nations Development Program, to establish the first Development Investment Support Fund in Egypt. The fund, according to Nasr, will be sponsored by Egypt Entrepreneurship and Investment Company and funding by the UNDP. The UNDP will work on providing the investment services and technical assistance required for entrepreneurship in Egypt. There will be incentives to stimulate growth of emerging companies, in addition to support for investors through partnership in capital, providing investors with technical training, Nasr added. “We are ready to facilitate the funding that conforms to SDGs,” abul Hassan said, adding that the fund is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.
June 21, 2017 13:25 UTC
The higher monthly food subsidy allowance will come into effect starting July 1, an official at the supply ministry told Reuters. Egypt’s parliament approved on Tuesday the draft law to increase pensions to a minimum of LE150 and maximum of LE551. Egypt established the Takaful and Karama Program in 2015 in an aim to protect lower income citizens through financial support. The sixth measure will see more tax breaks for low income brackets (the first three income tax brackets), given that parliament voted on Monday to raise the minimum income tax threshold to LE7,200 a year from LE6,500. Self-employed people or those working in trade or industry making LE7,200 a year or less will not be taxed on income; public and private sector employees earning up to LE14,200 are to be exempt.
June 21, 2017 13:18 UTC
Police forces targeted members of the Hasm terrorist movement in Alexandria on Tuesday killing three, according to a statement from the Ministry of Interior. The Hasm movement is the alleged armed militant group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group. The police had to defend themselves, which resulted in killing three group members,” the statement read. The Hasm movement recently claimed responsibility for an attack in Cairo, killing two police officers and injuring three civilians. The unidentified assailants shot the petrol tank of a central security force personnel carrier from a Jeep near the Cairo suburb of Maadi on 19 June.
June 21, 2017 12:33 UTC
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) For the first time since its destruction by the "IS," two artworks from Palmyra have been restored. The group says it's the first time artworks destroyed by the "IS" have been restored. DW: How did this restoration project of the two tomb sculptures from Palmyra come about? You gave the two restored tomb sculptures back to the museum in Damascus. We have no plans to cooperate with the foundation, especially because we have no plans to restore other artworks from Palmyra.
June 21, 2017 12:00 UTC
The British International Investment Funds Association said it would inject US $400 million in direct investment to finance a new power station in the Suez Canal area. Additionally, Rockhopper, the international oil and gas exploration company, said it would inject US $100 million in the field of oil and gas exploration in Egypt. Amr Mamdouh, Chairman and Managing Director of Glaxo SmithKline, said the company’s investments were US $800 million in Egypt. Actis, a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America, also stated that their investment in Egypt has reached US $750 million. Lekela Power, an Actis-subsidiary renewable energy generation platform, will inject about US $400 million to build a 250 megawatt wind station in the Gulf of Suez region.
June 21, 2017 11:48 UTC
Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Wednesday temporarily halted all courts rulings on the Red Sea islands agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to allow more room to study the case and issue a final and decisive verdict on it. A statement for the court said the Commissioners Authority of the court has recommended this suspension, as two different courts made different rulings on the case. According to the border demarcation deal signed in April 2016, the two islands are deemed to be within Saudi territorial waters, in recognition of historical claims on the part of Saudi Arabia. The Supreme Administrative Court, however, nullified this agreement on the basis that there was insufficient evidence of the Saudi claims. In a speech, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on the Egyptian people not to talk about the matter anymore.
June 21, 2017 11:26 UTC
“Ramadan Nostalgia” is one of the common terms that you may often hear during the holy month every year. Although the series doesn’t usually provide a big number of incidents and plot twists each episode, it can rather be considered as a visual type of documentation for the life inside a simple Egyptian district where people struggle daily to make a living. Hakim, the leading Egyptian pop singer, presented one of his best songs as the main intro of the series. Watching “Ramadan Kareem” takes you on an amusing journey into a simple district where people care about each other and provide support for their neighbours and friends. However, the series also tackles some of the eternal mischief of human beings such as betrayal, hypocrisy, cheating, and bribery.
June 21, 2017 11:03 UTC
An unverified voice recording attributed to Egypt’s former president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has generated great controversy among Egyptian social media users. The recording, which surfaced on a Facebook page titled ‘Ana Asef Ya Rais’ [‘I’m sorry Mr. President’], featured statements from Mubarak on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ‘GERD’. In the unverified voice clip, Mubarak said that Ethiopia did not dare to establish GERD during his era, adding that he had the ability to destroy it with Russian-made Tupolev Tu-160 fighters, if it had. Mubarak also asserted in the recording that Egypt is currently considered a weak country, unlike in the past when the world saw it as powerful one. Egypt Independent made several attempts to reach administrators of the Facebook page that broadcast the voice recording of Mubarak.
June 21, 2017 10:30 UTC
Following the warm welcoming it has received since its international screening, “Ali, Me’za & Ibrahim” (Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim) is the first Egyptian film to be screened in the VOX cinema initiative organized by the International Dubai Film Festival (DIFF). The film is also the only Arab movie to be screened in Cinema theaters in France starting from 7 June. The screened films are usually the most well- received films from international festivals, however they are not screened in theaters for the public. “Ali, the Goat, and Ibrahim” stars Ali Sobhi and Ahmed Magdy, alongside Salwa Mohamed Aly and Nahed El Sebaie. The film won various prizes in the development and post-production phases, including three during its participation in the Final Cut Workshop at the Venice International Film Festival.
June 21, 2017 10:30 UTC
Another collection of Tutankhamen’s remains and belongings were transferred from the Egyptian museum to the overlooking Giza Plateau Grand Museum on Monday, in preparation for the soft opening of The Grand Egyptian museum in 2018. The transferred collection includes dried and mummified seeds and fruits as well as a number of tiny symbolic boats and a chair painted in white plaster, according to Tarek Tawfik, GEM’s Supervisor General in a press release. The seeds are a collection of dried dates, onions, garlic, wheat and doum. Earlier in May, King Tutankhamen’s funeral bed along other belongings were transferred to the museumThe packing process lasted for around eight hours. Before packing, the bed was subjected to scientific documentation and first aid restoration in order to guarantee its safe transportation, according to the statement.
June 21, 2017 10:07 UTC
The Administrative Court, headed by Deputy Chairman of the State Council Bekhit Ismail, issued a ruling nullifying the judicial rulings issued by the Court of Urgent Matters suspending previous rulings by the Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court. The previous rulings by the Administrative courts suspended the demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Lawyer Khaled Ali filed a claim with the Administrative Court requesting nullifying the Court of Urgent Matters rulings which supported the demarcation agreement. The activists were arrested during a protest against the demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia. He called on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to quickly approve the agreement because Egypt does not backtrack on its positions.
June 21, 2017 09:56 UTC
Belgium has avoided a serious attack, its interior minister said on Wednesday, after a suspected suicide bomber planning to explode a large bomb caused only a minor explosion in Brussels’ central station late on Tuesday. The suspected attacker, who was shot dead by soldiers patrolling the station, was reportedly a 37-year-old man from Molenbeek. Security experts said Tuesday’s incident could have been similar to “lone-wolf” assaults carried out by radicalized individuals with limited access to weapons and training. It’s inevitable,” Brussels security consultant Claude Moniquet told broadcaster RTL. He compared Tuesday’s incident to that on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue a day earlier, when a man rammed his armed car into a French police convoy.
June 21, 2017 09:45 UTC
Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Travis Kalanick, co-founder of one of the most influential technology companies of its generation, resigned on Tuesday under mounting pressure from investors over his leadership. Kalanick’s departure caps a tumultuous period for the world’s largest ride-services company, which upended the taxi industry and transportation regulations globally with Kalanick at the helm. They delivered a letter to Kalanick while he was in Chicago, the New York Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. Uber hired Holder to look into its culture and workplace practices after a female former employee publicly accused the company of what she described as brazen sexual harassment. Gurley, one of Kalanick’s closest confidants, praised the CEO on Twitter, after calling for his resignation.
June 21, 2017 09:11 UTC