France 'yellow vest' protests: Timeline of unrest

Protestors hold a banner reading "The people speak out" during a protest of 'yellow vests' against rising fuel prices and living costs, in the southern French city of Nice on December 8, 2018 Protestors hold a banner reading "The people speak out" duringParis (AFP) Here is a timeline of the "yellow vest" movement in France, from the first online rumblings against fuel tax increases to nationwide protests leading to riots, and measures announced Monday by President Emmanuel Macron in a bid to quell the unrest.So far four people have died and hundreds have been injured during the protests.- Viral video -On October 18 an accordionist in the Brittany region, Jacline Mouraud, posts a video taken in her living room assailing "Monsieur Macron" and asking him what he's doing with taxpayers' money.The post quickly goes viral, propelling Mouraud to the fore of the nascent "yellow vest" movement, named for the high-visibility safety vests drivers are required to keep in their cars.She lists the grievances of drivers in the face of fuel price hikes, and demands of Macron: "When is this hounding of drivers, which you've pursued since your arrival, going to end? "A petition to bring down the price of fuel is quickly is posted online, and garners tens of thousands of signatures.- Mass protests -Saturday, November 17, marks the first day of road blockades across France, with nearly 290,000 demonstrators wearing the high-visibility yellow vests.Organised via social media, the grassroots protests have few visible leaders, and reject all ties to political parties or unions.The next day Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says the government will not back down on fuel tax increases set for January, intended to help pay for France's clean-energy initiatives.Violence breaks out in the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, led mainly by armed youths.- Second Saturday -After a week which sees "yellow vests" snarl traffic and block motorway tolls up and down the country, a large-scale demonstration takes place in Paris on Saturday, November 24. Thousands of demonstrators clash with police on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.More than 106,000 demonstrators are recorded across France, including 8,000 in Paris. A week later the number of protesters will be revised upward to 166,000.- Aborted meeting -On November 27 Macron offers minor concessions, saying he will propose a mechanism to adjust the fuel tax increases in case of rising oil costs, and calls for a three-month national consultation.Unimpressed, the "yellow vests" call for a new protest on Saturday, December 1, on the Champs-Elysees.On November 29 Philippe vainly attempts to organise talks with the "yellow vests". He meets one protester.

Source:Egypt Today

December 11, 2018 11:03 UTC


In World AIDS Day: Egypt is among the lowest in infection

UNAIDS Country Manager Ahmed Khamis (l), Representative of Health and Population Mohamed Abdel, and United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt Randa Abou al-Hassan at World AIDS Day in Cairo on December 11, 2018. Egypt Today/Noha El TawilCAIRO - 11 December 2018: The commemoration of the World AIDS Day 2018 in Egypt took place on Tuesday marking the 30th anniversary with the aim of encouraging people to check up their HIV infection status, and promoting the “Ending AIDS 2030” agenda among policy-makers.UNAIDS Country Manager Ahmed Khamis said “there are signs of a concentrated epidemic among key populations” despite the low prevalence rate.Khamis added that some of those who do not realize their infection die. The slogan this year is “know, check up, we are with you.”“Media support is needed to combat the virus,” Khamis said praising the role of the government to fight the disease and provide treatment for patients.Representative of Preventive Medicine Sector at the Ministry of Health and Population Mohamed Abdel Fatah stated that “Egypt is among the countries with the least HIV prevalence in the world at less than 0.02 percent.”Abdel Fatah added that, within the prevention of mother-to-child transmission program implemented in all governorates, the ministry recorded a success rate of 100 percent in reaching non-infected children.The ministry launched the National HIV/AIDS Program in 1986 being one of the first among the Arab countries, Abdel Fatah stated. The infection rate is less than for each 10,000 citizens, he added.National HIV/AIDS Program Manager Walid Kamal revealed that 24 centers located in 18 Egyptian governorates offer “HIV counseling services and anonymous confidential voluntary testing.”Kamal added that “periodical follow-up services are available at 14 care centers across the country.”Kamal revealed that 80 percent of HIV infections in Egypt occur among males, and that it is prevalent among those who are in their twenties and early thirties.Kamal highlighted that more women must be encouraged to check-up, especially those who have partners having the disease.United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt Randa Abou al-Hassan stated that 25 percent (9.4 million) of HIV infected patients worldwide “are not aware of their status.”“Despite the availability of a wider array of HIV tools and strategies, the world is still profoundly off-track to end AIDS by 2030,” Abou al-Hassan said citing inequality and social stigma as the main reasons.Abou al-Hassan stresses that HIV-infected women must receive equal social treatment which requires the efforts of all entities in charge.The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS provides technical assistance and coordinate endeavors to end the disease.The UNODC provides support for prisoners and drug addicts to receive treatment and prevent the infection.

Source:Egypt Today

December 11, 2018 10:50 UTC


Fed seen slowing, or even stopping, rate hikes next year

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist passes the Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC, U.S., August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo/File Photo(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve’s plans to continue raising interest rates next year were met with more skepticism on Wall Street on Monday, with futures traders betting on a pause and one major bank partially walking back a hawkish prediction.The U.S. central bank is still seen raising rates a notch next week in a nod to a hot labor market and economy running well above potential even as inflation remains at target. Yet two volatile months in financial markets and signs of an overseas slowdown have raised doubts the Fed can carry through with the three rate hikes its officials have predicted for 2019.The sharp tightening of financial conditions convinced Goldman Sachs’ chief economist that the U.S. central bank is now more likely to pause its rate hikes in March, before continuing with three more hikes later in 2019. Goldman had previously predicted four rate hikes next year, far more than that implied by financial markets.“We think the probability of a move in March has now fallen to slightly below 50 percent,” Goldman’s Jan Hatzius wrote in a note on Monday. Contracts expiring in June 2020 are now fetching a higher price than contracts expiring a year earlier, meaning traders are beginning to put some money on a rate cut.The changing predictions put a spotlight on the Fed’s own expectations, which it will update next Wednesday when it delivers its expected fourth rate hike of the year.

Source:Egypt Today

December 11, 2018 10:07 UTC


Jasmi, the 1stArab singer to participate in Concerto di Natale

Hussein Al-Jasmi-File PhotoCAIRO – 11 December 2018: Emirati Super star Hussein al-Jasmi will be the first Arab singer to participate in Concerto di Natale, the annual charity Christmas concert held in the Vatican at Paul VI Audience Hall. "I am always happy to contribute to charitable work to create a world that dignifies life, respect, equality and peace among religions and nations; these are the principals that were instilled inside us in the Emirates,"Jasmi commented on his participation in the concert.He added that the United Arab Emirates embraces the values of tolerance, moderation and accepting others.Jasmi will perform accompanied by the Grand Orchestra conducted by Maestro Renato Serio. Concerto di Natale will be aired on Canale 5 on the Italian TV and Mediaset television network.The Emirati star is considered one of the most influential Arab singers having achieved great success in the Egyptian community as his songs were always associated with socialand political events that Egyptians witnessed over the past few years.He released his first single "Bawada'ak" (Farewell) in 2002 followed by "WallahMayiswa" (Not Worth It) and "Bassbour Al-Fourgakom" (Farewell Passport).The star performed the songs of the Egyptian series “MahadeshMertah” (No One is Happy) and “Ba’ad El-Forak” (After the Farewell).Moreover, Jasmi performed several national songs for Egypt, Qatar, KSA and Kuwait. He is considered the ambassador of peace and love in the GCC region.The star was nominated for the World Music Award for World’s Best Live Act in 2014, World’s Best Entertainer 2014 and World’s Best Male Artist 2014.The World Music Awards is an international awards show based in Monte Carlo. It is worth noting that in the past years, Jasmisang numerous songs in the love of Egypt such as “BushratKhair” (Good News), which was greatly admired by Egyptian nationals, gaining unprecedented success at the time of its release.

Source:Egypt Today

December 11, 2018 09:56 UTC


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