Egyptian presidency reaffirms commitment to Palestinian cause in response to press reports on Netanyahu’s secret summit - Daily News Egypt

The Egyptian presidency issued a statement on Sunday to comment on recently published press reports suggesting that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi participated in a “secret summit” between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former US secretary of state John Kerry, and Arab leaders. The report suggested that Netanyahu had rejected a proposal for renewed peace talks during the summit. The report said that Kerry’s proposal was rejected by Netanyahu but was supported by the two Arab leaders. The proposal reportedly included the recognition of the Jewish state and the renewal of talks with the Palestinians with support of the Arab countries. In a follow-up report, Haaretz reported reactions from Israeli politicians who criticised Netanyahu’s “missed opportunity” for peace negotiations, given that he had initiated the summit in the first place.

February 20, 2017 12:44 UTC

Egypt's heaviest woman loses 40 kg and improves in India, report

“She has shown a drastic improvement after losing around 35-40 kg of weight after her admission here. She is responding well to the treatment, and started moving her hands and limbs, which are good signs," The Asian Age reported endocrinologist Dr Shehla Shaikh as saying. She shows confidence about recovering fully," Dr Shaikh said. Ahmed weighs over 500 kg, and her flight to India earlier this month was the first trip outside her home in over 25 years. Eman has suffered from obesity since she was a child, due to a hormone imbalance and problems with her glands.

February 20, 2017 12:44 UTC

Verdict in Al-Sabbagh case to be issued on 19 June - Daily News Egypt

The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned Sunday the retrial of a police officer to issue its verdict on 19 June, as he was previously found guilty of killing Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh, member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), whose death sparked local and international controversy. Al-Sabbagh became known as the “flowers’ martyr.”Moreover, the court ordered that the defendant remain in custody. Yassin Saleh, an officer at the Central Security Forces unit at the Ministry of Interior was sentenced in June 2015 to a strict 15-year-term in prison after being charged with shooting Al-Sabbagh to death, amid the use of unjustified violence in a limited peaceful march. Al-Sabbagh and other party members were marching on 24 January 2015 and carrying flowers in commemoration of those who died during the 25 January Revolution. But last October, the Cassation Court annulled the verdict and granted the defendant a retrial.

February 20, 2017 12:29 UTC

4 factors to decide future of the pound in short term: Pharos

Pharos Holding Investment Bank projected four factors to decide the future of the Egyptian pound exchange rate against the US dollar in the short term. It added that the effect of Ramadan season generates downward pressure on the exchange rate because of higher import and consumption levels, compared to other months of the year. It said the second installment of the IMF loan, scheduled for spring, will strengthen the pound and increase confidence in Egypt's economy, which will benefit the Egyptian pound positively. Pharos explained that the depreciation of the US dollar exchange rate currently, coincides with the rise in emerging-market currencies against the US dollar, according to JP Morgan's index of emerging-market currencies. Pharos said the behavior of individuals, companies and expectations play a decisive role in determining the direction and magnitude of exchange rate movements, which makes the foretelling of the level of the exchange rate in the short term difficult.

February 20, 2017 12:03 UTC

Italian delegation urges European countries to lift travel restrictions to Egypt

A visiting Italian delegation on Sunday called on all remaining European countries to end the travel restrictions they had imposed on Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and other Egyptian destinations. The delegation, which includes MPs, politicians and Italian professors, visited Egypt with the hopes of rebooting Egyptian-Italian relations, stalled since the mysterious murder of Italian student and researcher Guilio Regeni last year. The delegation met with Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the minister of higher education, and tackled the founding of an Italian university in Egypt, which was welcomed by the minister. Gian Folloni, head of the Egyptian delegation, expressed happiness at his presence in Egypt and stressed the necessity of restoring the strong Egyptian-Italian ties. Ahmed al-Fadaly, head of the popular diplomacy delegation, said the Italian delegation praised the security measures taken at Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh airports during their visit on Sunday.

February 20, 2017 11:44 UTC

A horror play incarnates the fight between humans and demons - Daily News Egypt

The play “Ibn Eshaq’s Manuscript” is based on a bestselling novel of the same name by leading horror author Hassan Al-Gendy. “We found this interesting novel and started working on its theatrical treatment starting from June. “We cannot claim that we are the first artists to present a horror play in Egypt, because we have already seen a previous play called “Half Dead,” taken from a novel by the same author. However, we can claim that we are the first ones to present horror with these advanced techniques that managed to engage the audience from the first minute,” he noted. Since the troupe started in 2011, they managed to create their own audience, whom they can easily contact through posting on social media.

February 20, 2017 11:36 UTC

Saudi gamers get together at kingdom's first-ever Comic Con

But for three days over the weekend, some 20,000 Saudis decked out in costumes and face paint queued to get into Saudi Arabia's first-ever Comic Con, where robots, video games and giant anime figures filled a tent in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The global comics expo was held under the auspices of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which has bucked some of the austere Islamic kingdom's strict social codes to host a series of festivals, comedy shows and concerts this year. Comic Con started in 1970 when a group of about 100 science fiction fans in San Diego got together to swap comic books. For Obada Awad, whose Riyadh-based Time Entertainment organized Jeddah's Comic Con, the green light from the government has opened up new business opportunities he once only dreamed of. We prepared so many scenarios for every possible thing that could happen, but this was the best possible turnout," he said, grinning.

February 20, 2017 11:02 UTC

50 Shades Darker screening in Egyptian theatres - Daily News Egypt

With anticipation, enticement, and thrill, Egypt’s female audience is waiting for the second part of 50 Shades of Grey. After the huge success of the first instalment of the romantic drama, 50 Shades Darker is now showing in Egyptian theatres. Before the release of both the first and second instalment, an online campaign called “50 Dollars, not 50 Shades” widely spread among social media users with the hashtag #FiftyShadesisAbuse. On Valentine’s Day, the screening date of 50 Shades Darker, North America-based The Domestic Violence Organization published a Facebook post stating, “this Valentine’s Day, we’re asking you to remember that love shouldn’t hurt. Healthy relationships involve open communication, partnership, equity, and respect.” The organisation said that these attributes are not part of the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades Darker.

February 20, 2017 10:38 UTC

Sisi meets American-Jewish delegation to discuss regional challenges, investment

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a delegation comprising the heads of American-Jewish organizations on Sunday, in the presence of the head of Egypt's General Intelligence Khaled Fawzy. Sisi said American-Egyptian relations have expanded over the decades, adding that the next stage requires strengthening these relations in all fields, Youssef mentioned. Sisi stressed that Egypt is working on economic developments and fighting terrorism at the same time. Members of the delegation stressed their great appreciation for Egypt's pivotal role in maintaining stability and peace in the Middle East, in addition to the government's efforts in courageously addressing economic challenges, according to Youssef. They expressed their intention to encourage American investment in Egypt, Youssef said.

February 20, 2017 10:36 UTC

Sinai militant fire hits Israel, no one hurt: Israeli army

The Israeli military says several shells have been fired from neighboring Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, exploding in the south of the country and causing no injuries. The military says Israeli forces are searching the area following Monday's attack. It wasn't immediately clear who fired the shells but Islamic militants in Egypt's lawless Sinai have been behind a number of such attacks in recent years. Egypt has been battling the militants in the restive region, including the Sinai-based Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group. There was no immediate comment from Egypt following the shelling.

February 20, 2017 09:55 UTC

Women’s gyms lay bare limits of Saudi reforms - Daily News Egypt

A Saudi decision to license within weeks the kingdom’s first women-only gyms constitutes progress in a country in which women’s rights are severely curtailed. The move constitutes progress in a country that has yet to introduce sports in public girls’ schools and has no public facilities for women’s sports. It proved unrealistic given that Saudi Arabia, like most nations in the region, is football-crazy. Saudi Arabia announced earlier this month that it would privatise five of the kingdom’s top football clubs. “Women in Saudi Arabia are being killed softly by their government.

February 20, 2017 09:37 UTC

Violence against women costs LE2.5 billion annually: Minister

Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali has indicated several obstacles facing the empowerment of women, saying that Arab women represent 25 percent of the total workforce in the Arab world and that 40 percent of the unemployed are women. Waly spoke on Sunday at the third conference for business women entitled ‘Women for Success’, in attendance of representatives of 18 Arab countries at the Arab League headquarters. The minister said that Egyptian women lead 25 percent of families, which is equal to the population of several countries. “The economic empowerment of women differs across Arab countries. The minister said: “The cost of violence against women in Egypt, either domestic or public, reaches around LE2.5 billion annually.

February 20, 2017 09:33 UTC

Syria's White Helmets to travel to US for Oscars

Rescue workers from Syria's White Helmets -- the subjects of an Oscar-nominated documentary -- said on Saturday they have received US visas to attend the prestigious Academy Awards ceremony, set to take place on February 26 in Hollywood. The documentary titled "The White Helmets", directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, was named a contender in late January in the Oscars short documentary category. Raed Saleh, head of the White Helmets of the Syrian civil defense, pictured in September 2016 (Yuri Gripas / AFP File). We hope that we win the Oscar, because that would provide moral support to the White Helmets and show them that their sacrifices weren't for nothing," he added. According to the film's producer Joanna Natasegara, Saleh will be joined by fellow White Helmet Khaled Khatib, who shot much of the footage.

February 20, 2017 09:13 UTC

UN and others play down expectations for Geneva talks on Syria

The United Nations and other parties to Syrian peace efforts on Sunday softened any expectations of a major breakthrough at UN-led talks in Geneva next week, with US policy on the crisis in disarray and its ties with Russia unclear. "One thing I’m missing at the moment ... is a clear US strategy,” de Mistura told delegates. "Where are the United States [on a political solution]? He told French media last week that he deemed all those fighting him to be terrorists, signaling that the government delegation is likely to remain steadfast in the Geneva talks. Several delegates questioned him on why the U.N. was no longer using the phrase "political transition" to describe the goals of the talks.

February 20, 2017 09:09 UTC

Egypt bans presence of any motorbike types in central and North Sinai

(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt)Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decided on Saturday to ban the entry of any type of motorbike and their spare parts to the regions of central and North Sinai. For now, the period of the ban is limited to one year, according to the official government publication. Meanwhile, anonymous militants on Saturday evening blew up the residence of a non-commissioned police officer in the suburb of Al-Obour in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, the journalist said. Moreover, a security conscript was injured by sniper bullets while he was stationed at a security checkpoint located south of Al-Arish. Since 2013, state security forces, represented in both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with "Sinai Province," known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

February 20, 2017 09:02 UTC

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