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Summer screen sensations

Arabic movies dominate movie theaters this season and vie for their share at the box office CAIRO: Despite the start of the World Cup, the season of summer films has started with a bang. Five Egyptian films have overrun the multiplexes nationwide as their producers and distributors gamble with all their assets: catchy one-liners, singers …

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China's Wen to visit Egypt in regional tour

Agence France-Presse BEIJING: China will begin round three of an intense diplomatic campaign in Africa on Saturday when Premier Wen Jiabao embarks on a hectic seven-nation tour of the continent. Wen will spend one week traveling through Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, pushing ever harder his nation s …

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Batman meets Aladdin in the form of 21st century comic book heroes

Middle Eastern super heroes to take America Associated Press LOS ANGELES: If Batman had a twin sister, her name most likely would be Aya, princess of darkness. Just like Batman s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, Middle Eastern comic book superstar Aya launched her quest for vengeance against evil after witnessing her father s murder. And while …

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Crossing the line between reality and fantasy

World Cup fans sign up for virtual football game linked to the tournament CAIRO: I was sitting with my husband watching a football game. A team scored and my husband had a big grin whispering “yes. A few minutes later the same team scored, his grin suddenly switched to a frown. I didn’t understand and …

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Homemade snacks

CAIRO: Whenever you hear that friends or family are coming over to watch a football game or even a movie, food delivery is always the first choice. Pizza and chips and dips, of course, are all time favorite for large informal gatherings. But adding some homemade snacks to the table gives the guests more options …

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Arab security services and the crisis in democratic change

The lack of democratic breakthroughs worthy of mention in Arab countries has spurred debate about barriers to change. Much of this debate has focused on economic, social and cultural factors, or on the fragility of political forces demanding democracy. The debate would be incomplete, however, without a discussion of the means by which authoritarian Arab …

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My Name Is Bond

http://www.mi6.co.uk/mi6.php3 My favorite Bond movie is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). That’s the one where James Bond gets married, although his wife gets conveniently killed shortly thereafter. The story is preposterous, but the surprises keep piling up, and the stunts are great (ski chases and car chases). And most of all, the score is …

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Egyptians prepare for costly World Cup view

Millions to miss seeing it on national television Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Watching this year s World Cup tournament could turn out to be an expensive experience for millions of Egyptian fans after talks to broadcast the event freely on state television hit a snag. The government continued Thursday to negotiate a deal with the Arab …

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UN Human Rights Council: contested elections except for Africa

The good news is that, finally, the UN has replaced the badly reputed Human Rights Commission with the newly established Human Rights Council. The old body was a symbol of UN dysfunction as human rights violators gained seats in it and used their positions to prevent any censuring of their policies. Hopefully, it won’t work …

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Landscaping 101

Good landscaping, good results CAIRO: Before I started writing this article, I had to indulge in a lot of reading about landscaping. I’m assuming most urbanites, like myself, know precious little about the subject. Yes, everyone enjoys an attractive college campus, golf course and shopping center, but how many people know what is involved in …

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Cliffhanger in the Valley of the Kings

Agence France-Presse LUXOR: Egyptologists are holding their breath over the mystery surrounding the first tomb discovered in Luxor s Valley of the Kings since that of the boy king Tutankhamun in 1922. News of the surprise discovery in February by an American team from the University of Memphis has had repercussions far beyond this famous …

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Let the games begin

Part 2 CAIRO: In group D, it is quite apparent that Portugal, alongside Mexico, will make it through to the second round. Both teams are superior to Iran and Angola in regard to their World Cup experience. Iran takes part for the third time after an eight year absence, while Angola is appearing in the …

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Mubarak, Olmert meet to strengthen ties

By Agence France-Presse SHARM EL SHEIKH: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Hosni Mubarak were to meet in Sharm El-Sheikh Sunday in the first talks between the two leaders since Olmert assumed his position. I intend to strengthen ties with Egypt, the largest Arab country in the region, Olmert told Israeli public radio before …

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Arab democratic reforms slow as Iraq distracts U.S.

Associated Press BEIRUT: The daily carnage in Iraq is claiming another casualty; Arab reformers who have increasingly become the target of governments that no longer feel pressured by the United States to change. Ten intellectuals were recently thrown in jail in Syria. In Egypt, more than 600 people protesting in support of two reformist judges …

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U.S. democracy institute asked to shut down all operations

CAIRO: Egypt has told the U.S.-based International Republican Institute (IRI) to stop its activities in Egypt, saying comments by its representative were interfering in the country s internal affairs. The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had summoned country director Gina London and told her to suspend all activities until the organization, which monitors political …

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Raul scores in Spain's 2-0 win over Egypt in World Cup warm-up

ELCHE: Raul Gonzalez ended a seven-month goal drought to help Spain to a 2-0 win over Egypt in a World Cup warm-up on Saturday. Raul, who last netted on Oct. 26 in a Real Madrid game, struck from close range in the 14th minute at Martinez Valero Stadium after Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari fumbled …

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Let the games begin

CAIRO: The numbers are lining up to make this a sensational event: 32 nations representing six continents, 64 games of highly competitive football, 12 remarkable venues, 1,112,000 tickets sold via the Internet, with anticipated ticket sales revenues worth 200 million euros and tight security precautions. The football scene worldwide eagerly anticipates the 18th World Cup, …

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Gym mythology

It’s time to separate fact from fiction and understand the truth about gym myths CAIRO: Myths come from various “trustworthy sources. Fitness magazines, gym rats and supplement and equipment companies are all a part of putting personal opinion, and not scientific back up. Discard the common myths to understand what has become gym tradition and …

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A different Toon

http://www.jibjab.com/ Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis founded Jibjab in 1998 and since then have been among the foremost purveyors of web-based satirical animation. They reached the height of their fame in 2004 with an inspired 2-minute spoof of the U.S. presidential campaign titled “This Land. Set to the tune of the celebrated Woody Guthrie song, …

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African nations agree on joint measures to fight piracy and trafficking

Next international conference on maritime security in Africa to take place in Egypt Agence France-Presse ABUJA: African nations have agreed on joint measures, in which they will get U.S. assistance, to confront threats to their maritime, fisheries and oil export activities ranging from piracy to smuggling people and drugs. Faced with many maritime problems, they …

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Letter to the Editor

In response to the story entitled “Filming gone too far? in the February 27, 2006 issue of The Daily Star Egypt: In February 2006, during the African Cup of Nations, I created a video called Girls At The Cairo National Stadium, as an artist. The video was shown in several exhibitions and in Google Video …

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Olmert faces hard task to sell borders plan to Mubarak

Agence France-Presse JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will hold his first summit with an Arab head of state Sunday in talks with President Hosni Mubarak that will be a likely precursor to a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The summit in Sharm El-Sheikh will be Olmert s first opportunity to explain to the …

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Winner in paternity case sees precedent

Reuters CAIRO: A woman who rocked Egyptian society by taking a famous actor to court to prove he was the father of her child is urging thousands of other women in a similar position to speak out and get help. Hind El-Hinnawy, 28, told Reuters on Wednesday that the relative speed with which she won …

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Egyptian police says terror group had planned further attacks

Associated Press ISMAILIYA, Egypt: A group of 13 suspects tried for terror attacks that killed nearly 100 people in Sinai Peninsula resorts over the past two years were plotting to bomb a church and archaeological sites, an Egyptian security official told the court on Tuesday. Police Capt. Nabil Mohammed said defendant Bassam Hammad Eid had …

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Iraq PM declares state of emergency in Basra

Reuters BASRA, Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for a month in oil-rich Basra which is in the grip of a power struggle among Shiite factions. We hope after this month that we will come back to Basra and see that the situation has improved a lot, Maliki …

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Seven Palestinians killed in Israeli raid on Gaza

Agence France-Presse GAZA CITY: Israeli troops staged their first ground operation in the Gaza Strip Tuesday since pulling out of the territory last year, killing three Islamic Jihad militants and a Palestinian policeman. Three other militants were also killed in the occupied West Bank overnight, making it the deadliest spike in violence since the radical …

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Gaza businessmen look to Egypt as embargo bites

Reuters GAZA: Businessmen in Gaza, facing steadily worsening economic conditions since Israel limited trade in and out of the poor coastal strip, are trying to move their operations across the border into Egypt. Unable to import raw materials or export finished goods because of the near embargo, many factories are having to lay off workers …

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Make it stop

CAIRO: Fatma El Labban had to take her daughter Yomna to a private lesson. It was shortly before Yomna’s Thanaweya Amma finals and private lessons were vital to her passing. El Labban was alone in Cairo since her husband was out of town on work. As she was leaving, she had a disabling pain on …

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