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Latest in Politics


Egyptian papers blast Rice shortly before yesterday's talks

CAIRO: Shortly before she arrived in Cairo for talks with President Hosni Mubarak on key Middle East issues including regional political reform, Egyptian newspapers blasted the United States for meddling in the country s internal affairs. In two days of diplomatic shuttling in the region, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expected to ask …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Median o/n interbank edges up to 8.4 pct

CAIRO: The median overnight interbank rate on the Egyptian pound edged up in quiet trade to 8.4 percent on Tuesday from Monday s average of 8.318 percent as traders awaited the result of a central bank auction of 7-day notes, dealers said. The central bank offered notes worth LE 7.1 billion ($1.2 billion). Traders said …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Poultry businesses brace for damage

CAIRO: As panic spreads about the arrival of bird flu, Egyptian poultry companies are scrambling to deal with the crisis. The poultry business was already affected prior to the government s announcement of the first cases of the virus last week. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, consumption of poultry had declined by 60 percent …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Sunken ferry's black box recovered

CAIRO: The black box from an Egyptian ferry that sank in the Red Sea leaving some 1,000 people dead was recovered Tuesday, Transport Minister Mohammed Mansour announced. “Two experts, from France and Great Britain, belonging to the International Maritime Organization, located the black box and brought it back to the surface, the minister was quoted …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egypt offers 17 pct of aluminum firm for sale

CAIRO: The Egyptian government said on Tuesday it was offering 17 percent of Egypt Aluminum at a minimum of LE 54 ($9.42) a share, giving the company a value of at least LE 6.75 billion. The offer is split into 8.75 million shares, or 7 percent of the company, by public subscription, and 12.5 million …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egyptian rights groups support judges' call to reform the legal system, ensure judges' independence

CAIRO: Twenty-three Egyptian human rights and civil society groups expressed support Monday of liberal judges who have called for legal reforms, including legislation that would make the judiciary completely independent of the government. “The groups express their full solidarity with Egypt s judges, who are calling for a new law that protects and consolidates the …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Second Algerian fixed-line network to start up Thursday

ALGIERS: Egypt-based Orascom Telecom (OT) and Telecom Egypt will start operating Algeria s second fixed-line telephone network this week, officials said on Monday. State-owned Algerie Telecom, currently the sole fixed-line operator with some 3.2 million subscribers, is struggling to meet rising demand in the North African country of 33 million. OT, which already operates the …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Ezz Steel helps lift stock market

CAIRO: Shares in Ezz Steel Rebars climbed more than 5 percent on Monday, helping boost the Egyptian bourse overall with news that the company planned to increase its stake in another steel firm, traders said. Ezz Steel is planning to raise its holding in Alexandria Iron and Steel to 50.86 percent from 21.48 percent, via …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Bird flu continues to spread in Egypt, hitting poultry trade

CAIRO: Bird flu has spread to new parts of Egypt, adding to the devastation in a poultry industry which provided almost 50 percent of the animal protein consumed by Egyptians, officials said on Monday. Health Minister Hatem El-Gabali said cases of the disease had turned up in Minufia, Sharkia and Kafr El-Sheikh provinces in the …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Defiant judges charged with "defamation"

CAIRO: Human rights groups condemned a recent decision by the Higher Judiciary Council to strip three members of the Egyptian Judge s Club of their right to judicial immunity for calling attention to voting irregularities during recent elections. “This kind of behavior goes in line with the government s insistence to use the public prosecutor …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Economic reform among issues discussed between World Bank and Ministry of Investment

CAIRO: Following a meeting held between World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Egyptian Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieddin, Wolfowitz announced that the bank will continue supporting Egypt’s reform programs. In the meeting both men discussed economic reform in Egypt and gender issues, in addition to reviewing ongoing cooperative projects between the country and the bank, …

Najla Moussa

Timing is off for FTA

CAIRO: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ahead of her four-day diplomatic tour to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said now is not the time for the United States to negotiate a free trade agreement with Egypt. Rice was quick to add, however, that the decision is in no way meant to …

Vivian Salama

Press Round-up

CAIRO: Egypt’s press is currently concentrating on the recently announced bird flu outbreak, with national newspapers reporting cases of the bird flu strain H5N1 in several places around Egypt, including Cairo and the national zoo. However, reportedly no human cases have been found yet. “A comprehensive national plan to fight the outbreak is in motion, …

Pakinam Amer

CEBA forms division in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA: The Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEBA) formed a division in Alexandria at an inauguration ceremony there on Saturday. CEBA was formed in 2004 by the British, French, German and Italian Egyptian bilateral business associations. The confederation s office in Alexandria will be its first division outside of Cairo. The division will support …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Bird flu spreads across Egypt

CAIRO: Poultry tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus in several governorates across Egypt despite the government s efforts to contain the spread of bird flu, the authorities said Sunday. Since the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza was first detected in three governorates Thursday, it was also reported in at least six others. “In …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egypt's international image takes another hit

CAIRO: With the spirit of Egyptian citizens reeling after bombings, political turbulence, forced refugee removal, cartoon chaos and ferry disasters, the recent 11th hour African Cup win lent a much-needed boost to the tapering spirits of the traditionally patriotic Egyptian. Then this weekend, it rained on Egypt’s parade, both literally and figuratively. News of the …

Vivian Salama

The Family Stone

CAIRO: An uptight white-collar city girl, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, visits her boyfriend’s family during Christmas. With that in mind as the opening credits roll, it seems that the ending is predictable: after much conflict, the woman learns to open up her heart and “feel the love, as the tagline suggests, as she marries …

Sarah El Sirgany

Environmentally friendly power plant on agenda

CAIRO: Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younes announced that seven international companies have just bid to manufacture local components for the solar energy stations of the Kuraymat Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power Plant Project, a project created by the ministry to develop the new and renewable energy sector and the first of its kind …

Najla Moussa

U.S. says time 'not right' for free trade talks with Egypt

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed new concern Friday over democracy in Egypt and said the timing was not right to pursue free-trade talks with this key Middle East ally. Rice, who was due to fly to Egypt today at the start of a Middle East swing, expressed Washington s dismay that the government …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Opposition leader appeals forgery conviction

CAIRO: The lawyer for imprisoned opposition leader Ayman Nour submitted his challenge on Saturday to Nour s December conviction on forgery charges, for which the young liberal is serving a five-year prison term. Lawyer Amir Salem, who defended Nour throughout the six-month trial, delivered his detailed response to the verdict to the Cairo court which …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

OPIC establishing $225 million regional private equity fund

CAIRO: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States government that supports American private sector investment in the developing world, is in the process of establishing a $225 million private equity fund for the Middle East and North Africa region. The head of the agency is also in Cairo to explore …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Sunken ferry's data recorders to be raised

CAIRO: Egyptian and foreign salvage experts are preparing to lift the data recorders of a ferry that sunk in the Red Sea earlier this month after locating the ship s wreck, the press reported Friday. The experts found the Al-Salam Boccaccio 98, which sunk on Feb. 3 with more than 1,400 people on board while …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Deadly bird flu strain found in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt has found its first cases of H5N1 bird flu and is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the deadly virus spreading, the government said on Friday. The virus was found in seven sick and dead chickens in three areas. Four birds in Cairo, two in Giza next to the capital …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Abused women reluctant to come forward

CAIRO: Despite the opening of the first safe-house for women in Cairo, few are choosing to leave their abusive marriages. Oum Mohammed was married when she was 16. From the day I married him, he hit me over matters big and small, she says of her husband. He told me that all women should be …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

U.S. faces dilemma in its regional push for democracy

CAIRO: Democracy activists are accusing the United States government of being too yielding in their response to the People’s Assembly vote to delay Egypt’s municipal elections for two years. In a statement this week from the U.S. State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack expressed America’s displeasure with the postponement of any election, adding that Secretary of …

Vivian Salama

NSGB says 2005 net profit doubles

CAIRO: Egypt s National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB) said on Thursday its net profit for 2005 doubled to LE 493.4 million ($86.1 million) as net interest income climbed and provisions for bad loans fell. NSGB, which is 78 percent owned by France s Societe Generale, reported net profit of LE 247.3 million in 2004. Much …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

AMOC says 6-month net profit up 68 pct

CAIRO: Egypt s Alexandria Mineral Oils Co (AMOC) reported net profit of LE 331.8 million ($57.9 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, 2005, a rise of 68 percent on the same period a year earlier. The oil products company, in which the government sold a 20 percent stake in September, reported its results …

Daily Star Egypt Staff