Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:30:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 North African date palms have Middle Eastern origin https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/north-african-date-palms-have-middle-eastern-origin/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/north-african-date-palms-have-middle-eastern-origin/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:30:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686945 Oldest archaeological evidence for Phoenix dactylifera found in UAE, Kuwait

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North African date palms are a hybrid between cultivated date palms from the Middle East and a different, wild species of palm, a recent study revealed. The source of our North African date palms belong to other species that grow on the island of Crete and in small areas of Southern Turkey, according to genome analysis.

Researchers from the New York University-Abu Dhabi’s Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology (NYUAD CGSB), revealed in a research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the US, the evolutionary history of one of the earliest domesticated tree crops in the world, which remains a major fruit crop in North Africa and the Middle East.

Using genome analysis, the researchers have found that hybridisation between date palms and P theophrasti, a species known as the Cretan wild palm which was found in the Eastern Mediterranean, is the source of the mixed ancestry and genetic distinction of North African date palms.

When the researchers say ‘Middle East’ they exclude the Egypt, Libya, and other Arab African countries that were mentioned as ‘North African’ countries.

For years, it was similar to a mystery regarding the origin of the date palms in the Middle East and North Africa. It was believed in previous scientific works that the date palms from the Middle East and North Africa are genetically different, despite their one origin, as they belong to one species ‘Phoenix dactylifera’.

Due to its differentiated characteristics, which include such popular date varieties as Medjool and Deglet Noor, the nature of North African dates, has led to questions as to how they originated. There have been suggestions, for example, that North African date palms may have been domesticated independently from date palms in the Middle East.

Researchers from NYUAD, collaborating with other scientists from NYU in New York and researchers in Greece, France, Switzerland, and the UK, gathered to solve the mystery of the origin of North African date palms. They have sequenced the genomes of a large sample of date palms from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, as well as palms from related but distinct wild species.

Findings of the study revealed that about 5-18% of the North African date palm genome is derived from the Cretan wild palm.

Compared to date palms from the Middle East, the hybridisation of Middle East varieties with wild Phoenix theophrasti has led to increased genetic diversity in the North African date palms.

The results also showed the possibility of hybridisation with P theophrasti to create new genes being introduced to cultivated date palms that could help provide better date palm varieties, for disease resistance and yield.

The P theophrasti is currently found in 10 populations on the island of Crete, with a population near the popular beach resort of Vai, which is considered to be the largest palm forest in Europe. Small populations of P theophrasti can also be found in various islands in the Aegean Sea, in mainland Greece, and Southern Turkey.

Although this species looks similar to the cultivated date palm, the fruit of P theophrasti are thin and fibrous and are generally inedible. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies P theophrasti are ‘near-threatened’ in status, which indicates that this species, while not an immediate cause for concern, may find itself threatened with extinction in the near future, according to the paper.

The researchers suggested, based on the findings of the analysis, that date palms were initially domesticated in the Middle East, possibly in the Gulf region.

The oldest archaeological evidence for Phoenix dactylifera is found in the Dalma island in the UAE, and in Kuwait, during the Arabian Neolithic period about 7,000 years ago.

In its movement of the domesticated date palms from its origin in the Arab peninsula, the P dactylifera encountered populations of Phoenix theophrasti when they reached the eastern Mediterranean.

The two hybrid species led to the origin of the date palms which currently grow in North Africa since approximately 3,000 years ago, according to archaeological evidence that was mentioned in the paper.

This study is part of the New York University Abu Dhabi Date Palm Genome Project, which was started in 2012. “We are interested in using genomics to study the diversity of date palms, so we can understand their genetic variability, their origin, and spread across the Middle East and North Africa. We are also interested in mapping genes that may be important for improving date palm agriculture,” said Michael Purugganan, silver professor of Biology at the Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, and leader of the project.

He informed Daily News Egypt that the results of the study continue a trend of the researchers’ ideas that the movement of many fruit tree crops are accompanied by hybridisation with local wild species. Furthermore, he said that he and his team believe that hybridisation helps domesticated crops adapt to new environments by getting new alleles from wild species. So one impact of the study is to continue to highlight the importance that between-species hybridisation has on crop adaptation.

“Another impact is it provides date palm breeders with a new source of genes to help improve date palms as a crop. Breeders need not limit themselves to other date palms, but can use the related species Phoenix theophrasti as a source of genes,” Purugganan added.

Moreover, he explained further that one thing he and his team did not highlight in their paper is that the timing of the appearance of the North African date coincides with the Minoan and Phoenician activity in the Mediterranean, so it is interesting to speculate on how these old civilisations may have had a role in the origin and spread of this important North African crop species.

According to Purugganan the Date Palm Genome Project is 7 years old now, and the current study on the origin of North African dates is just one of many projects they are conducting. “This study helps us understand where the genetic differences of the North African dates like Medjool and Deglet Noor come from-part of it comes from this other species from Crete,” he said.

Purugganan told DNE that he and his team are still working on the issue of the origin of dates. They will continue to try to expand their knowledge of the genetic diversity of date palms using genomics.

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Olivia Colman to receive Desert Palm achievement award Actress at 30th Annual PSIFF https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/olivia-colman-to-receive-desert-palm-achievement-award-actress-at-30th-annual-psiff/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/olivia-colman-to-receive-desert-palm-achievement-award-actress-at-30th-annual-psiff/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:00:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686942 Similarly Variety magazine will honour director Ryan Coogler

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The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Olivia Colman with the Desert Palm achievement award, actress for her role in the film The Favourite at its annual film awards gala.

The award will be presented by her co-star in the film Emma Stone. The film awards gala, will be hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight, and presented by American Express.

“In The Favourite, Olivia Colman steals the show as a frail and aloof Queen Anne, whose attention is being sought by two scheming cousins” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this superb performance, that has received much critical acclaim and awards recognition, it is our honour to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress to Olivia Colman.”

She joins previously announced honourees Glenn Close; Bradley Cooper; Alfonso Cuarón; Regina King; Spike Lee; Rami Malek; Melissa McCarthy and the film Green Book. Past recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress include Halle Berry; Cate Blanchett; Sandra Bullock; Marion Cotillard; Julianne Moore; Natalie Portman; Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron.

The film takes place in early 18th century where England was at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way. The Fox Searchlight Pictures film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

For her role in the film, Colman has garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actress in a Leading Role, and two Critics’ Choice Award nominations in the categories of Best Actress and Best Actress in a Comedy. She also received Best Ensemble Performance from the Gotham Awards alongside Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, as well as the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festiva,l and a Best Actress Award from the British Independent Film Award, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Colman’s film credits include Tyrannosaur for which she won a World Cinema Special Jury prize for her breakout performance at Sundance, and Best Actress awards at the British Independent Film Awards and Evening Standard British Film Awards. For her role in The Lobster, Colman won Best Supporting Actress at the 2015 British Independent Film Awards.

Her other film credits include Murder on the Orient Express; The Iron Lady; London Road; Hyde Park on Hudson; Locke; Cuban Fury and Hot Fuzz. In Television, she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a mini-series for The Night Manager and won a Television BAFTA for Leading Actress for Broadchurch. Her other television credits include Rev; Accused; Flowers; Fleabag; The Thirteenth Tale; Twenty Twelve; Mr Sloane; The Secrets; The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II; Peep Show; Exile and Greenwing.

Next, she will portray Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth seasons of the critically acclaimed original Netflix series The Crown.

Also during the days of the festival, the Variety entertainment magazine will honour director Ryan Coogler at the PSIFF as part of the annual 10 Directors to Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs.

The Black Panther director will receive the annual Creative Impact in Directing Award. Previous recipients of this award have included Patty Jenkins, David O. Russell, Charlie Kaufman, Jeff Nichols and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The award celebrates his career, from his groundbreaking first feature Fruitvale Station, to his most recent work directing Black Panther, which was recently named one of AFI’s Best Films of the Year and is nominated for a Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Drama.

“Ryan Coogler has directed one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films of the year with Black Panther,” said Variety co-editor in chief, Claudia Eller. “The film’s cultural significance is matched by its artistic merits and is a crowning achievement for a young filmmaker whose incredible storytelling ability were already on full display in his compelling 2013 drama Fruitvale Station.”

The PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The festival is also known for its annual film awards gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight. The film awards gala honours the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.

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Technology assists to identify, face crop diseases faster https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/technology-assists-to-identify-face-crop-diseases-faster/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/technology-assists-to-identify-face-crop-diseases-faster/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:30:11 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686922 Device could help many African countries, which lose some of its crops

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Farmers find it difficult to recognise signs of crop diseases quickly enough to protect the crops. Recently in Tanzania some farmers started to use a device directly in the field to find viruses before they spread.

The device is invented by a British technology company called Oxford Nanopore, and it analyses the DNA from plants, identifing the information of viruses’ DNA in the infected plants, making it easier for farmers to change to more resistant crops for common viruses in their area.

Smallholders produce up to 80% of food consumed in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

New technologies could play a key role in helping Africa, which loses a larger percentage of crops due to diseases. It can also thrive amid rising heat, drought and erratic rainfall.

An academic researcher is attempting to help farmers to become familiar with the device. Laura Boykin from the University of Western Australia said in interview with a local newspaper: “We are collecting leaf punches from infected material to test.  We need to do a DNA extraction and then start sequencing in the field.”

The device could help a lot of African countries, which lose some of its crops.

When the viruses are identified, farmers are given the resistant seeds, and the new plants from these seeds were healthy and produced a large, successful crop.

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Management of human capital in Egypt could benefit from use of technology: experts https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/management-of-human-capital-in-egypt-could-benefit-from-use-of-technology-experts/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/management-of-human-capital-in-egypt-could-benefit-from-use-of-technology-experts/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:00:22 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686939 Edge Innovation Centre to host one-day event to look at how technology is disrupting human resources

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The Edge Innovation Centre, a conference and a workspace for entrepreneurs, is collaborating with ITWorx Education, a learning and development mobile platform technology firm in the Middle East, and

with Wuzzuf, an online recruitment platform. The collaboration aims to gather recruitment and talent management professionals in order to look at how technology is disrupting human capital globally.

Ahmed Khalil, CEO of Edge Innovation Centre, commented, “We are supporting entrepreneurs to set their businesses forward, especially with the rise of the digital era, to raise the bar in different industries.”

“We believe that the topic we are discussing is particularly important in Egypt, as experts predict that millennials will occupy more than half of the entire workforce by 2020,” he added.

Erik Goldenberg, CEO of ITWorx Education, stated, “People and organisations need to constantly learn to grow, develop, improve, as well as to succeed, and technology makes this possible. Our partnership with the Edge Innovation Centre and Wuzzuf connected us with HR professionals across Egypt in order to share and learn from each other, while discussing key topics like technology and the rise of Generation Z, which is increasingly making up the workforce.”

Ameer Sherif, founder and CEO of Wuzzuf and Forasna, said, “Part of Wuzzuf’s role in Egypt is to draw helpful insights which push the whole industry forward. We can already see the challenges in recruiting the younger generations who are in fact the coming decade’s senior managers and executives.” He added, “Technology provides every employer with the smart tools which would help them win the talent war to recruit the best calibre, especially in today’s challenging workforce market.”

The Edge Innovation Centre will host a one-day event on Thursday for recruiters and talent management professionals to look at how technology impacts human resources and the workforce.

The event’s content will feature a panel on strategic workforce planning to discuss the analytic, forecasting, and the planning processes which connect and direct technology to talent management activities.

A second panel titled ‘Tech vs Touch’ will dive into the conundrum of this day and age, as well as the relationship between technology and the human touch, and the equation of finding the right balance between them both in order to reach the best results.

The panels will be followed by breakout sessions under two tracks. The first track is titled ‘Technology in Recruitment’ and will include topics such employer branding, accessing one’s own needs before a tech purchase, and how artificial intelligence helps cut through the candidate ocean in order to seek the right talent. The second track is titled ‘Talent Management’, and will include sessions on learning by storytelling, employee retention, as well as learning and development tech solutions, tools, and impacts.

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LG Egypt to focus on more enhanced after-sales services in 2019 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/lg-egypt-to-focus-on-more-enhanced-after-sales-services-in-2019/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/lg-egypt-to-focus-on-more-enhanced-after-sales-services-in-2019/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:30:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686936 Company’s investments in Egypt estimated at $240m

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LG Electronics announced its strategy for 2019 which focuses on customer satisfaction, especially the after-sales service which is a key factor for buyers of electronic devices in Egypt, as LG is looking forward to acquiring a larger market share.

LG will also invest $15m in Egypt, the most populated Arab country with millions of customers. The company’s investments in Egypt are estimated at $240m. In 2018, LG Egypt exports reached about $200m.

Don Kwack, LG Egypt’s managing director, stated, “LG is about bringing added value to the lives of consumers,” further adding, “Our new strategy for 2019 does not only focus on enhancing and building stronger relationships with consumers, but also ensuring that LG’s clients are offered better post-purchase services.”

The new customer-driven strategy aims to develop LG service centres with three new different ways in order to deal with customers’ requests. The first service is called ‘248 Service’ which gives a 24-hour timeframe for installation and repair without spare parts, and a 48-hour timeframe for installation and repair with spare parts.

The new “Priority Service” is the second service to prioritise specific home gadgets’ disruptions, even if they are related to spare parts. Customers who call before 12pm will be offered same-day maintenance, while next-day maintenance will be scheduled for customers who call after 12pm.

The third service is called “Care and Delight”, an application which contains all kinds of information related to LG’s customer inquiries to include the locations of LG’s service centres, the contact numbers of the call centres, as well as a WhatsApp link in order to ensure a better communication.

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Smartphones’ giants face challenges in 2019 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/smartphones-giants-face-challenges-in-2019/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/16/smartphones-giants-face-challenges-in-2019/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:00:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686932 Apple lost $500bn in market value in past 3 months, giving title of world's most prized company to Amazon

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During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the South-Korean tech giant, Samsung, announced that its 2019 smart TVs will include an iTunes software, which is operated by the American rival technology firm, Apple. According to a Senior Samsung Executive, Dave Das, the move is “a true first one.”

The tech giants are trying to increase their revenues, even if this means cooperating with competitors.  Tech analysts say that the two titans of the smartphone market are looking for alternatives to generate profits, as the smartphone era is coming to its end faster than they expected.

One in two people think the smartphone itself will be obsolete within five years, according to a global Ericsson survey released at the end of 2015, which collected answers from 100,000 people. It is expected that innovations will stem from new areas, and the way people interact with devices will also change.

There are many factors behind this outcome, some of which are the interests of customers in bigger batteries which allow them to use devices for longer times, a feature that smartphones failed to provide. This is in addition to the high prices, and the similar features of smartphones available in the market.

Apple’s Struggle

At the beginning of 2019, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, issued a rare revenue warning to investors to inform them that the firm is expecting lower sales in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 because of weak iPhone demand in China. However, analysts noted the problem probably exists elsewhere, and is not only confined to China.

The tech giant lost $500bn in market value over the past three months, giving the title of world’s most valuable public company to Amazon. In the past few years, Apple hiked up the price of its iPhone, the company’s major profit generator, with nearly 60% of Apple’s total sales.

Last year, the firm introduced iPhone X, and it came with a $999 price tag, which is $300 more expensive than iPhone 8, while iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099. Therefore, the company started to offer cheaper battery replacements.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, had the talent of knowing what consumers wanted before they even did. However, the company is now struggling to lure in customers with new features in the new iPhones so as to persuade them to upgrade their devices.

Despite its revised outlook, Apple remains a healthy company. The question is whether the company will exist in the long term or not, keeping in mind that at one point, Nokia was the leader of the mobile phones’ sector, and currently it is a part of Microsoft.

Apple’s dilemma is similar to the situation which Microsoft found itself in. In 2014, the company promoted Satya Nadella, the previous head of Microsoft’s nascent cloud business, to run the company instead of Steve Ballmer.

Nadella focused on improving and providing features which attract users, accordingly, he decided to offer customers smartphone-like updates twice a year. He made Office available for free on the iPad, and shifted Microsoft’s focus to cloud computing.

Five years later, Microsoft passed Apple to become the most valuable company in the stock market. It is neck-and-neck with Amazon for cloud computing superiority, powering everything from corporate email servers to Pixar films.

Samsung is suffering as well

The South Korean company said last week that its Q4 operating profit is set to plunge nearly 30% from a year earlier, substantially below analysts’ forecasts. It blamed the sharp drop on a “lacklustre demand” for its memory chips and the “intensifying competition” in the smartphone industry.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, did not specifically mention China in its earnings guidance, but it stated that “mounting” macroeconomic uncertainties are affecting its business.

The company said that it expected its operating profits for Q4 of 2018 to be estimated at $10.8tn ($9.6 billion), compared with a revenue of about $15.2tn ($13.5bn) in the same period last year. It predicted that sales will drop with about 11% to $59tn ($52.5bn).

Furthermore, it warned that the weak performance is likely to continue, predicting that its earnings will “remain subdued in Q1 of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business” before they will improve later in the year.

The company hopes that the introduction of new technologies such as 5G services and foldable smartphones will help boost its mobile division. However, both companies need to give customers a big new product, as well as to diversify their profit sources to include more than just smartphones.

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Qatar expresses readiness for “unconditional dialogue” with Gulf crisis parties https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/qatar-expresses-readiness-for-unconditional-dialogue-with-gulf-crisis-parties/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/qatar-expresses-readiness-for-unconditional-dialogue-with-gulf-crisis-parties/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:48:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686929 US envoy tasked with resolving crisis quit his post, announcing failure in his mission

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Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Monday that Qatar does not mind holding a dialogue with other parties in the Gulf crisis, and will not set preconditions.

He noted that the other parties who are involved in this crisis are still taking unfair actions and measures against his country.

During a press conference with the Chief of the African Union Moussa Faki, Al Thani added that a “dialogue means commitment from the two parties in the crisis, but they keep on escalating and taking unfair measures against Qatar.”

On 5 June 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain cut their diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar. The four Arab governments accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, backing Iran, and disturbing security and stability in the region, charges which Doha consistently denies.

The Qatari Minister said that he has discussed the updates of the crisis, and its impacts on regional security with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his visit to the Middle East last week.

He added that the US official stressed the importance of restoring unity and stability in the Gulf region  through the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Last week, Anthony Zinni, the US envoy who was tasked with resolving the Gulf crisis, quit his post and announced his failure in the mission.

Zinni’s mission included forming an Arab alliance to counter the Iranian influence in the Middle East. He stated that he witnessed an unwillingness from regional leaders to engage in a dialogue which aims to resolve the crisis.

Moreover, Al Thani said that his country does not feel the necessity to reopen its embassy in Syria, stressing that Doha still opposes Syria’s return to the Arab League. He added that normalising relations with the Syrian government is a normalisation with a war criminal.

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Health Minister’s assignment: comprehensive re-evaluation of population national strategy https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/health-ministers-assignment-comprehensive-re-evaluation-of-population-national-strategy/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/health-ministers-assignment-comprehensive-re-evaluation-of-population-national-strategy/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:42:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686927 Competition between countries is not by population numbers, but through innovation, increased production, scientific progress

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Amr Hassan, the rapporteur of the National Population Council (NPC), has warned about the increase in the rate of population growth in Egypt which has become a threat to the country’s national security.

The NPC rapporteur said that the council has started cooperating with the UNFPA to re-evaluate the national strategy of population with its five aspects. The evaluation process is expected to take place by the end of February.

This came during the speech he gave on behalf of Halah Zayed, the minister of health and population, at a seminar held by the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies under the title “How to Deal With the Population Issue Properly”.

Hassan praised the support given by the minister of health toward the efforts rendered to solve the issue of population in order to improve the quality of life for Egyptians through reducing population growth rates and improving knowledge, skills and behavioural characteristics of citizens, in addition to re-drawing and redistributing the population by achieving the current goals of the national projects currently implemented by the state.

He explained that the results to be reached in the evaluation process will determine the way to solve the issue and whether or not the right steps are taken in the proper direction.

Furthermore, Hassan added that even though Egypt has always been aware of the issue and its risks on development and citizens, it has started dealing with that issue only in the 60s, and the council was established in the 80s. “Despite the money we spend and the strategies we adopted, we still have to deal with that issue and its economic and social impacts,” he added.

He pointed out that many countries faced similar problems and managed to overcome them within only a few years, while in Egypt, the problem is still growing, which prompts an important question: Do the political policies followed need to be reconsidered or are they enough?

Moreover, he said that the population growth is not a problem by itself, however, its various aspects represent issues that require the work of all ministries and concerned bodies in the state.

Hassan concluded his speech by stressing the importance of working together, noting that competition between countries is not by population numbers, but through innovation, increased production and scientific progress.

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Al-Azhar University overturns decision to expel female student over hugging her male colleague https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/al-azhar-university-overturns-decision-to-expel-female-student-over-hugging-her-male-colleague/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/al-azhar-university-overturns-decision-to-expel-female-student-over-hugging-her-male-colleague/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:34:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686924 Male colleague got expelled for two years, but can appeal decision

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Al-Azhar University in Mansoura cancelled on Monday the decision of the disciplinary council to expel a female student for hugging her male colleague on university grounds.

This came hour after the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb urged the university to reconsider their decision, despite describing the incident as “unacceptable and in violation of the community’s religious and eastern traditions.”

The university’s disciplinary committee held an emergency meeting and decided to scrap the ‘punishment’, and instead ruled that the student should be prevented for taking the first half of her exams.

The reversal came after the student “expressed deep regret for what has done, and pledged to abide by the student ethics and the values of society,” according to a statement.

Meanwhile, the male colleague got expelled for two years but Mansoura University spokesperson Hany Helal said that he can still appeal the decision.

The female student, who was enrolled in the Faculty of Arabic Language, was referred to a disciplinary hearing over an accusation of undermining the university’s reputation.

The video footage, which went viral earlier this month, showed a young man carrying a bouquet of flowers, kneeling before a young woman and then hugging her, in what seemed as a marriage proposal.

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Dome of Rock reopened after Israeli siege lifted https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/dome-of-rock-reopened-after-israeli-siege-lifted/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/dome-of-rock-reopened-after-israeli-siege-lifted/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:29:49 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686920 Five Palestinians including three mosque guards arrested by Israeli police

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The Israeli forces lifted its siege on the Dome of the Rock of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City in the occupied East Jerusalem on Monday night.

Israeli police had imposed a siege on the Dome of the Rock for six hours since Monday morning. The Israeli step sparked tensions between police and Palestinian worshippers in the compound of the Al-Aqsa. The Dome of the Rock has been reopened to Muslim worshippers.

Five Palestinians including three mosque guards were arrested by Israeli police after the holy place was reopened, according to Anadolu Agency.

Tensions were sparked after the guards of the mosque prevented an Israeli policeman from storming the mosque wearing a Jewish Kippah. The guards asked the policeman to take off his Jewish Kippah before entering the mosque, but he refused to remove it and attempted to force his way into the mosque, according to Palestinian News Agency.

After that, the mosque guards closed its doors in order to keep it from Israeli attempts, and shortly after hundreds of Palestinian worshippers came to the place. Meanwhile, the director of the Al Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani was physically assaulted by Israeli forces.

According to Palestinian media, Israeli police is allowed to carry out routine security checks every morning in the holy places, however they are not allowed to enter them with the Jewish Kippah.

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Ministry of Health launches national campaign for vaccination against poliomyelitis https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/ministry-of-health-launches-national-campaign-for-vaccination-against-poliomyelitis/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/ministry-of-health-launches-national-campaign-for-vaccination-against-poliomyelitis/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:25:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686916 Campaign targets newborns to 5 years for Egyptian, non-Egyptian children

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The Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Tuesday the preparations for the national campaign for vaccinations against poliomyelitis. The campaign will be launched on 24 February for four days, according to a statement from the ministry.

Zayed said that the campaign targets newborns to 5 years, for all children in Egypt, including non-Egyptian children. The campaign targets 16.5 million children in order to keep Egypt safe from poliomyelitis.

The last registered case of poliomyelitis in Egypt occurred 14 years ago, according to Khaled Mogahed, the spokesperson of the ministry of health. He added that the ministry is conducting annual vaccination campaigns in order to raise the immunity of children.

From his part, Alaa Eid, the head of Preventive Medicine Department at the ministry, said that vaccination is necessary for children in the targeted age. He added that medical teams will be working during the four-day campaign from 8am to 5pm.

Eid said that the vaccinations will be carried out at homes in rural regions in order to reach all the targeted children, however, in urban regions vaccinations will be undertaken by mobile teams as well as fixed teams in medical centres, health offices, as well as mother and children’s centres.

The vaccination will be oral using 19m doses, and about 90,000 healthcare providers will participate in the campaign.

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Supreme Media Council bans Mortada Mansour from appearing in media outlets for 2 additional months https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/supreme-media-council-bans-mortada-mansour-from-appearing-in-media-outlets-for-2-additional-months/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/supreme-media-council-bans-mortada-mansour-from-appearing-in-media-outlets-for-2-additional-months/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:19:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686918 However, ban will not include his participation in parliamentary activities

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The Supreme Media Council, headed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed, decided to ban the president of Egypt’s Al-Zamalek football club, Moratda Mansour, from appearing in all media platforms for an additional two months.

The decision will include entire media outlets, video, audio and print, as well as websites and newspapers.

However, the ban will not include his participation in parliamentary activities.

In September 2018, the African Football Confederation (CAF) decided to suspend Mansour from any activity related to sports or to attend meetings of sports officials, and fined him $40,000 after he verbally attacked the organisation’s officials.

For the same reason, the Egyptian Olympic Committee banned Mansour from participating in or attending any sports event and announced not accepting any documents carrying his signature in October 2018.  Mansour was also banned from appearing on broadcasted or written media outlets for three months.

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Egypt target 10% industrial growth in FY 2021/22: Minister of Planning https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/egypt-target-10-industrial-growth-in-fy-2021-22-minister-of-planning/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/egypt-target-10-industrial-growth-in-fy-2021-22-minister-of-planning/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:14:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686914 State plans to reform country’s promising industrial sector to expand its production capacities, scope of services

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Egypt aims to increase its industrial sector’s growth rate from 6.3% in fiscal year (FY) 2018/19 to 10% in FY 2021/22, the Minister of Planning, Monitoring, and Administrative Reform Hala Al-Saeed announced on Tuesday.

Al-Saeed said that the state plans to reform the country’s promising industrial sector to expand its production capacities and scope of services. Her statements came during the preparatory conference of the Cityscape exhibition which took place on Tuesday,

The industrial sector includes real estate and construction both of which are of great importance due to their labour intensive nature, as well as the fact that they act as a link between various other sectors.

The minister said that the construction field contributes around 17% of Egypt’s total GDP, and around 13% of the total job opportunities created so far, adding that it is a promising field with great potential to drive growth and create more employment opportunities.

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NREA postpones receiving bids on Gulf of Suez wind farm to February https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/nrea-postpones-receiving-bids-on-gulf-of-suez-wind-farm-to-february/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/nrea-postpones-receiving-bids-on-gulf-of-suez-wind-farm-to-february/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:11:54 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686892 Decision came upon request of two of bidding companies

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The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has decided to delay receiving bids on the Gulf of Suez wind farm of 250MW to February instead of 20 January.

An official in the NREA said the decision came upon the request of two of the bidding companies, and in coordination with the German KfW Development Bank which arranges the loan for financing the project. The authority affirmed that the tender will not be postponed again.

He added that the NREA has answered all the questions of the bidding companies, and allowed them to visit the project’s site. The bidders include Vestas, Siemens, and Senvion.

The official pointed out that the companies’ questions focused mainly on the transmission station that will transmit the energy produced from the project to the national grid.

Sources in the NREA previously informed Daily News Egypt that the loan provided by several financing institutions, including KfW, was estimated at €260m. The loan had been offered until the end of last December, before being postponed.

The NREA has set up a committee to study offers from Arab and international companies to acquire land for producing energy from renewable resources.

The official noted that the NREA has many available lands that can be granted to investors under the usufruct system. However, the cabinet must approve the suggested projects to avoid withdrawing lands allocated for these projects.

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Nasser Social Bank 2019/20 budget set at EGP 25.3bn: Minister of Social Solidarity https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/nasser-social-bank-2019-20-budget-set-at-egp-25-3bn-minister-of-social-solidarity/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/nasser-social-bank-2019-20-budget-set-at-egp-25-3bn-minister-of-social-solidarity/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:07:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686911 Investment plan for bank in FY 2019/20 is estimated at EGP 525m

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The total budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 for Nasser Social Bank was set at EGP 25.3bn up from EGP 23.3bn for the previous FY, an increase of 8%, Minister of Social Solidarity Gada Waly announced on Tuesday.

Waly’s announcement came during the meeting of the bank’s Board of Directors, which she chaired to approve the bank’s draft budget.

The new budget allocates EGP 76m for cash subsidies, and EGP 240m for social loans without interest rates, and EGP 8.8m for funding with low interest rates, which include all the financing provided by the bank to its clients in the areas of housing, auto-loans, and establishment of companies.

The investment plan for the bank in FY 2019/20 is estimated at EGP 525m, and includes projects for the development of the bank’s branches to improve the performance of the services provided by the bank, the establishment of new branches within the next five years, the modernisation of the bank’s operation, and purchase of ATMs.

Sharif Farouk, CEO of Nasser Social Bank, said that the bank’s earnings for the second quarter of FY 2018/19, amounted to EGP 16.849bn, while the net profit of the bank reached EGP 650m up from to EGP 533m in the previous year, marking a 22% increase of EGP 117m.

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Prime minister, minister should not travel without president’s approval: decree https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/prime-minister-minister-should-not-travel-without-presidents-approval-decree/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/prime-minister-minister-should-not-travel-without-presidents-approval-decree/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:03:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686909 Decision published in Official Gazette on Tuesday

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree on Tuesday requiring senior state employees to obtain presidential approval before travelling abroad for work purposes.

The decree stipulates that several high ranking state officials, including the prime minister, or his deputy, ministers of interior, foreign affairs, defence, justice, as well as heads of independent, supervisory and security bodies and their deputies shall be authorised to travel abroad for official or work related issues only after approval from the president.

The decision added that the provision of this paragraph applies to all those who hold a post or are appointed to the post of prime minister or deputy prime minister.

The decision was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday.

Article 2 in the decision, determined other positions that should not travel without the approval of the prime minister. Those positions were not included in the previous article, such as governors and their deputies, the heads of the National Councils, public bodies and holding companies and bodies that have special budgets.

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Oil prices rose to $59.9 as supply declines https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/oil-prices-rose-to-59-9-as-supply-declines/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/oil-prices-rose-to-59-9-as-supply-declines/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:45:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686907 Economic growth slowdown in importing countries threatens OPEC's efforts to increase oil prices

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Oil prices surged to around $59.90 a barrel in yesterday’s trading, up $5 from last month’s prices, amid supply cuts by global markets and a decline in the number of American rigs.

Medhat Yousef, former deputy chairperson of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), informed Daily News Egypt that the production cut in the OPEC countries and Russia aims to reach a price of $60.

He pointed out that oil-exporting countries agreed to reduce production to reduce supply in world markets until the price reaches the target.

Moreover, he warned of the decline in global demand for petroleum products in the coming period, because of the deteriorating economic conditions of the largest importing countries.

OPEC oil exporting countries have begun to demand a continuation of the agreement to cut production rates for a new period until the price of a barrel of oil is around $60.

He pointed out that the high price of a barrel of oil in world markets adversely affects the economies of importing countries such as Egypt, which makes them bear a greater financial burden.

This will definitely affect Egypt as it is highly vulnerable to crude oil price fluctuations, as each $1 increase in the Brent crude’s price would cost the state EGP 4bn, according to the Finance Ministry. Egypt’s fiscal year 2018/19 budget sets global oil prices at $67 per barrel, while in the 2017/18 budget, the price of an oil barrel globally was set at $55.

The price of a barrel of oil will not be $65 in the first quarter of this year, if the OPEC extends the agreement to cut production in 2019 he added.

The United States has reduced the number of excavators looking for new oil production to 873 diggers from the beginning of the current year compared to 888 diggers in 2018, which may affect production increase that reached 2m barrels per day in the last year, with production reaching 11.7m barrels per day.

The OPEC has approved an agreement, in cooperation with a number of the largest oil-producing countries outside the organization, led by Russia—which is currently the largest producer of oil in the world—in November of 2016, aiming to reduce production by about 1m barrels. The agreement entered into force at the beginning of 2017, and later was extended until the end of 2018.

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Egypt’s inflation worries start to decline: Renaissance Capital https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/egypts-inflation-worries-start-to-decline-renaissance-capital/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/egypts-inflation-worries-start-to-decline-renaissance-capital/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:23:16 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686903 EGP fair value to estimate at EGP 18 per dollar in February 2020, EGP 20 in July 2021

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Egypt’s month-over-month (m-o-m) inflation witnessed a fall of 3.4% in December 2018, according to the date released by the country’s statistical office, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics.

According to a Renaissance Capital report, the big change was in food prices, which contribute to 40% of the Consumer Price Index basket. A 6.7% fall in December food prices following a 1.8% fall in November, reversed the surprise increases of 2.9% in August, 4.8% in September, and 3.5% in October.    

Consequently, the headline inflation dropped from 15.7% to 12%, in line with Renaissance Capital’s previous forecasts that inflation would be 11-13% by December 2018.

Moreover, the report indicated that big improvements in vegetable wholesale prices in November (tomato prices were down 50%) – but the wholesale figures turned higher in December and so the investment bank believed that an increase by perhaps 2% m-o-m- in January is expected.

In conclusion, Renaissance Capital estimated headline inflation to reach a 12-14% range from January to May 2019, before plunging to 8% by October 2019, then picking back up to 11-13% until June 2020.

How inflation will influence exchange and interest rates

The report indicated that the latest real effective exchange rate estimate in May 2018 from Bruegel put the long-average exchange rate at EGP 15.3 per dollar since 1995 in today’s money.

Accordingly, following the stunning December inflation figure pushes that back to end-2019, the report estimated the EGP “fair value” will only touch EGP 18 per dollar in February 2020, and EGP 20 in July 2021.

Indeed, it is possible that Egypt could keep the spot foreign exchange rate at EGP 18 per dollar until mid-2021, and the currency would only be about 10% overvalued at that point – relative to the country’s own history.  That’s less than India is overvalued at today.

However, Renaissance Capital suggests that Egypt considers some sort of crawling peg monthly devaluation, that would let the currency remain on the cheap side of fair value and help job creation in export industries via a cheap exchange rate.

Regarding interest rates, given the volatility of food and oil prices, led the bank to forecast that the Central Bank of Egypt may stay cautious until they have clarity on the July 2019 inflation figures, before applying any interest rate cuts.

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IDB signs three cooperation protocols to support SMEs in Beheira Governorate https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/idb-signs-three-cooperation-protocols-to-support-smes-in-beheira-governorate/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/idb-signs-three-cooperation-protocols-to-support-smes-in-beheira-governorate/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:15:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686900 Bank agrees with Nat Gas to finance delivery of gas to industrial units within CBE's initiative

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The Industrial Development Bank (IDB) has signed three cooperation protocols with the Beheira governorate, the Chamber of Commerce, and Nat Gas, to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the delivery of gas and utilities to different areas.

The new protocols aim to support and finance the industrial parks and areas of the governorate, finance the business incubators of the intermediate industries, create jobs and support entrepreneurs with efficiency and ambition, and encourage exports.

The agreement was signed by Maged Fahmy, chairperson of IDB, Hisham Amna, the governor of Beheira, Fathy Morsy, chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce in Beheira, and Omar Masoud, vice chairperson and managing director of Nat Gas.

According to Amna, this cooperation comes within the framework of the state plan to cooperate with national banks in financing development projects, and to absorb the increasing labour, stimulate economic growth, accelerate its rates, support economic and social development.

He pointed out that the bank will finance the areas and industrial complexes in the governorate, and the areas to be established in Hush Isa, Rashid, Edku, Nubaria and Kom Hamada, in addition to financing the delivery of services and public utilities at a simple cost and easy payment plans to ease the burden on citizens.

According to Fahmy, the new cooperation protocol comes in continuation of the bank’s role and its great experience in supporting industrial areas for 70 years since it was founded in 1947.

He added that the protocol stipulates that the bank will put all its resources to finance SMEs, whether existing or new projects, within the initiative of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) with a simple interest of 5 and 7%.

Fahmy stressed that the bank is keen on supporting productive and industrial projects, which cover the needs of the market, in order to save foreign exchange, as well as support exports. It will also finance the delivery of facilities and services such as drinking water, sewage systems, gas and electricity.

For his part, Azzam pointed out that the protocol includes the provision of credit facilities to finance and support business incubators for the establishment of intermediate and feeding projects for major industries in various fields in the governorate, especially textile industries in Kafr El Dawar, and agricultural production industries.

Azzam pointed out that the bank has already cooperated with Beheira, where it managed to finance the first commodity exchange for vegetables and fruits in Egypt and the Middle East, which is located on an area of 57 feddan in Badr City, and accommodates 120 exhibitions, 680 companies, 130 refrigerators, and 50 export terminals.

According to Azzam, the total funds directed to the clients of the exchange amounted to EGP 150m. The bank is considering providing more funding.

According to Tarek Gala, director general of Small Projects and head of the Credit Zones at the IDB, the third protocol signed with Nat Gas includes the financing of the delivery of natural gas to industrial projects, bakeries, and SMEs as part of the CBE initiative.

He added that the IDB was one of the first banks to support the financing of the delivery of gas to housing units, and then to industrial units as a right for every citizen. The bank has already signed three agreements with Nat Gas, Fayoum Gas, and Sina Gas to finance the delivery of natural gas to 375,000 units, with a total funding of EGP 675m. So far gas has reached 121,000 units in Alexandria, Fayoum, Beheira, and Sharqiyah at a cost of EGP 310m.

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Special advisor to South Korean president visits Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/special-advisor-to-south-korean-president-visits-egypt/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/special-advisor-to-south-korean-president-visits-egypt/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:08:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686897 Korean tourists to Egypt substantially increase over 2018, says ambassador

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Chung-in Moon, special advisor to the South Korean president for unification and national security affairs, visited Cairo recently where he gave a lecture at the Tahrir Dialogue series at the American University in Cairo on Tuesday, said Yeocheol Yoon, ambassador of South Korea to Egypt.

The lecture of the president’s special advisor which was entitled “From Crisis to Peace-making in Korea – president MOON Jae-In’s Peace Initiative”, was held in the presence of the Korean ambassador and Nabil Fahmy, Dean of the School for Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Chung-in also dined with the members of the Korean embassy on Monday where the participants had a debate on regional issues as well as the situation on the Korean peninsula.

Earlier in January, the Korean ambassador had a meeting with Fahmy, along with Minister-Counselor at the embassy, Jang Hyunchul, where they had discussions ranging from global affairs to their respective regions and bilateral relations.

“I was deeply impressed by the width of his perspective and his straightforwardness in presenting it with perfect wording. And I learned so much from him,” mentioned the ambassador following the meeting.

Additionally, Yoon informed Daily News Egypt that Koreans are now coming back to Egypt to enjoy what Egypt has to offer to Korean tourists, including culture and civilisation, as well as nature and leisure.

The ambassador noted that the chartered flights are a manifestation of their renewed interest in Egypt, adding that the flights are part of travel packages to see the various corners of Egypt.

“I hope that there will be more and more Korean tourists coming to Egypt, with the spread of Egypt’s good reputation, through word of mouth, of the charm of the Egyptian experience,” mentioned the ambassador.

When there are enough Korean passengers, Korean Air will be able to resume its direct flights to Egypt,  which was canceled in 2014,” said the ambassador, noting, “at the same time, EgyptAir should also consider extending their flights to Beijing, China or Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Korea, to benefit from the new increase of interest among Koreans to visit Egypt.

“I think the number of Korean tourists last year should range from 20,000, to 30,000 with a steep increase. However, I don’t have exact figures yet,” said the ambassador.

Korean Air will operate six charter flights over January and February 2019 in a step that will encourage the South Korean flag carrier to resume its regular direct flights to Cairo International Airport (CAI) in the near future, according to a past statement of the CAI in January 2019.

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ACUD inks agreement with MasterCard to provide NAC with e-payments https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/acud-inks-agreement-with-mastercard-to-provide-nac-with-e-payments/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/acud-inks-agreement-with-mastercard-to-provide-nac-with-e-payments/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:38:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686891 Partnership includes identifying means of managing smart card service, follow-up implementation

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The Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) will sign a partnership agreement with MasterCard to provide the New Administrative Capital (NAC) with electronic payments on Monday 21 January, according to a press statement on Tuesday.

The agreement states that MasterCard will provide consulting services to the ACUD in the field of e-payments in addition to necessary technical expertise for the operation of advanced technological solutions.

The company said that the partnership will be implemented in three phases. The first is studying the objectives of the ACUD, determining priorities and developing a work map, as well as determining a criterion for choosing one or more banks to provide the service. The second phase is identifying the actual development of a business model and optimal operating model in addition to developing solutions in partnership with banks, which will be chosen according to criteria that were identified in the first phase.

The third phase of the partnership includes identifying mechanisms from the management of the smart card service and the follow-up implementation.

Additionally, the ACUD noted that the partnership aims to build a non-monetary economy through providing the appropriate systems and solutions that are compatible with the culture of citizens to encourage them to use e-payments. Moreover, the partnership targets maximising financial return and the ability to collect ACUD fees.

The statement noted that the duration of the first phase is one month from the date of signing the partnership agreement in which an integrated study of what will be implemented will be presented.

“MasterCard is committed to ensuring that all solutions are integrated with the city management system based on Continuum of Care (CoC) and allowing the use of all types of competitive cards,” the statement read. “The term of the agreement is 10 years in which MasterCard is a strategic partner for the ACUD and smart MasterCard cards that will be issued by a national bank will be used by residents and employees in the NAC.”

Moreover, the ACUD has the right to use the logo of MasterCard as a strategic partner when announcing any payment means in the NAC during the agreement period.

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Why bigger things could be ahead for David Wagner, Huddersfield Town's departing miracle man https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/why-bigger-things-could-be-ahead-for-david-wagner-huddersfield-towns-departing-miracle-man/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/why-bigger-things-could-be-ahead-for-david-wagner-huddersfield-towns-departing-miracle-man/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:55:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686963 The post Why bigger things could be ahead for David Wagner, Huddersfield Town's departing miracle man appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The Premier League side Huddersfield Town have parted ways with German coach David Wagner. Despite the Terriers’ languishing at the bottom of the division, his time at the club has enhanced his professional reputation. "We now feel the time is right to part ways."

We've heard it all before: Honeymoon period abruptly ends for a recently promoted Premier League side. The coach is always the first casualty, another scalp for the world's most cut-throat, win-at-all-costs division. Once the dogged defending and late winners of seasons past find themselves replaced with goalless draws and winless streaks, it's never long before the infamous "parting of ways" statement makes its way to the newswires.

We really have read it all before. But, in the case of Huddersfield Town and their recently departed coach, David Wagner, things feel different. The wins have dried up, the goals have been painfully absent all season, the club are rooted to the bottom of the table and boast the fewest points, the fewest wins, fewest goals and most losses in the division. Yet, for once, the "parting of ways" statement appears to be genuinely tinged with sadness.

Despite their tribulations over the past calendar year — Huddersfield would have been relegated last season had their pre-Christmas form not been so good — a day after the move was announced, Terriers Chairman Dean Hoyle was adamant that the German had not been fired.

"I had no intention of sacking David this season," Hoyle said on Tuesday. "David — being the great man he is — came to us and made it clear that he needs a break from the rigors of football management."

Delayed reaction

Not only, it seems, did Huddersfield choose not to sack their beleaguered coach — a man overseeing the club's heart-wrenching return to the Championship — they actually talked him out of walking away earlier in the season.

"We discussed making a change immediately, but he made it clear that he would give his all for the rest of this season before departing in the summer, if we preferred," Hoyle said. "We all felt that David staying at the club until the end of the season was best, but we've kept discussions open and we all now feel that the time is right to part ways."

A cut-price Dortmund

Wagner's achievements since arriving at the club in 2015 evidently bought him a lot of patience with the club’s hierarchy. He took charge of an average Championship side and moulded them into something of a cut-price Borussia Dortmund, the club he'd previously worked at for five years alongside Jürgen Klopp. He had the Terriers playing high-pressing, high energy football, and instilled in them a fierce sense of comradery.

After his first season in charge, he took the squad on a preseason bonding trip to Sweden, where, amusingly for divisional rivals, they had to survive using only basic equipment for a few days. That expedition is what he believes helped to instil a sense of unity that, when the chips were down, made up for a lack of quality.

Guiding the club to the Premier League in the 2016-17 season – after a 45-year absence from England's top flight –wasn't nearly his greatest achievement. The champagne-soaked celebrations, following a nail-biting penalty shootout win over Reading at Wembley Stadium, were small fry compared to what came next: keeping largely the same group of limited players in the Premier League for a second season. It was done with a game to spare, too, thanks to draws against Chelsea and Spurs, when it looked like time had all but run out.

A bigger club in the future?

Wagner is expected to take a break from coaching for the next couple of months but he shouldn't be short of job offers when he decides to return to football. Despite Huddersfield's lowly league position, his stock has undoubtedly risen during his time in Yorkshire and he must surely feel ready for a shot at a bigger club, either in the Premier League or back home in Germany.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, may yet survive the drop. Whoever the club hire now will have his hands full – The Terriers are seven points from safety with a daunting run of fixtures to contend with, including Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next four games – but miracles can happen. Fans will continue to believe for as long as there's a mathematical chance.

One gets the sense, though, that if whoever comes in achieves the impossible, it would still be David Wagner’s name sung loudest in the John Smith's Stadium on the final day of the season. The man who made it all possible to begin with.

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Kloster Andechs – winter beer on the holy mountain https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/kloster-andechs-winter-beer-on-the-holy-mountain/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/kloster-andechs-winter-beer-on-the-holy-mountain/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686969 The post Kloster Andechs – winter beer on the holy mountain appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

One of Bavaria’s oldest pilgrimages leads to Andechs Monastery, high above the shores of Ammersee. Whether you are on a pilgrimage or a hike, the ascent makes you thirsty. Time for a winter beer.As soon as he opens his mouth, it becomes clear that the white-haired man seated at the table has not traveled far for his pilgrimage. In a thick Bavarian accent he invites his companions to enjoy their meal: "An Guadn," which means "Guten Appetit." This Saturday, as usual, the monastery beer restaurant is heaving with people. Northern 1423. As soon as I enter I am impressed by the church's rococo style. In the center is an ornate high altar featuring a gilded Madonna.

A glance downwards reveals something extraordinary: a mouse peeking out of a crack at the foot of the altar.

The mouse immortalized here is credited with saving the site from neglect. Legend has it that in 1388, a mouse dragged a scrap of paper containing information about the lost relic treasure into the former chapel. This allowed the relics which Count Rasso had brought from the Holy Land to be retrieved.

Today, visitors can view the relics as part of a tour of the Holy Chapel (Heilige Kapelle).

Germany's largest order-run monastery brewery

Most visitors to the Andechs Monastery do not come as pilgrims or to pay tribute to the "Three Holy Hosts." Nor do they come to pay their respects to the six monks who live there to this day. Most of them are tourists who are keen to tour the site and sample some of the famous beer which has been brewed here since the Middle Ages. Each year, more than 100,000 hectoliters of beer are produced here and sold throughout Germany and worldwide, apart from the famous winter beer. The monks decide what volume of beer to produce and where to deliver it. The brewing process and the treatment of the visitors are left in the capable hands of their staff.

Bavarian hospitality and tradition

Time now to settle down and put the Bavarian reputation for sociability to the test: "Excuse me, is this seat free?" I ask. A quick nod implies I've been accepted. I lay my wooden tray on the table and take a seat on the bench. Here visitors serve themselves. A liter of winter beer and a portion of pork knuckles together are quite weighty. In the summer, the outside terraces provide seating for almost 2,000 people. Huge quantities of sausages and pork knuckles are cooked here, not to mention the enormous volume of beer.

Visitors can choose from a large variety of beers, which take a direct route to the taps in the beer garden. Thousands of liters of beer are consumed on any given day. Many visitors choose to bring a sample crate home with them. The sale of beer is the monastery's main source of revenue.

Aromatic winter beer

The mild and spicy winter beer cannot be taken home in bottles. It is available exclusively at the monastery brewery from November 11 until March 19, marking the period between the Catholic feasts of St Martin and St Joseph.

"Beer should taste of beer," explains master brewer Alexander Reiss. That is why the monastery has remained loyal to the 1516 purity law. As well as the key ingredients of dark malt, water and aromatic hops, brewing winter beer requires a great deal of patience and experience.

Smiling, Reiss emphasizes that the beer here is produced according to the proper Bavarian tradition. It involves mashing small amounts of crushed malt and water. This process is repeated several times, which gives the beer its malty taste. The maturation process takes six weeks. The winter beer can then be enjoyed in its freshest and purest form. With an alcohol content of just over 4 percent, the winter beer is relatively mild. An Andechs Doppelbock in comparison has an alcohol content of more than 7 percent.

Closing time

The Andechs Monastery beer garden is not the kind of place for an all-night bender. It officially closes at 8 p.m. but most visitors – full of beer and pork knuckles – leave well before that. The early closing time is also a mark of respect for the monastic lifestyle. By 8 p.m., evening prayers are already in full swing and the morning prayers just a few hours away. The phrase "Ora et labora" ("pray and work") applies to the way of life here. While many paths lead to the monastery, for the monks, that mantra represents the one true path to God.

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First electric bus pulled from Alexandria after 3-month pilot run https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/first-electric-bus-pulled-from-alexandria-after-3-month-pilot-run/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/first-electric-bus-pulled-from-alexandria-after-3-month-pilot-run/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 11:00:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686873 Equipped with surveillance cameras, internet, GPS, AC, and system to help people with special needs

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The Head of the General Authority for Passenger Transport in Alexandria, Major General Khalid Eliwa, said that the electric bus was pulled from the streets of the city of Alexandria after a three month pilot run, adding that he is waiting for the result to be issued by the Military Technical College and the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence. He stressed that the electric bus was a unique mass transport method experience, as it is environmentally-friendly and reduces environmental pollution, as opposed to traditional engines which cause air pollution due to harmful emissions, in addition to the absence of noise compared to conventional engines.

He added that the electric bus is not a source of pressure on the state’s resources. The electric bus has a lower operating cost than the diesel-powered bus. He explained that the petroleum products are imported from abroad in hard currency, and the international price of diesel is estimated at EGP 17.8 per litre, while the global price of electricity is EGP 1.25 per kW. He noted that diesel accounts for 70% of fuel subsidies, while electricity subsidies amount to 5% only of total subsidies.

Eliwa said that maintenance costs of electric buses account for 20-30% of diesel-powered buses maintenance costs, in addition to saving maintenance efforts that require more labour. The bus also saves 40% of fuel wasted in traffic congestions.

He explained that the maintenance of electric buses are conducted by the manufacturer, adding that the authority sends Egyptian engineers and technicians to train on maintenance.

Moreover, the new bus has a three-year warranty or 500,000 km whichever is closer, plus several other warranties, such as a battery warranty of up to eight years, chassis for seven years, and a five-year warranty on all electric devices on the bus.

On the future plans of the authority, Eliwa said that there are several attempts to assemble electrical buses in Egypt, after the Military Technical College end of the general secretariat of the ministry of defence complete assessing the pilot programme. He highlighted the authority’s plan to convert 200 buses to work on electricity instead of diesel in seven to eight years.

Eliwa expected the 14 other buses to start operating in 2.5 months after the success of the experiment.

In a related context, Gaber El-Sayed, head of the Anfushi station, said that the electric bus has an excellent structure and is comparable to the tourist buses in terms of reliability and comfort, as well as running with clean energy, pointing out that the new electric bus is the first means of transportation equipped with disabled places.

El-Sayed added that the electric bus requires a driver’s assistant, which is the role of the collector. During the test period, two of the most efficient drivers were appointed. They were tested by the chairperson and the general manager. They were selected on several criteria including efficiency, seniority, training courses, presentability, and the ability to write reports and assess the experiment. They were trained on dealing with the bus’s devices.

He added that he did not receive any complaints from passengers or even by the bus drivers during the test period of three months, stressing its success and the praise from the passengers. “Some customers preferred to wait for the new bus instead of jumping on other diesel-fuelled buses on the same lines,” he said.

The electrical bus line starts from the Anfushi station through to Abu Abbas, Qweiri, Manshiya, Raml, and El-Shatbi to Mamoura. It was recharged at Semoha garage for 2-3 hours that were enough for 250 km. The first trip began at 6am and lasted until 1am. Each journey took 1hour ans10 minutes from Anfushi to Maamoura and back.

The ticket price was set at EGP 10 during the pilot run. The bus accommodated 35-37 passengers, including four seats for the disabled.

Noteworthy, the experience of the electric bus came through the announcement by the General Authority for Passenger Transport in Alexandria about a general international tender for the supply of 15 electric buses. The tender was signed by one of the Chinese companies.

The decision came within the framework of developing the transport service in Alexandria and strengthening the transport fleet in the General Authority for Transport and Passengers in Alexandria governorate.

The Chinese company supplied one bus tested for three months starting from October. After the success of the experiment, they will contract for the remaining quantities.

The ticket price will be set in accordance with costs. It is equipped with surveillance cameras, internet, GPS, and AC, in addition to a system to help people with special needs.

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German businesses watch Brexit with bated breath https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/german-businesses-watch-brexit-with-bated-breath/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/german-businesses-watch-brexit-with-bated-breath/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:47:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686973 The post German businesses watch Brexit with bated breath appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

German companies are closely following all developments that might give them an idea of exactly how the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Soft or hard Brexit — that’s the question yet to be answered.No less than 43 percent of Germany's industrial companies believe there will be a hard Brexit when talking about how the UK is going to exit the European Union, says a study by the Munich-based ifo economic research institute.

Three-fifths of the firms polled say they'd be affected by a hard Brexit, to varying degrees, depending on how closely production chains in Britain and the European mainland are intertwined.

Car industry

Some 85 million vehicles are registered annually every year, two million of them in the UK. Brexit will weaken the nation's car sales a bit, but not in a drastic manner, says German auto industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from Duisburg-Essen University.

"Should the UK car sales dip by a fifth, it would not be a major blow to the German car industry," he said, adding that BMW would be affected the most, given its production facility for the Mini in Britain. BMW also has an engine-producing plant near Birmingham, which makes motors not just for the Mini, but also cars of the firm's 1 and 2 series.

There could be supply problems among some plants on the Continent and Britain, which could also affect Opel subsidiary Vauxhall, now belonging to French group PSA. PSA closed down its facility in Bochum, Germany, but continues production in Ellesmere Port near Liverpool. However, there may also be some positive side effects, says Dudenhöffer. "If the British pound devaluates further, cars could be produced cheaper than in the eurozone unless high tariffs are in place."


Financial institutions are also watching Brexit procedures very closely. After all, financial services account for 12 percent of the UK's gross domestic product. London has been Europe's main financial hub, but banks outside of Europe, which are based in Britain and do business with the European Union, can no longer do so post-Brexit. Frankfurt is already profiting from this.

Lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance estimates that banks may relocate between €750 billion ($857 billion) and €800 billion in finance volume to Frankfurt, much of it to be transferred in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, up to 8,000 positions would move to Frankfurt over the next couple of years, says Gertrud Traud, chief economist of Helaba bank.

Chemistry & pharmaceuticals

Hard or soft Brexit — that's also of importance for the chemical and pharma businesses in Germany. The VCI chemical industry association fears that a hard Brexit could eventually entail tariffs of up to €200 million annually. VCI Managing Director Utz Tillmann is afraid of a host of different regulations without an orderly exit. All chemicals produced in the UK would have to be approved again in time-consuming procedures involving a lot of red tape.

The same applies for pharma companies. There are very close ties and cooperation networks between pharma firms in the UK and its current fellow EU fellow countries involving the production and distribution of medical products as well as clinical studies among EU members.


Regulation poses a major challenge in aviation, too. A hard Brexit has the potential of crippling flights completely as British airlines would lose their right to fly to airports in the EU (as they would no longer be part of the EU's internal market).

This would hit British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair, but also Germany's Tuifly and Condor, in which British shareholders have secured a majority stake.

But experts such as Eric Heymann from Deutsche Bank are optimistic. "I think it's relatively easy to solve this problem in a way that would ensure the further operation of flight routes between the UK and the European mainland."

Machine building

For German machine builders, Britain is a crucial export market involving an export volume of €7 billion annually. As early as 2017, exports to the UK decreased as the specter of Brexit took shape.

Let's not forget that the depreciation of the British pound has been a headache for German producers in the sector as their goods became a lot more expensive for UK consumers. Germany's Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, VDMA, is still hoping for an orderly exit, while calling on its members to brace for a hard Brexit.

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Electric cars in Egypt: need to cope with global market or social significance? https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/electric-cars-in-egypt-need-to-cope-with-global-market-or-social-significance/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/electric-cars-in-egypt-need-to-cope-with-global-market-or-social-significance/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:30:22 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686855 Egypt unprepared, there is no infrastructure, experts warn

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The electric cars and the technology achieved by the largest companies in the automotive industry have been able to impose themselves on the whole world and revolutionise the car market. The world’s largest companies are aiming to increase their production of electric cars in preparation for their gradual deployment in world markets and the disposal of traditional cars that use fossil fuel. Germany is the keenest to produce and spread electric cars in the streets to achieve its policy to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide derived from the use of fuel.

In turn, the Egyptian state is also seeking to keep pace with the global trend and the drift toward the use of electrical energy and imported electric cars from Europe exempted from customs. Moreover, the Council of Ministers announced the exemption of hybrid cars from taxes when imported from Europe starting from January 2019. The exemption includes second-hand cars.

President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi, has issued decree No 419 for the year 2018 on the tariff, with the introduction of an international item for cars that operate an electric motor, to encourage their use with exemption from customs tax in order to stimulate the use of energy.

But the question is: is Egypt ready to match the world’s countries and deploy electric cars at the moment? There are those who completely refuse the entry of electric cars into Egypt without prior planning, and some of them believe that once deployed in Egypt, the infrastructure will be made available.

Hassan El-Desouki, chairperson of Darshal Company, a specialist in the manufacture of electric cars and chargers, said that the future of electric cars in Egypt is very dark and blurry because Egypt is not ready for the spread of electric cars at the present time due to the absence of unified laws and regulations to import these kinds of cars.

He added that there is no infrastructure or charging stations, noting that 100 or 200 stations are not enough. “Electric cars cannot be used in Egypt as their batteries can only last for 100 km using 2015 technology. Consumers will pay EGP 300,000-400,000 in a limited-use car,” he explained.

El-Desouki said that the spread of electric cars will still take a lot of time and planning to provide the necessary infrastructure, and to eliminate the randomness in the planning currently in place.

He pointed out that there is no unified law regulating the relationship of the distributor to the consumer, without specifying who will import the cars. He warned that this could lead to fraud, and urged the need for examining these cars before arrival to ensure their safety. He finally noted that there are no maintenance centres in Egypt. “Where is the Consumer Protection Authority here?” he wondered.

As for the hybrid cars, El-Desouki refuses to use them in Egypt, as he believes that they do not fit with the nature of the Egyptian market, since they do not save gasoline because the use of electricity is very minor.

Mourad Sedky, a mechanical engineer and car expert, agreed, saying that the government’s decision to exempt used hybrid cars from customs is premature and lacks planning. “If we assume that a three-year-old hybrid car was imported into Egypt. Why would you buy a car that will soon need a battery change that costs EGP 50,000?”

He believes that this decision represents the disposal of the world’s waste by placing it in our country. He pointed out that the introduction of electric cars and hybrids into Egypt requires a complete strategy from the state, in contrast to the current partial plan.

Sedky added that the state should obligate importers of electric cars and hybrids to provide maintenance and spare parts for them, like any other car that the customer buys. He noted that it makes no sense to leave people to drive cars without providing solutions in the event of a malfunction in the car or the need for spare parts, because this represents a significant loss for car customers in Egypt.

He linked the success of electric cars in Egypt with a strong tendency from the state to give incentives when buying these types of cars that make them more advantageous, thus transforming it into a win-win equation for the state and the citizen, such as making the procedures for licensing cheaper.

The expert says that the trend towards the use of hybrid and electric cars in Egypt will be valuable only if the price of litres of gasoline matches their countries of origin, which is three to four folds the current price in Egypt.

In conclusion, he believes that the customer’s intention to buy an electric or used hybrid car is for two reasons:

First: social Integrity, which has no impact on the Egyptian economy or the environment.

Second: Customers’ lack of awareness of the operational costs when buying used cars.

On the other hand there are those who support the spread of electric cars in Egypt at the moment, such as Raafat Masrouga, honorary head of the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) and former president of the Engineering Automotive Manufacturing Company, who believes that the weakness of the infrastructure and the readiness of the state do not represent an obstacle to the spread of electric cars in Egypt, explaining that once cars enter Egypt, recharge stations will spread.

He added that charging electric cars is not a problem, as they can be recharged by traditional sockets, hence it will not be a problem. In major cities, recharge stations will be established, while on highways, gas stations will provide recharge spots for electric cars, he said.

He said that once electric cars spread in Egypt, all the pieces will fall into place. “The Egyptian people are smart and can quickly adapt,” he stressed.

Moreover, he said that importers of electric cars are not necessarily forced to import spare parts for cars, especially in Egypt, which is characterised by its smart people who are capable of creating jobs and opening new fields to the market. He explained that once the electric cars spread in Egypt new traders will emerge.

In terms of hybrid cars, Masrouga said they do not represent the future and will soon fade away as technology moves in the direction of fully electric cars.

He added that the decision of the state to abolish the customs on used hybrids cars imported from Europe is one step which requires raising citizens’ awareness of electric cars.

Furthermore, he predicted that electric cars in the Egyptian street will spread by 2025, while in 2040 it will spread further to take over the Egyptian street by 70%.

Mohamed Mostafa, the founder and president of Revolta Egypt, agreed, saying that Egypt is ready for electric cars, given the high price of gasoline. He noted that there are a few recharge stations in different governorates as electric cars have become a reality.

Mostafa added that the number of electric cars reached 100 last year, while pre-orders reached 500 in the last quarter of 2018.

He said he is not a supporter of hybrids and does not favour them, pointing out that it is a transitional period before the spread of electric cars, but the disadvantages are many, including that they do not really save fuel as many people think.

He called on the state to provide the advantages that stimulate the possession of electric cars, and expected electric cars to spread in Egypt by 2040.

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Verynile: local initiative seeking to end Nile’s pollution https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/verynile-local-initiative-seeking-to-end-niles-pollution/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/verynile-local-initiative-seeking-to-end-niles-pollution/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:00:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686783 ‘Broken ceramic sinks, old clothes, blankets, plastic bags, boxes, some of what we came across when cleaning river for first time’, says project manager

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Several pictures of dozens of volunteers were circulated on social media over the past few days to show them cleaning up the extremely polluted river Nile. The pictures resulted in a wave of encouragement for taking a step into changing the current condition, and cleaning what has become a black-coloured Nile.

The volunteers are part of Verynile, an environmental campaign aiming to end the Nile pollution and finding a permanent solution so that it will not be sullied again. The initiative was launched by Bassita, a click-funding initiative known for its social media awareness campaigns, in partnership with Greenish, a business aiming to implement sustainable environmental solutions.

The campaign seeks to revitalise the longest river in the world, and make it healthy again by removing all the trash which has made the river its home for decades, as well as to get rid of all the industrial waste stagnating in it.

“Egyptians tend to complain about the pollution and the dirt surrounding them everywhere. We wanted to take part in cleansing it for a change,” Moustafa Habib, Verynile’s project manager informed Daily News Egypt.

“I’m a Nile lover. Every time I pass by it, I wondered how different it would look like if it is waste-free and clear again. Until one day, I decided to make this happen,” he added.

The tremendous initiative goals will be achieved by working on three main pillars: first by raising people’s awareness through on-the-ground cleaning campaigns, second by seeking the help of fishermen who spend days off the shore in order to clean the waste they come across while fishing. The initiative also discusses with the fishermen exchanging every tonne of waste with either food supplies or some of their fishing requirements.

The third pillar is for the waste to end up at garbage disposal sites in order to separate between the recyclables, and the waste that is to buried.

“We know it is a long process, but the result is worth it,” Habib asserted.

The campaign kicked off with the support of the ministry of water resources and irrigation, the Nile Taxi, the Egyptian Rowing and Canoe Federation, as well as the Egyptian Rowing Club.

In its first Nile cleaning event which took place last month, 250 volunteers managed to take 1.5 tonnes of waste out of the Nile within only two hours of work.

“We knew it was terribly polluted, but we did not believe what we found!” Habib said, further explaining, “Broken ceramic sinks, old clothes, blankets, and all shapes and sizes of plastic bags and boxes were some of what we came across at the two spots we cleaned the first time.”

He astonishingly pointed out, “We did not believe that people could ever think of getting rid of such things by throwing them into the Nile!”

Among the things that touched the volunteers’ hearts the most were the Nile creatures which lost their lives from the plastic waste.

Habib explained, “We found small creatures that were stuck in water bottles, and others which seemed to be dead from other refuse.”

He added that the volunteers did not leave the two locations without having them totally waste-free and clean, “at least we removed the waste we could see.”

When it came to funding the cleaning equipment used in the process, the embassy of New Zealand and the International Organisation of Migration supported the team.

“It started with me writing on my personal Facebook account that we are organising a cleaning event soon, and we are in need of peoples’ help with the tools. Not so long after, dozens of people offered to purchase the equipment with their own money,” Habib stated.

The campaign aims to expand from the centre, focusing on all the governorates which the river passes by, and on a larger scale, the countries as well.

Since the first day of launching, Verynile revealed Egyptians’ positive interacting towards one of the essential sources of life, water.

Furthermore, Habib happily stated, “Just by opening the call for our first event, we received 600 applicants within a few hours. So far, we received over 4,000 volunteering requests in less than a week which led us to close the registration until we were able to handle this number of applications.”

According to Habib, Dozens of schools, student activities, as well as corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments in private sector institutions also reached out to the team, seeking to become a part of the campaign.

Despite the huge encouragement for the team, there are several challenges which are slowing their progress.

“We need to take all the permits for the campaign, and this takes time. But the most important thing is to take good care of the volunteers’ physical wellbeing. This is the hardest and most crucial challenge. We are aware that waste might be contagious,” Habib further elaborated.

As a precaution, the team requested from every volunteer to wear a life jacket and specific boots.

The Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty previously said that plastic waste is severely affecting the marine life and the river’s eco-system. He added that Egypt annually removes 7.5m tonnes of waste from the river Nile. Abdel Aty added that the ministry has a plan to clean all the water resources by 2037, with an allocated budget of billions of Egyptian pounds.

The campaign is currently organising its second event, which is planned to take place next month.

“We seek to have a bigger gathering next time to clean several spots, one in Cairo and in other governorates where the river is most polluted,” Habib concluded.


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Stay with those who commit to promises… Stay with El sabea Auto https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/stay-with-those-who-commit-to-promises-stay-with-el-sabea-auto/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/stay-with-those-who-commit-to-promises-stay-with-el-sabea-auto/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 09:30:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686852 Because the confidence of our customers is the foundation of our success, El sabea Auto announces its commitment to its promise and offers cash refunds to customers who purchased cars from 14 November to 31 December 2018. We invite our customers to contact us through 16449 or go to visit our showroom at 40 Nozha …

The post Stay with those who commit to promises… Stay with El sabea Auto appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Because the confidence of our customers is the foundation of our success, El sabea Auto announces its commitment to its promise and offers cash refunds to customers who purchased cars from 14 November to 31 December 2018.

We invite our customers to contact us through 16449 or go to visit our showroom at 40 Nozha street.

The advantages of dealing with El sabea Auto are that we offer the best prices after customs exemption so you can purchase your luxurious European car Citroën C-Elysée and take advantage of its premium prices.

Furthermore, El Sabea Auto introduces three categories of vehicles which come in various colours: exclusive, comfort, and exclusive plus.

The all-new Citroën C-Elysée…designed for enjoyment

The Citroën C-Elysée comes with a third generation gear box EAT6 A/G transmission technology.

Plus, the brand-new C-Elysée is equipped with the latest technology for the third-generation automatic transmission AM6 III, which is a truly performance improvement upswing for the car. It has six gears EAT6 produced by the Japanese Aisin especially for the C-Elysée, based on the highest quality of the French company Citroen. The transmission is smooth in all its operating conditions: manual, automatic, sports, slippery roads, etc.

Moreover, the car provides maximum utilization of engine capacity, a low fuel rate, high acceleration and response.

Interior fittings and driving aids

The cabin is stylish, attractive and has a great range of technology to meet the needs of customers. It is equipped with a number of luxurious equipment and assistance, such as a 7-inch screen and information unit, multimedia, Bluetooth, rear camera, and parking sensors when car is on reverse.

In addition, the C-Elysée is also equipped with a smartphone mirror screen to operate smartphone functions through the touch screen or voice recognition which is compatible with all types of operating systems.

The C-Elysée also comes with a speed stabiliser, speed selector and a powerful air conditioning unit A\C Max, which gives the fastest cooling, a characteristic suitable for high temperatures, especially during short trips.

El sabea Auto offers the best instalment plans

For our esteemed customers, we offer the lowest down payment, the lowest interest, the longest repayment, and different instalment schemes to match all customer needs.

Your car is guaranteed by your bank deposit, so you do not lose your interest, in addition to all El sabea Auto services, such as insurance and licensing.

El sabea Auto customer service assistants are available all week from 9am to 11pm on the 16449 hotline.

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Digital payment company adapts to the digital environment in a move to become a symbol brand https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/digital-payment-company-adapts-to-the-digital-environment-in-a-move-to-become-a-symbol-brand/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/digital-payment-company-adapts-to-the-digital-environment-in-a-move-to-become-a-symbol-brand/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 09:02:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686887 Mastercard announced today that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in selected contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as the Mastercard symbol, will now stand on its own across the cards using the red and yellow brand mark. The accepted mark will be recognised at retail locations, both …

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Mastercard announced today that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in selected contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as the Mastercard symbol, will now stand on its own across the cards using the red and yellow brand mark. The accepted mark will be recognised at retail locations, both in the physical and digital worlds, as well as major sponsorship properties. As the consumer and commerce landscape continue to evolve, the Mastercard symbol represents the brand better than one word ever could, and the flexible modern design will allow it to work seamlessly across the digital landscape.

“Reinvention in the digital age calls for modern simplicity,” said Raja Rajamannar, the chief marketing and communication officer at Mastercard, adding, “with more than 80% of people spontaneously recognising the Mastercard symbol without the word ‘Mastercard,’ we felt ready to take this step in our brand’s evolution. We are proud of our rich brand heritage and excited to see the iconic circles standing on their own.”

The red and yellow interlocking circles have been the hallmark of the Mastercard brand for over 50 years, symbolising the brand’s promise to connect people to priceless possibilities. The instantaneously recognisable circles are a powerful symbol which bring people closer to their passions, and give them confidence and trust that their transactions are secure.

“We live in a time where we increasingly communicate not through words but through icons and symbols. Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles, one red, one yellow, since its founding in 1966,” said Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram. “Now, by allowing this symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands which are not represented by name, rather by only a symbol: an apple, a target, or a swoosh. Mastercard’s two interlocking circles have always represented their commitment towards connecting people. Currently, that commitment is given a greater presence by Mastercard’s status as a symbol brand.”

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MP calls for issuing bill to protect witnesses in terrorism, corruption cases https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/mp-calls-for-issuing-bill-to-protect-witnesses-in-terrorism-corruption-cases/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/15/mp-calls-for-issuing-bill-to-protect-witnesses-in-terrorism-corruption-cases/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 09:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686753 Some articles ensure protection of witnesses were added to expected new Criminal Procedure Law

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“I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth”, says an eyewitness inside the court hall to the judges before providing his testimony which represents a significant priority to all the attendees.

His words could change the entire course of the case, where it could prove the guilt or innocence of the defendants. Thus, due to the crucial role of witnesses, in any legal case, experts have previously suggested issuing a legislation to ensure and preserve the rights of witnesses and informants to protect them from any risks.

In several cases, witnesses could be exposed to threats and harassment if they provide a testimony that could condemn the defendant, and sometimes witnesses themselves avoid disclosing their testimonies for fear of being involved in the case or harmed by any side of the conflicting rivals.

Throughout recent years, several experts have called for the issuance of a bill to protect witnesses and informants in order to ensure their safety and reach comprehensive justice.

In 2017, member of the parliamentary committee of human rights and the parliamentary bloc of the Free Egyptians Party, Mohamed Al-Koumi, drafted a bill to protect witnesses but it was not passed by the council for undetermined reasons.

With the beginning of 2019, calls returned directly after the spokesperson of the Administrative Prosecution Authority (APA) Mohamed Samir has stated that Egypt needs to issue a specific legislation to protect witnesses. His statement came to encourage people to report any corruption they witness without fear of being harmed.

Some believed that issuing a law that will protect witnesses and informants is “necessary at the present time especially that state is currently facing many challenges that should be reported to the judiciary”, and others supported the suggestion stressing the necessity of issuing the legislation to be an complementary to the Egyptian constitution.

Meanwhile, a third side believed that there was no need to have a separate law to protect witnesses because the Criminal Procedure Law which is expected to be issued soon, will include a number of adequate provisions which will provide protection for witnesses and informants.

Suggested articles to protect witnesses in the Criminal Code

In 2107, the Egyptian Parliament started working on amending the existing Criminal Procedure Law, which marked the first time since its issuance in the 1950s and had already decided some amendments, which included articles ensuring the protection of witnesses.

The suggested articles stipulated that witnesses can assume his workplace or a police station as his residence if he wants to be safe, and can also allow the court or a lawyer to listen or hear the testimony of the witness without disclosing his data, and add his information in a subfile aside from the case document, but this only in cases where there are potential danger to his safety.

There is another suggested article which states imposing punishments on whoever discloses the information of the witness in a case if the issue is related to terrorism. The punishment could reach the death penalty if any harm occurrs.

Moreover, the defendant can hear the testimony of the witness but without knowing his name or any information about him, and can also appeal or reject the concealed identity of the witness if he believes that it is important to know his identity for the sake of justice.

Abdel Moneim Al-Alimy, member of the parliament’s constitutional legislative committee, said: “We do not need to enact new laws at the time because of the new suggested articles to protect the witness in the law of criminal procedure, which has been approved by parliament and is expected to come to light soon.”

Egypt’s Criminal Procedure Law, which is known as the country’s second constitution, is scheduled to witness a full amendment after the government has forwarded a draft of 320 articles to the parliament for discussion, and will be dissolved by the end of January.

Other Parliamentary views

The proposal raised controversy among a number of parliament members who were divided over whether Egypt really needs to specify separate legislation to protect witnesses or simply have some articles in the Criminal Procedure Law granting the witness his full rights.

“Testimonies are the strongest and most powerful information in determining rights and arriving at justice, therefore we should have a law that contributes to the protection of the witness and helps him to testify in complete secrecy without endangering his life,” said Gamal El-Sherif, member of the constitutional and legislative affairs committee of the parliament.

“In many cases, people get afraid to report cases or present themselves from becoming witnesses. Also, many of those who testified were subjected to harassment,” El-Sherif continued, stressing that this bill would protect witnesses and help protect freedoms and rights.

The draft law on the protection of witnesses has been discussed by the committee of constitutional and legislative affairs but it has not been issued so far, the member said.

The deputy of the constitutional and legislative affairs committee Nabil Al-Gamal said that this bill is required at the present time in order to fight corruption.

Both members supported calls for issuing legislation which protects witnesses as an implementation of the articles in the 2014 Egyptian constitution.

“It is important to have legislation to protect witnesses and informants from any dangers,” Al-Gamal asserted.

He also added that there are many agreements obligating Egypt to develop a law to protect informants and witnesses.

Margaret Azer, the undersecretary of the human rights committee of parliament criticised the absence of the legislation and its delay, saying that there should be real guarantees to prevent disclosure of witnesses’ statements.

Hazim Mounir, former member of parliament’s human rights committee, also expressed his full support for the draft law protecting witnesses, as it represents an important tool to combat crimes and corruption in Egypt, and contributes to the reduction of terrorist operations, and makes witnesses feel safe and secure when testifying. He also said that the country’s security situation necessitates the need to issue this law as soon as possible.

Member of parliament Fouad Hasballah said that Egypt needs to have legislation to protect the witness, pointing out that any advanced legislative system must work to protect witnesses so as not to be subjected to harassment or persecution.

“It is considered necessary to put in place security measures to protect and ensure the safety of the witness or his or her family members, relatives or property, against any damage he may suffer as a result of his testimony,” the member asserted, noting that over the past years, Egyptian constitutions have been free from any stipulations that provide protection to informants and witnesses, but the constitution addressed this matter and ensured that it would provide them with protection, which renders the proposed bill complementary to the constitution.

The Anti-Corruption Convention signed by Egypt in 2003 and ratified in 2005 obligates each state party in article 25 to adopt the necessary legislative and other measures against the use of physical force, threats, intimidation, or promise of incitement to give false testimony or to interfere in the testimonies.

According to article 32 of the Convention against Corruption, each state party shall take appropriate measures in accordance with its domestic legal system and within its means to provide effective protection to witnesses and experts who testify concerning criminal acts, as well as to their relatives and other persons closely related to them, or against any possible retaliation or intimidation.

Several states have passed legislation to protect witnesses and preserve the confidentiality of their data, particularly in sensitive cases where the lives of witnesses are endangered.

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