Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 24 Jun 2018 12:00:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Rare marine turtle saved from being sold at fish market in Suez, returned to natural habitat https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/rare-marine-turtle-saved-from-being-sold-at-fish-market-in-suez-returned-to-natural-habitat/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/rare-marine-turtle-saved-from-being-sold-at-fish-market-in-suez-returned-to-natural-habitat/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 12:00:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663599 The Ministry of Environment announced on Saturday saving a rare turtle from being sold in Suez and returning it to its natural habitat in the governorate. Marine turtles are globally at threat of extinction and locally, it is forbidden to catch or eat them. The ministry’s statement did not clarify the exact type of the …

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The Ministry of Environment announced on Saturday saving a rare turtle from being sold in Suez and returning it to its natural habitat in the governorate. Marine turtles are globally at threat of extinction and locally, it is forbidden to catch or eat them.

The ministry’s statement did not clarify the exact type of the turtle. However, it described it as an extremely rare type that is globally at threat of extinction. 

The old sea turtle was set to be sold at one of the fish markets in Suez, when a member of the Blue Team organisation, an NGO standing for environment-saving causes and raising people’s awareness of environmental threats, noticed it and contacted the enlivenment affairs section at the ministry and requested to save it.

The owner of the fish market told local media outlets that he had bought the turtle from a fish trader who catches and sells them for “huge amounts of money.”

The Ministry of Environment’s press release stated that the market owner immediately handed the turtle to authorities to return it to its natural habitat once he learned it is a rare kind of sea turtle.

The owner also told a local media outlet that he did not know that this kind of turtle faces extinction when he bought it from the trader, adding that he was “not aware how rare this type is.”

The ministry, with the help of experts from the National Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries, returned the turtle immediately to Al-Sadat beach in the Gulf of Suez, where it is believed to have originally lived.

Pictures of the marine turtle being set back to sea went viral on social media as people curiously followed the process of releasing it.

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New temporary exhibition of Islamic civilisation artefacts kicks off in Suez  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/new-temporary-exhibition-of-islamic-civilisation-artefacts-kicks-off-in-suez/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/new-temporary-exhibition-of-islamic-civilisation-artefacts-kicks-off-in-suez/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 11:00:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663603 The Ministry of Antiquities organised a new temporary exhibition in Suez, under the name Gems of Islamic Civilisation, with the aim of letting as many citizens as possible discover the Egyptian heritage that is only available to Cairo’s inhabitants. The exhibition, taking place in the Suez National Museum, showcases 51 Islamic relics which reflect the …

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The Ministry of Antiquities organised a new temporary exhibition in Suez, under the name Gems of Islamic Civilisation, with the aim of letting as many citizens as possible discover the Egyptian heritage that is only available to Cairo’s inhabitants. The exhibition, taking place in the Suez National Museum, showcases 51 Islamic relics which reflect the history of the civilisation and its achievements. 

The exhibition follows the strategy that outgoing minister of antiquities Khaled El-Anany established, which is organising several temporary exhibitions inside Egypt and abroad, with the aim of introducing Egypt’s ancient civilisation to as many people as possible. For two months, Suez residents will get to see some artefacts that will see light for the first time, and get to know each displayed relic and how people of the Islamic era used it.

Elham Salah, head of the museums’ sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the exhibition is part of the ministry’s long-term plan of establishing several temporary exhibitions in several Egyptian museums of different governorates in order to display various Egyptian artefacts that are in storage or were recently discovered, according to state-owned media outlet EgyNews.

The exhibitions include artefacts that were used in homes, including pottery from different Islamic eras. The displays differ in shape and size, each with a description for its use.

The exhibition is the second temporary exhibition in the Suez National Museum, after Beauty Icon Over the Centuries took place last April. The first temporary exhibition showcased the tools Egyptian women used in taking care of their beauty over the years. The ancient relics showcased the steps and tools Egyptian women used to care for their skin, hair, and makeup over the centuries.

The temporary exhibitions strategy started to ramp up in the last year, with the direct supervision of El-Anany.

The first exhibition showcasing Egyptian artefacts in a foreign country, as part of the new policy, kicked off in Toronto, Canada in March, displaying the heritage and monuments of the Egyptian Fatimid era, and another displaying the artefacts of the cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, which were discovered under water after being lost for 1,000 years before they were found accidentally, while a third exhibition will soon be inaugurated for jewellery from ancient Egyptian eras. Tutankhamun is one of the most famous temporary exhibitions El-Anany inaugurated earlier this year. It opened in Los Angeles in March.

The exhibition showcased 166 objects belonging to Tutankhamun, which were transferred from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, including alabaster pots, wooden boxes, and statues of the pharaoh. According to the museum, all of the 3,500 tickets for the first day of the exhibition were sold out, which led the museum to extend its opening for three additional hours after the official working hours, as regulations forbid hosting more than 100 persons inside the museum at a time.

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Balkan Egyptian week kicks off in Kosovo with hopes for connection with ‘motherland’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/balkan-egyptian-week-kicks-off-in-kosovo-with-hopes-for-connection-with-motherland/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/balkan-egyptian-week-kicks-off-in-kosovo-with-hopes-for-connection-with-motherland/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 10:00:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663542 Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass presents celebration, meets Kosovan president

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Pristina, Kosovo – The Egyptian community in Kosovo began on Wednesday activities as part of the celebration of Balkan Egyptian week.

A delegation from Egypt, which included Egyptian archaeologist and former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass, Nour Tamimi, responsible for the Balkan-Egyptian file at the Egyptian Supreme Council of Culture, and Daily News Egypt, invited to present the activities of the week. Veton Berisha, member of Kosovo’s parliament and head of the Egyptian liberal party in Kosovo, Isa Osmani, adviser to the Kosovan prime minister, and leaders of the Egyptian community received the delegation.

During the first day, the delegation attended an opening of a football match organised by the community. They also visited the cultural centre in Fushë Kosovë and watched a traditional celebration, including dances and songs.

On Thursday, the delegation met with Kosovan President Hashim Thaçi, who welcomed the delegation and was thankful for Egypt’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state. He added that Egypt is a country with great importance for the world, expressing hope for greater cooperation and communication between Egypt and Kosovo.

After the meeting with the president, the group moved to Macedonia where they were received by Asaf Ademi, the Macedonian minister of culture, who welcomed the delegation, stressing the importance of developing the cultural relations between his country and Egypt. Hawass invited the minister to visit Luxor to observe one of his field work missions.

In 2010, in memory of the first assembly of an association of Balkan Egyptians that was held in Ohrid, Macedonia, on 24 June 1990, the Second Congress of the Union of Balkan Egyptians decided to celebrate 24 June as the International Day of Balkan Egyptians.

According to Berisha, the activities of the week are being held under the auspices and support of the Kosovan government, which also funds all activities. He told Daily News Egypt that holding the activities of the week in the three countries only and not in all Balkan countries is because Balkan Egyptians are more organised in those countries, while they have no strong communication with the rest of the community in other Balkan countries such as Montenegro, Serbia, and Bulgaria. He explained further that the Egyptian community in the Balkans is looking for more connection, communication, and cooperation with their country of origin, Egypt.  

After his meeting with the Egyptian delegation and Egyptian community in Kosovo, the Kosovan Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj told Daily News Egypt that his country respects cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity, and considers it a special asset for Kosovo. He added that the Egyptian community in Kosovo “survived their identity in very difficult times, and they managed good relations with the [Albanian] majority of population here. Today the Egyptian community in Kosovo is constitutional and guaranteed a seat in parliament and role in the government.”

Commenting on their attempts to connect with Egypt, Haradinaj said, “I think it is justice, and a right thing to do, they missed this opportunity for centuries, now finally that is possible [for them].” He also thanked Egypt for recognising the independence of Kosovo and justified not having an embassy in Egypt due to the limited capacity and budget of his country.    

Haradinaj stressed that the government of Kosovo will continue supporting the Egyptian community in Kosovo, including its cultural, educational, and identity needs, but will first of all make the utmost effort to work on its economic development.

On Friday, the speaker of Kosovo’s parliament, Kadri Veseli, received the Egyptian delegation, saying that Kosovo is a country where all citizens feel free and equal, regardless of any ethnic or religious differences.  

“The Egyptian community made a valuable contribution in building the inter-ethnic coexistence, which is an honour for our country in the world today,” he said, adding, “it is a fact that the Kosovan Egyptians are facing the same challenges and problems of all the citizens of Kosovo.”

Hawass gave a speech before a number of Kosovan Egyptian women in parliament. During his speech, Hawass spoke about the role of women in policy making and leadership in ancient Egypt, and how they were respected. He added that he believes that Kosovo is a model of treatment and representation of minority communities.

About 3,000 years ago, Egyptians travelled to the Balkan Peninsula during the prosperity and glory of the Egyptian empire. During the iron revolution, at the time of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt, the Pharaohs Seth I (1294-1279BC) and Ramesses II (1279-1213BC) sent Egyptian slaves to bring iron from contemporary civilisations such as Anatolia, the Balkans, North of Apennine, Cyprus, and Peloponnese.

Descendants of some of those Egyptian migrants are still there, distributed across the states of the Balkan Peninsula. Since the 1970s, Balkan Egyptians started to demand a separate Egyptian category to be included in official census statistics in their nations.

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Trump attempts to push ‘deal of century’ past Arabs, Palestinian rights uncertain https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/trump-attempts-to-push-deal-of-century-past-arabs-palestinian-rights-uncertain/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/trump-attempts-to-push-deal-of-century-past-arabs-palestinian-rights-uncertain/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:00:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663474 White House adviser addressed Middle East leaders last week amid PA rejection

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US President Donald Trump announced on 6 December 2017 his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in an historic, unprecedented recognition of the city as solely the capital of Israel, breaching international resolutions on the status of the occupied holy city.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu triumphed, Palestinian rejection of the declaration was echoed by 128 member states of the United Nations General Assembly, which voted in favour of a non-binding motion against the US move.

For Palestinians demanding East Jerusalem as their capital, supported by Arab countries, the US had taken an unacceptable bias that will have a negative impact on the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, given that no agreement on Jerusalem’s status will be agreed upon until the final stages of the process.

The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry supported that argument and said the move halted efforts to resume peace talks.

Nonetheless, Trump revealed his intention to proceed with peace efforts. The Palestinian Authority, however, said it no longer considered the US as leading the process.

Nearly five months after the declaration, the US administration is trying to advance its plan, even as the Palestinians will not yet sit at the negotiating table.

Touring the Middle East in May and June, US officials have reportedly been trying to rally in favour of the so-called “deal of the century”.

Shortly after being sworn in as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo travelled to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Speaking from Amman, he noted that Washington was fully supportive of Israel’s “right to defend its borders.”

The comments followed weeks of tensions at the Gaza-Israel borders, over which Israel was accused by human rights observers to have unjustifiably used excessive force against Palestinian protesters, killing dozens and injuring thousands.

Earlier this week, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt met with leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan in separate visits.

US officials said they discussed with Arab leaders “ways to provide humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Gaza, and the Trump administration’s efforts to facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” according to statements issued by the White House on the matter.

“Kushner offered an overview of the US administration’s efforts and contacts underway aiming to put the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis back on track, and to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” a statement from the Egyptian presidency said.

Previously thrown into doubt to some extent by the US embassy move and currently sparking fears of undermining Palestinian rights, the deal is yet to be unveiled, but some details about it have leaked.

What we know about the US deal

Trump dropped the US commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The outline of the new deal, which is yet to be finalised, includes improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas and besieged by Israel on one side and facing restrictions by Egypt on the other, has suffered dire conditions in past years, long signalling a simmering situation about to boil over.

According to a report by Haaretz last week, the Trump administration would seek to convince Gulf countries to invest between $500m and $1bn in economic projects mainly aimed at energy supply.

In his meeting with Kushner, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi asserted that overcoming the humanitarian crisis in the strip is a mutually pursued effort. For its part, Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing for longer periods than usual in past months.

Egypt has also brokered a reconciliation plan between the two Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, which is currently in a difficult but ongoing implementation phase.

Egypt refuted previous claims that the deal would relocate Palestinians to the Sinai Peninsula, but new reports on the plan said it would include the construction of a port in northern Sinai.

As Haaretz reported last month, “the plans being considered include a new industrial zone, desalination plants and plants making construction materials in northern Sinai.”

But the Palestinian issue is not only about the Gaza Strip, but also includes demands of historical rights, feared to be compromised by the US deal.

“There are enough facts known about it to cause serious alarm among Palestinians and in the wider Arab and Islamic worlds,” a report by Carnegie Endowment said in February.

The report said the deal seems to ignore East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, aiming to use Arab pressure to make Palestinians accept an arrangement that deprives them of essential issues, such as the right of return.

Palestine’s stance towards US

The Palestinian Authority (PA) clearly established that it no longer accepts US mediation. The official position has been a diplomatic boycott of the Americans.

Trump “is burying the two-state solution,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told France 24 in January. “All the decisions taken by President Trump are only killing and destroying people like us: Palestinian moderates, Palestinians who believe in negotiations, Palestinians who don’t want to use violence.”

The US also made escalatory moves when it decided to cut its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by more than half and refused to renew the Palestinian bureau’s license in Washington.

In June 2017, Kushner and Greenblatt were sitting in Ramallah with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in what the White House described as “a productive meeting,” where they “reaffirmed their commitment to advancing President Trump’s goal of a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

This followed a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, after which the US said it would discuss upcoming steps.

What followed was a US stance fully supportive of Israel and its choice of 14 May as the day of its embassy opening in Jerusalem, coinciding with the so-called Israeli Declaration of Independence, amid an international diplomatic boycott.

The celebration ignored the painful commemoration of the Nakba Day for Palestinians, who were still mourning and burying their dead killed by Israeli forces just ahead of the embassy opening.

With regards to the recent US decisions, PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina rejected the American plan, saying it used humanitarian slogans to separate Gaza from the West Bank and push to give up Jerusalem, calling for Arab and international support.

East Jerusalem, a Palestinian capital

A two-state solution along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state remains the approach of the Arab and international community.

In his recent visit, Kushner was reportedly told by the Jordanian and Egyptian leaders that they would remain committed to that demand.

Much of the land the Palestinians seek is now occupied by illegal Israeli settlements.

Several Arab writers also voiced their rejection of a deal that would require Palestinians to give up their right to sovereignty in exchange for humanitarian aid. Some warned that internal Palestinian division would be the best chance for such plans to be imposed.

“It is about annulling the Palestinian cause and enforcing the occupying entity,” wrote Talal Salman, who heads the Lebanese As-Safir newspaper.

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Egyptian banks’ aggregate financial position breaks $5tn end-March 2018: CBE https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egyptian-banks-aggregate-financial-position-breaks-5tn-end-march-2018-cbe/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egyptian-banks-aggregate-financial-position-breaks-5tn-end-march-2018-cbe/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 08:00:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663478 EGP 24.376bn total profits in market, top five banks account for 64.875%

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The total financial position of banks operating in the local market peaked to over EGP 5tn at the end of March 2018, reaching EGP 5.109tn for the first time in the history of the Egyptian banking sector, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

In a recent report, the CBE said that the aggregate financial position of Egypt’s top five banks reached EGP 3.359tn, equivalent to about 65.751% of the total financial position of the banking sector. The financial position of the top 10 banks scored EGP 3.885tn, making up 76.056% of the market total.

According to the CBE, banks operating in the Egyptian market had a net profit of EGP 24.376bn by the end of March 2018.

It pointed out that the top five banks acquired about 64.875% of the total profits realised by the banks operating in the Egyptian market, as the value of profits realised by those banks stood at EGP 15.814bn.

The top 10 banks posted profits of EGP 18.16bn, equivalent to about 62.666% of total profits.

According to the CBE, these profits were realised from 1 January 2018 to the end of March 2018 for private banks and sfrom 1 July 2017 until the end of March 2018 for government banks.

The list of the banks is topped by the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Commercial International Bank, Banque du Caire, and QNB Alahli.

The report stated that net returns achieved by the banks operating in Egypt until the end of March 2018 amounted to about EGP 45.493bn. The share of the top five banks reached EGP 28.877bn, equivalent to 63.475%. The largest 10 banks accounted for EGP 33.094bn, equivalent to 72.745% of total revenues achieved by the banking sector.

It noted that the net operating income of the banks reached EGP 71.03bn, with the top five banks accounting for EGP 47.403bn (66.736%), and the top 10 banks denominating EGP 53.394bn, or 75.171%, of the total.

According to the CBE, the return on average assets (ROAA) for banks operating in the Egyptian market was 1.5% at the end of March 2018, down from 2% at the end of December, September, June, and March 2017. The ROAA for the top 10 banks scored 1.4%, while the top five’s was 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the return on average equity (ROAE) fell to 21.5% in March 2018, down from 30.9% at the end of December, September, June, and March 2017. It scored 20.5% for the top 10 banks and 20.3% for the top five.

In addition, the net profit margin was 3.9% at the end of March 2018, versus 4.6% at the end of December, September, July, and March 2017. The top 10 banks scored an average of 3.6%, while the top five scored 3.5%.

On the other hand, the volume of bank expenses by the end of March 2018 reached EGP 46.654bn, of which about EGP 31.589bn (67.709%) was realised by the top five banks and EGP 35.235bn (75.524%) by the top 10.

That jump in expenses comes alongside a recently mounting interest among banks to modernise their infrastructure, as well spread geographically through mini and regular branches, as well as ATMs and POS machines, in order to reach clients across Egypt, which has weighed on expenses.

The ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) at banks operating in the Egyptian market fell to 4.5% of their total loans portfolios at the end of March 2018, versus 4.9% in December 2017, according to the CBE.

In a recent report on the financial soundness of banks, the CBE stated that the NPLs ratio amounted to 3.2% of the total loans in the top 10 banks operating in the Egyptian market, while the ratio reached 2.7% among the top five banks.

According to the CBE, the banks made provisions of 98.7% of the total NPLs in March 2018. The ratio of these provisions amounted to 100% in the top 10 banks operating in the Egyptian market.

The report also noted that the total volume of provisions amounted to EGP 114.296bn at the end of March 2018 and the top 10 banks in Egypt had a share of EGP 68.373bn of these provisions, while the top five banks alone accounted for EGP 57.646bn.

Moreover, the CBE stated that the banks set up reserves of EGP 222.875bn at the end of March 2018, with the share of the top 10 banks amounting to EGP 172.498bn, while the volume of reserves at the top five banks reached EGP 146.626bn.

In addition, the CBE noted that the loan-to-deposit ratio (LTD) at banks operating in the Egyptian market increased to 44.7% in March 2018, up from 44.2% in December 2017. The ratio scored 42.3% at the top 10 banks and 43.4% at the top five.

LTD in local currency rose to 37.5% in March 2018 from 36.6% in December 2017. It also rose to 33.3% at the top 10 banks and 33.6% at the top five.

The ratio of loans to foreign currency deposits at banks also increased to 68.5% in March 2018, up from 68.4% in December 2017. The same indicator reached 72.6% at the top 10 banks and 81.7% at the top five.

The CBE explained that the private sector accounted for 61.8% of the total loans granted by banks until the end of March 2018, versus to 63.2% at the end of December 2017.

The private sector also accounted for 53.5% of loans granted by Egypt’s top 10 banks and 50.3% of loans granted by the top five.

“The total deposits at banks up to the end of March 2018 amounted to about EGP 3.467tn, of which the top 10 banks account for about EGP 2.565tn, while the top five banks account for EGP 2.173tn,” the report read.

The CBE added that the deposit to asset ratio (DAR) in March 2018 registered 68.1%, versus 69.2% in December 2017. The ratio stood at 66.2% for the top 10 banks and 64.9% for the top five.

The average bank local liquidity ratio in March 2018 fell to 40.3% from 44.9% in December 2017. It stood at 40.7% at the top 10 banks and 38.2% at the top five.

The average foreign currency liquidity ratio at all banks remained unchanged in March 2018, at 73.5%, from December and September 2017. It scored 75.2% at the top 10 banks and 75.6% at the top five.

On a related note, the CBE said that bank securities portfolios reached 13.3% of total bank assets in March 2018, against 14.2% in December 2017. This ratio was 14.3% for the top 10 banks and 13.8% for the top five.

It also pointed out that banks’ investments in securities and treasury bills amounted to EGP 1.662tn by the end of March 2018. The investments of the top 10 banks in securities and bills amounted to about EGP 1.303tn, and about EGP 1.098tn among the top five.

“The total capital of banks operating in the Egyptian market amounted to EGP 142.292bn at the end of March 2018,” according to the CBE.

The CBE added that the capital of the top 10 banks amounts to about EGP 91.125bn, while that of the top five banks scored EGP 72.994bn.

While the CBE refrained from naming the top five and 10 banks in Egypt, it is known that they include the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the Arab African International Bank, QNB Alahli, HSBC, Faisal Islamic Bank, the Bank of Alexandria, and Crédit Agricole.

Regarding the capital adequacy index, the CBE explained that the capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) at banks rose to 15.7% by the end of March 2018, up from 15.2% in December 2017. This ratio was 15.6% among the top 10 banks and 15.9% at the top five.

The ratio of the tier 1 CRAR rose to 12.5% in March 2018 from 12.1% in December 2017. The ratio was 12% for the top 10 banks and 12.1% for the top five.

According to the CBE, the ratio of banks’ common equity to risk-weighted assets stood at 9.3% in March 2018, compared to 8.8% in December 2017. The ratio was 8.3% for the top 10 banks and 5.5% for the top five banks.

Banks’ leverage ratio also reached 6.1% in March 2018, compared to 6% in December 2017. The ratio stood at 5.7% at the top 10 banks and 5.5% at the top five.

The CBE said that the percentage is recommended starting from the end of September 2015 through 2017 and is obligatory starting from 2018 with a lower margin set at 3%.

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7,500 projects implemented through Mastoura loan project https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/7500-projects-implemented-through-mastoura-loan-project/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/7500-projects-implemented-through-mastoura-loan-project/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 07:45:10 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663596 Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly announced in a press statement on Saturday that the number of projects implemented through the Mastoura loan project increased to about 7,500 with a total value of EGP 113m, after Nasser Social Bank received EGP 100m from the Tahya Misr Fund, representing the second phase of Mastoura. The Mastoura …

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Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly announced in a press statement on Saturday that the number of projects implemented through the Mastoura loan project increased to about 7,500 with a total value of EGP 113m, after Nasser Social Bank received EGP 100m from the Tahya Misr Fund, representing the second phase of Mastoura.

The Mastoura project was launched by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last year, corresponding with his declaration of 2017 as the year of Egyptian women, with total funds of EGP 250m.

Previously, Waly explained that the Mastoura project provides microfinancing to Egyptian women and also provides them with more opportunities for economic empowerment, as well as a greater capacity to create income sources to raise their families’ standard of living, and to enable them to contribute more effectively to society.

For his part, the deputy CEO of Nasser Social Bank said that the commercial projects are at the forefront of projects implemented by the beneficiaries, explaining that the total number of commercial projects reached about 3,271 projects with a total value of EGP 50m.

After commercial projects, animal production projects are the next highest, with about 2,425 projects worth EGP 40m. The number of industrial projects reached 318 projects worth about EGP 5m, and the remaining projects vary between services.

For her part, Amna Ahmed, one of the beneficiaries of the project who has three children and whose husband died 10 years ago, said that she was loaned a buffalo, not cash.

In that regard, she said that it is better than cash, as she exploits the buffalo in producing milk and cheese and is now known in her village for her superior milk and cheese.

She suggested that every woman who is able to work and does not have a fixed income should join the Mastoura project, describing it as a turning point in her life and pointing out that obtaining the loan from the project is very simple, as a woman just fills out an application for the loan, accompanied by a copy of her national ID and a statement of pension.

“The amount of the loan for Mastoura ranges from EGP 4,000-20,000 for women who are able to work but have no fixed income,” the minister previously said.

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Portugal to receive 400 refugees based in Cairo https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/portugal-to-receive-400-refugees-based-in-cairo/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/portugal-to-receive-400-refugees-based-in-cairo/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 07:15:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663572 Egypt welcomed an offer by Portugal to host a number of refugees currently residing in the country, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday. As a part of the cooperation between the EU and Egypt on the issue, Portugal offered to host 400 refugees in the years 2018 and …

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Egypt welcomed an offer by Portugal to host a number of refugees currently residing in the country, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

As a part of the cooperation between the EU and Egypt on the issue, Portugal offered to host 400 refugees in the years 2018 and 2019, in cooperation and coordination with local authorities and the UNHCR.

The statement came in response to queries from a number of diplomatic reporters about the news circulated about the possibility of Portugal receiving refugees residing in Egypt.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said that the fruitful cooperation with Portugal comes within the framework of the institutional dialogue between Egypt and the European Union on migration, and the efforts made by Egypt with the EU to resettle a number of refugees living in Egypt.

A meeting in Cairo between Egypt and the EU in December 2017 resulted in creating a framework and a general programme of cooperation, which included the recommendation of the European countries to resettle a number of refugees residing in Egypt in recognition of the responsibility and burdens borne by hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees.

The UK, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands have resettled hundreds of refugees in implementation of these recommendations and to activate the existing cooperation programme.

In Egypt, there are a total of 227,077 refugees and asylum seekers of 58 different nationalities currently registered with the UNHCR Egypt, according to the latest numbers from May 2018.

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Saudi inclusion in MSCI index to have marginal impact on Egypt’s stock market: report https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/saudi-inclusion-in-msci-index-to-have-marginal-impact-on-egypts-stock-market-report/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/saudi-inclusion-in-msci-index-to-have-marginal-impact-on-egypts-stock-market-report/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 07:00:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663470 EGX30 has been seeing outflows over past two months, dropping 9.2%

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A recent report issued by Beltone said that Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index would have a minimal effect on Egypt’s stock market, as sell-offs in the second biggest market in region have already been carried out.

The MSCI announced the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index effective June 2019, representing a weight of approximately 2.6% of the index with 32 securities.

This will follow a twostep inclusion process, the first of which will coincide with the May 2019 SemiAnnual Index Review, while the second will be in the August 2019 Quarterly Index Review.

The MSCI also announced the reclassification of the MSCI Argentina Index from Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets status.

In addition, the MSCI announced that it will include the MSCI Kuwait Index in its 2019 Annual Market Classification Review for a potential reclassification from Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets status.

 “This marks a strong acknowledgement of the reforms undertaken by the Saudi government, which included lower restrictions on international investors and the introduction of short-selling and T+2 settlement cycles,” the report noted.

The decision had been anticipated since the beginning of the year as the MSCI praised Saudi Arabia’s efforts to introduce capital market reforms that aimed at opening the local equity market to international institutional investors.

Index provider FTSE Russell upgraded Saudi Arabia to Emerging Market status in March 2018.

The CEO of the Saudi bourse expects minimum foreign inflows of $10bn from passive funds, with up to $40bn over the next year from the inclusion. He further added, during an interview with Bloomberg, that Tadawul is aiming to increase the foreign participation in the market from a current 5% to 20-25% in the next two years.

“We do not only see the inclusion as increasing foreign presence in the market and improving liquidity, but also as enhancing the quality of the flow entering the market, which we believe will be more geared towards long-term institutional investors that will provide a fundamental growth in the Saudi market,” the report added.

The report added that Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering will be another key trigger for the market, with a potential $50bn of assets added to the market.

Saudi is the third GCC country to be granted MSCI Emerging Market status, as the UAE (0.4% upon inclusion) and Qatar (0.45%) were included in 2013.

According to market reports, UAE and Qatar weights are currently much higher than when they were included in 2013.

The EGX30 has been seeing outflows over the past two months, dropping 9.2%, reflecting the potential inclusion of Saudi Arabia (TASI was up 3%). Thus, there is minimal impact from the materialisation of the decision on the local market.

The DFM and ADX were also down 5.2% and 3.3% respectively during the same period.

In addition, Egypt’s weight is relatively small, at less than 0.15%, which is believed could go down when the inclusion of Saudi Arabia becomes effective.

“We note Egypt’s weight was 0.25% of MSCI EM index in 2013 before the UAE and Qatar were upgraded to EM status,” the report concluded.

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Egypt’s consumer sector to fully recover by early 2019 as inflationary pressures ease https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egypts-consumer-sector-to-fully-recover-by-early-2019-as-inflationary-pressures-ease/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egypts-consumer-sector-to-fully-recover-by-early-2019-as-inflationary-pressures-ease/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 06:30:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663466 Market indicators suggest there was broad-based market slowdown in 2017

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A recent report issued by HC Brokerage suggests that Egypt’s consumer sector should be fully recovered by early 2019, with inflationary pressures expected to ease.

The research company raised Juhayna’s 12-month target price circa 36% to EGP 16.1 per share.

For Domty, it raised the 12-month target price around 29% to EGP 13.9 per share and therefore maintained its oeverweight rating for both companies.

Noha Baraka, an equity analyst in the consumers sector at HC Brokerage, stated that market indicators suggest there was a broad-based market slowdown in 2017 that was more aggressive than initially anticipated.

According to the report, the aggressive price hike environment posed a drag on volumes, which indicates that demand was more elastic to price increases.

“Although we expect to see an improvement throughout 2018, as already evident by Juhayna and Domty’s Q1 2018 results, the expected inflationary pressures stemming from another round of subsidy cuts in July will likely further weigh on private consumption,” the report said.

“In our view, our new estimates point to volumes being fully restored by early 2019, later than our previous H2 2018 forecast, as inflation moderates to an average 12.8% from an expected 15.0% this year on the upcoming round of economic reform measures and the fuel and electricity subsidy adjustments,” it continued.

The report still expects Domty to stand a better chance than Juhayna in terms of volume recovery despite fierce competition in part due to its cheese products, which are low-cost and relatively high-protein.

This is in addition to the company ramping up utilisation rates of its Domty Plus brand, which saw great acceptance from customers and has secured bulk sales to one of its big clients, Baraka added.

Over the short term, the report expects Domty’s margins to recover faster than Juhayna’s on a more favourable skimmed milk powder cost outlook, which is a key pillar for margin expansion.

“This, along with the company’s efforts to fully restore its raw milk price discount advantage, should accelerate margin recovery. Our numbers point to a circa 14% y-o-y drop in the blended milk cost in 2018. Notwithstanding this, the aggressive pricing strategy in 2017 allowed Domty to withstand a circa 13% higher EGP/USD rate, further supporting our estimates of a 5.6 pp margin expansion in 2018,” the report added.

As for Juhayna, the report estimates its blended milk cost will grow around 15% y-o-y in 2018 on a less favourable milk cost outlook, reflecting a higher EGP/USD rate given the depletion of the whole powdered milk inventory it had procured earlier at low prices.

However, this is expected to be largely offset by the price increases the company is planning to adopt throughout the year, thus implying a 1.3 pp increase in 2018 margins. Both companies’ ongoing cost efficiencies, by localising a big portion of their raw materials, continued sales’ mix shifts toward higher margin products, constant portfolio optimisation, and boosting retail sales should also support restoring margins back to historical levels, Baraka said.

“We also adopt a blended moving WACC to account for potential interest rate cuts, which translates to a lower average cost of capital than we previously used. We continue to add a oneyear semiexplicit period to our forecasts to account for the lower growth in perpetuity, which has a significant impact on our FCF calculation for the terminal year,” the report stated.

The report raised Juhayna’s 12-month target price circa 36% to EGP 16.1 per share with a new target price that implies a 2019 P/E multiple of 16.0x and EV/EBITDA multiple of 9.6x and offering a potential return of around 28% over the 4 June closing price of EGP 12.5 per share.

“We therefore maintain our overweight rating. In our view, the current valuation is compelling, with the stock trading at a circa 62% discount to its peers’ implied 2019 EV/EBITDA multiple of 19.0x,” the report added.

For Domty, the report raised the 12-month target price around 29% to EGP 13.9 per share.

“Our new target price implies a 2019 P/E multiple of 10.5x and EV/EBITDA multiple of 8.1x and offers a potential return of circa 27% over the 4 June closing price of EGP 10.9 per share. We therefore maintain our overweight rating. The stock is trading at a circa 60% discount to its peers’ implied 2019 EV/EBITDA multiple of 16.2x,” the report explained.

Finally, Baraka said that Juhayna remains HC Brokerage’s top pick within the dairy sector on a stronger balance sheet, a healthier cash flow cycle translating to higher FCF yields, and a higher potential return.

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Prosecution to investigate death of detainee in police station https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/prosecution-to-investigate-death-of-detainee-in-police-station/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/prosecution-to-investigate-death-of-detainee-in-police-station/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 06:15:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663569 Case escalates after family, friends of dead detainee protest in front of station

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The General Prosecution will open an investigation into the death of a detainee in the Hadayek Al-Quba police station, which took place on Friday after he was arrested and interrogated for theft-related charges.

The prosecution ordered the forensic adepartment to execute an autopsy of the body, and it also sent an investigation team to interrogate police personnel who were present when the incident occurred.

Ahmed Sayed, 28, was arrested at 7:00 pm on Friday. Sources from his family told Daily News Egypt that they received a phone call from an informant in the police station asking them to come collect the body from Al-Zaytoon Hospital and prepare governmental measures for the burial.

Police sources said that the detainee was arrested and suffered a stroke after entering the police station. He died after entering the hospital.

After the family heard about the death of their relative, dozens of people protested in front of the police station, demanding those allegedly responsible for the death of Sayed to be held responsible.

In response to the angry gathering, riot police were deployed and five people were detained. It remains unclear whether they were released.

Ahmed, one of Sayed’s friends, told Daily News Egypt said that the angry group wanted to file a report in the police station accusing the head of the investigation bureau for the death.

Hours after the protest, the Cairo security director ordered specialised bodies in the Ministry of Interior to investigate the case.

Similarly, newly appointed Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik announced that the case will be investigated by the prosecution.

Deaths in detention are almost unheard of in print and televised state media, which only report the incidents if the situation escalates—namely if the relatives of the deceased riot or protest, demanding officials be held accountable.

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Egyptian shares to resume rally soon amid fresh stimulus as economic reforms push on https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egyptian-shares-to-resume-rally-soon-amid-fresh-stimulus-as-economic-reforms-push-on/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egyptian-shares-to-resume-rally-soon-amid-fresh-stimulus-as-economic-reforms-push-on/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 06:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663465 Benchmark EGX30 index may retest resistance at 16,260, 16,336 points

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The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) is likely to see a sideways-to-rising performance amid new market-boosting catalysts, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s report regarding the latest review of the Egyptian economic reform programme it is backing.

Egypt will receive the fourth tranche of the IMF loan tied to the programme next July, Finance Minister Mohammed Moeit said.

The fourth tranche will be added to the Arab nation’s foreign reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Al Masry Al Youm reported, citing the minister.

The recently formed cabinet has not submitted any requests to the IMF regarding the extension of Egypt’s economic reform programme, set to end in 2019, or obtaining another loan, according to a reliable source.

The reform programme will be subjected to two reviews, scheduled in December 2018 and June 2019, a source at the IMF, who declined to disclose his name, said.

The indices of the EGX are expected to move upwards next week, the head of the capital market committee at the African Economic Council, Ayman Fouda, said.

The benchmark EGX30 index may retest resistance at 16,260 and 16,336 points if it settles above 16,100 points, and it could retest 15,780 points if it breaks support at 16,060 and 15,900 points, Fouda added.

The small- and mid-cap index EGX70 is still moving in a downward direction and it may retest 815 points if it breaks sub-resistance at 803 and 809 points, he added, pointing out that the index has support at 796 and 785 points.

He recommended investors trade on active stocks with positive financial results amid the short-term bearish trend, in line with buying on margin.

For his part, the customer relations manager at Arabeya Online, Michael Mamdouh Naguib, said that the EGX concurred with the ongoing sideways movement.

He added that the EGX30 has main support at 15,900 and 15,780 points, while its resistance will be seen at 16,209 and 16,400 points.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) closed last week’s trading session in green territory.

The benchmark EGX30 index jumped 202.29 points, or 1.25%, finishing the session at 16,345.77 points on the back of blue-chip stocks topped by the heavyweight Commercial International Bank’s (CIB) stock, up 1.62% to EGP 85.73.

Market capitalisation gained EGP 9bn and closed the session at EGP 917.7bn.

The small- and mid-cap index EGX70 went up 1.22% to 811.36 points, while the broader EGX100 index added 1.24% to 2,062.80 points.

Likewise, the equal-weighted EGX50 index levelled up 1.15% to 2,883.81 points.

Trading volume amounted to around 176.6m shares exchanged at a turnover of EGP 741.8m through 22,000 transactions.

Foreign investors were net buyers with EGP 64.4m, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers with EGP 61.2m and EGP 3.2m respectively.

Arab Cotton Ginning was the top gainer stock with 6.64%, followed by HADISOLB and Kima, which rose 4.615 and 3.01% respectively.

On the other hand, Telecom Egypt slipped 0.48%, followed by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank – Egypt (ADIB) and TMG Holding, which dipped 0.17% and 0.16% respectively.

Meanwhile, Maridive and Oil Services reported a 23.3% year-over-year rise in net consolidated profit for the first quarter of 2018, recording $6.9m from $5.66m.

Revenues surged to $54.75m during the three-month period ended last March, versus $46.72m in the prior-year period, the company said in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

Meanwhile, standalone profits dropped by 45.5% to $1.16m in Q1 2018 from $2.1m in Q1 2017.

Standalone revenues narrowed to $20.01m at the end of March, compared $20.55m in the same period of last year.

Noteworthy, Maridive last posted an 11.4% year-over-year increase in profits for the full-year 2017, recording $23.49m from $21.07m.

In other market news, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait – Egypt (ABK) reported a 58% year-over-year surge in net profit for the first quarter of 2018, recording EGP 109m. 

Operating income grew by 25% in the three-month period ended last March to EGP 287m as compared with the prior-year period, the bank said in a statement.

Deposits of clients rose by 18% year-over-year in Q1 2018 to EGP 20.7bn, the bank highlighted.

The bank’s total assets amounted to EGP 24.4bn in Q1 2018, versus EGP 21bn at the end of 2017.

Clients’ deposits and facilities increased by 9% in the three-month period as compared with the end of last year.

ABK achieved a growth of EGP 1bn in Q1 2018 and EGP 8bn in the past three years.

Meanwhile, four companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) were listed among Forbes Magazine’s 100 most powerful companies in the Arab world.

Commercial International Bank (CIB) came in the 38th spot on the list with sales of $1.8bn and profits of $421m.

Meanwhile, Elsewedy Electric was ranked 69th with around $362m in profits and sales of $2.4bn, while Orascom Construction was ranked 82nd with profits of $85m and sales of $3.7bn.

Moreover, Global Telecom Holding came in the 95th place among the 100 most powerful Arab firms with a loss of $41.8m and sales of around EGP 3bn.

Saudi Arabia still dominates a third of the list, with its Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and more than half of the companies operating in the banking and financial services sector being Saudi, according to Forbes.

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Palestinians injured in Friday protests hospitalised in Cairo https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/palestinians-injured-in-friday-protests-hospitalised-in-cairo/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/palestinians-injured-in-friday-protests-hospitalised-in-cairo/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 05:45:11 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663565 So far, 140 people killed, more than 13,000 injured during Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza

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Eight Palestinians who were injured during Great March of Return demonstrations were transferred on Friday to hospitals in Cairo to receive treatment after being wounded by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo said that they were transferred from Arish Hospital to Cairo.

Mass protests in the Gaza Strip have escalated since 30 March as Palestinians commemorated 70 years since the Nakba. 

Egypt opened several of its hospitals to treat wounded Palestinians due to lack of supplies and medical personnel in the Gaza Strip. Hospitals receiving inured Palestinians are mainly in Arish and Ismailia, with the wounded individuals entering through the Rafah border crossing.

According to the United Nations, the decade-long siege on the Gaza Strip has resulted in the deterioration of medical facilities in Gaza.

Israeli sharpshooters have so far killed around 140 Palestinian protesters and the Palestinian Health Ministry says thousands have been injured. The drastic approach taken by the Israeli army has been sharply criticised around the world.

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, with a sweeping majority, condemning Israel for killing Palestinians in Gaza and rejecting a US attempt to pin the blame on Hamas.

The resolution deplores Israel’s use of “excessive, disproportionate, and indiscriminate force” against Palestinians, particularly in Gaza.

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Petroleum Ministry, refining companies discuss developing production units before launching 87-octane petrol https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/petroleum-ministry-refining-companies-discuss-developing-production-units-before-launching-87-octane-petrol/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/petroleum-ministry-refining-companies-discuss-developing-production-units-before-launching-87-octane-petrol/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 05:30:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663561 The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) started discussions with fuel refining companies in the local market in order to develop petrol production units over the upcoming period so that they suit the trends of the sector to soon launch 87-octane petrol in the market, according to an official at the EGPC. The official told Daily …

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The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) started discussions with fuel refining companies in the local market in order to develop petrol production units over the upcoming period so that they suit the trends of the sector to soon launch 87-octane petrol in the market, according to an official at the EGPC.

The official told Daily News Egypt that there are eight refineries in the Egyptian market. Some of them operate in accordance with the latest international refining technology, such as the Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor). The remaining refineries will be developed throughout 2019.

The EGPC official pointed out that the date of launching 87-octane petrol has not been determined yet. It will first be preceded by thorough studies of the situation of the market as the 87-octane petrol will be more expensive than the 80-octane petrol, and hence a study of all aspects is required, especially in terms of price, including final cost and selling price.

The source pointed out that the Petroleum Ministry is keen on launching new kinds of high-quality fuel in the market. The first steps to implement this were taken before launching the Plus 95-octane petrol, which saw great demand from a wide segment of citizens, as it maintains the motors of vehicles.

Midor is currently expanding its joint venture with Enppi and Petrojet to increase the design capacity of the plant by 60%. The project will increase the current butane production capacity by 145,000 tonnes per year, 95-octane petrol by 600,000 tonnes, diesel by 1m tonnes, and jet fuel by 1.3m tonnes, in addition to boosting coal and sulphur production.

In a parallel context, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla participated in the fourth joint ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the non-OPEC producing countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna within the framework of the OPEC Ministerial Meeting No 174.

El-Molla said that Egypt’s participation in OPEC meetings comes at the invitation of the organisation to Egypt after its participation in the previous OPEC Ministerial Meeting No 173, held last November.

He said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum that, in recent years, world oil markets witnessed unprecedented cooperation between oil-producing countries, both within OPEC and other countries, which contributed significantly to gradually restoring the balance of the oil market.

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Egypt’s football team meets Chechen leader https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egypts-football-team-meets-chechen-leader/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/egypts-football-team-meets-chechen-leader/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 05:15:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663557 Meeting criticised over Chechnya's human rights record

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The Egyptian national football team met on Friday with strongman Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

before leaving their training base in the city of Grozny, capital of the Chechen Republic, to fly to Volgograd to play their last match in the World Cup, versus Saudi Arabia.

The meeting came after the Chechen leader invited the Egyptian team to an official dinner at the presidential palace.

Kadyrov granted the star Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah an honorary citizenship during the dinner.

The Chechen leader asked officials of the football federation, headed by Hany Abu Reda, to organise a friendly match between Egypt and their team.

Since the beginning of World Cup matches, the Egyptian team was hosted in Chechnya, with Grozny serving as their residence and training base between the three group stage matches. 

The decision to select Chechnya as the training base raised questions by human rights activists and criticised by several. On social media, controversy stirred after Salah was photographed with Kadyrov earlier this month, at the beginning of World Cup in Russia. Critics charged that the photo represented an acceptance of the Chechen leadership’s practices. Chechnya has long been criticised for its human rights record and its crackdown against political opponents and the LGBT community.

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Nitroglycerin: Novel reveals secret side of man once believed to be Egyptian hero https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/nitroglycerin-novel-reveals-secret-side-of-man-once-believed-to-be-egyptian-hero/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/nitroglycerin-novel-reveals-secret-side-of-man-once-believed-to-be-egyptian-hero/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 05:00:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663553 Prominent novelist Moustafa Obeid published his fourth novel, Nitroglycerin, in which he tackles terrorism. Published by Kayan Publishing House, Obeid tells the story of a well-known Egyptian extremist from the 1920s who assassinated several politicians.  The novel features another side of the terrorist, Obeid said, which was featured in one of the most famous of …

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Prominent novelist Moustafa Obeid published his fourth novel, Nitroglycerin, in which he tackles terrorism.

Published by Kayan Publishing House, Obeid tells the story of a well-known Egyptian extremist from the 1920s who assassinated several politicians. 

The novel features another side of the terrorist, Obeid said, which was featured in one of the most famous of the golden era’s films, “Fe Baytona Ragol” (A Man in Our House), based on a novel by prominent writer Ihsan Abdel Quddous.

The novel spotlights another side of the man who was featured as a national hero who fights for Egypt’s freedom against British occupation. As the story evolves, the novel tells of the rise of the terrorist and his assassination of important Arab politicians in Egypt and Syria.

Though handed three death sentences, the man escaped, and the story reveals the unknown side of the man once believed to be an Egyptian hero.

It also reveals the main events of his life since his childhood in Maadi to the transformation of his personality and the beliefs he harboured during his military service, and how he was used to kill the enemies of King Farouk.

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Malta, Italy migrant spat leaves German rescue ship in limbo https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/malta-italy-migrant-spat-leaves-german-rescue-ship-in-limbo/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/malta-italy-migrant-spat-leaves-german-rescue-ship-in-limbo/#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 00:59:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663580 The post Malta, Italy migrant spat leaves German rescue ship in limbo appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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An NGO rescue ship and a merchant vessel are waiting to disembark more than 300 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta and Italy have refused the Mission Lifeline rescue ship permission to dock.A migrant rescue vessel with more than 200 people aboard remained at sea in the Mediterranean on Sunday, as both Italy and Malta refused the ship permission to dock at their ports.

The Lifeline vessel belonging to the German NGO Mission Lifeline has been waiting in limbo since Thursday after picking up 239 people between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Italy’s new government has banned on NGO migrant rescue ships from docking at its ports and urged Malta to take in the Lifeline.

On Saturday, Italy’s anti-immigrant Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said migrant rescue ships can “forget” about docking at Italian ports.

“These boats can forget about reaching Italy, I want to stop the business of trafficking and mafia,” the right-wing leader of the League said.

The spat between Malta and Italy over the Lifeline echoes that of the Aquarius rescue boat earlier this month.

The Aquarius ultimately landed with nearly 600 rescued migrants in Spain after the new Socialist government there agreed to accept them, but not before highlighting deep divisions within the EU over migration.

Some 16 EU leaders are set to tackle the migration issue at a mini-summit on Sunday, ahead of a critical full European leaders summit later in the week.

Italy has taken in nearly 700,000 migrants and asylum-seekers since 2013, although numbers have fallen considerably in recent months due to EU action in the central Mediterranean and in northern Africa.

Read more: Where do EU countries stand on migration?

Rome’s government said the Lifeline disobeyed Italian coast guard orders to let the Libyan coast guard to rescue the migrants. It then ordered the Lifeline to Malta and threatened to impound to ship if it attempted to enter an Italian port.

Malta has said it is not responsible for the boat, even though it is now in Maltese rescue waters. On Saturday, Maltese authorities provided the boat with food and supplies.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told local radio on Saturday that the Italian government was right that the Lifeline intervened in Libya’s rescue zone and that the NGO failed to heed orders from the Libyan coast guard.

However, he said it was wrong for Italy to order the Lifeline to Malta.

Muscat said the German NGO ship was flying under a Dutch flag as a “pleasure boat” and as a result the Netherlands was responsible for ordering it to continue to another destination.

He added that a ship registered as a “pleasure boat” should not be carrying out rescue operations.

Mission Lifeline countered that the LIfeline is registered in the Netherlands and is suitable for rescue operations.

Meanwhile, the Danish-flagged Alexander Maersk cargo ship has also taken 113 people onboard and is awaiting a port to undock the migrants after receiving a distress call on Thursday. Mission Lifeline said they aided in that rescue.

Mission Lifeline has said saving lives at sea is a not a violation of law but an international legal requirement. It says returning migrants to Libya where they face possible human rights abuses is against international law.

Read more: Amnesty International claims EU ‘complicit’ in Libya migrant abuses

Meanwhile, the Franco-German-Italian NGO that runs the Aquarius called on EU governments to allow people rescued at sea to be brought a safe port.

SOS Mediterranee said EU training and financing of the Libyan coast guard to intercept migrants has “resulted in thousands of people being sent back to the ‘Libyan hell’ they were trying to escape.”

cw/sms (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)

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Toni Kroos and Marco Reus help Germany rediscover winning mentality https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/toni-kroos-and-marco-reus-help-germany-rediscover-winning-mentality/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/24/toni-kroos-and-marco-reus-help-germany-rediscover-winning-mentality/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 22:14:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663582 The post Toni Kroos and Marco Reus help Germany rediscover winning mentality appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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It was far from a perfect performance again Sweden, but the reigning champions have finally arrived at the World Cup. Toni Kroos and Marco Reus answered those critics who had questioned the German players’ hunger.Laid out in a line, the column inches written about Germany’s failings in the last week would have stretched from Berlin to Moscow and then south to Sochi.

After defeat to Mexico in their opening game, there was hardly an aspect of Germany’s game which wasn’t questioned and criticized by a furious media back home.

Some of the criticism was tactical; the midfield was absent, the full-backs were ill-disciplined and the center-backs were exposed.

Others singled out individuals. Coach Joachim Löw was accused of showing too much loyalty to his World Cup winners and Mesut Özil was a popular — or rather populist — target. Even the fans were said to be too quiet.

Others criticized the mentality of a generation of players who, having already reached the very top in Rio four years, were apparently no longer as hungry for success.

“Will they go out with their heads held high, in the knowledge that they’ve given absolutely everything for a common cause, one last time?” asked kicker magazine. “Or will they depart as fallen heroes? Failed by their hubris, satiation and ego?”

Read more: Opinion: Germany are beyond recognition

Wholesale changes

The German camp was besieged both by their Group F opponents in Russia and by their supposed allies back home. Drastic times call for drastic measures — and Löw acted, making four changes as Jonas Hector, Antonio Rüdiger, Sebastian Rudy and Marco Reus all came into the starting XI.

But despite an opening 10 minutes in which Germany pinned Sweden back inside their own penalty area, completing 122 passes to the Swedes’ six, the early breakthrough didn’t come and the same carelessness in possession returned.

Jerome Boateng’s blushes were spared by a combination of Manuel Neuer and a lenient video assistant referee who declined to intervene, despite Boateng appearing to foul Marus Berg in the box.

Read more: Toni Kroos’ curler rescues Germany at the last against Sweden

But there would be no safety net for Toni Kroos when the metronomic jewel in Germany’s crown inexplicably gave the ball away in the 32nd minute, and Sweden took the lead.

It happened to France in 2002, to Italy in 2010 and to Spain in 2014. And now, as things stood, reigning champions Germany were also going out.

Were the critics right? Was the desire simply not there? The players can convince themselves they’re fully focused but had everyone underestimated just how hard it is to motivate a team of world champions to go out and win a tournament they’ve already won? The precedents are certainly there.

Winning mentality

Then again, that’s not the attitude that has seen a player like Kroos win three Bundesliga titles, three German Cups, a La Liga title and four European Cups — the only German player who can claim that last stat.

It’s also not the attitude that has seen Marco Reus overcome World Cup heartache and recover from injury after injury to finally make his first World Cup start aged 29 — it was fitting that the Borussia Dortmund talisman got the equalizer just after half-time.

Now Germany started playing. Reus could have put them ahead but failed to make contact with the ball in the six-yard-box, substitute Mario Gomez saw a header well saved at point-blank range by Robin Olsen, and a long-range Julian Brandt effort crashed off the post – again.

By the time Kroos and Reus stood together over a free-kick on the edge of the box in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Germany had also been reduced to 10 men following Boateng’s dismissal and were staring at a draw which would have seen their World Cup destiny taken out of their hands.

But players like Kroos and Reus have learned a thing or two about destiny over the years and, after a quick roll of the ball and a foot placed to stop it, Kroos curled a majestic, curling shot into the top corner.

“You have to have the balls to just keep on playing like that after making such a mistake,” he told German public broadcaster ARD post-match. Moments earlier, he had been on his knees punching the turf in delight before standing up to pump his chest in the direction of the travelling fans. Vindication. Victory. Validation.

“A lot of people would have been happy to see us go out,” he said, a sentiment echoed by Reus. “But we’re not going to make it so easy for them.”

There’s some fight left in the world champions yet.

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Opinion: Germany are beyond recognition https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/opinion-germany-are-beyond-recognition/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/opinion-germany-are-beyond-recognition/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 21:48:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663584 The post Opinion: Germany are beyond recognition appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany might have beaten Sweden but the manner of victory suggests Germany have evolved into quite an unfamiliar team. Jonathan Harding comments from Sochi.After Saturday night in Sochi, it can no longer be denied. Germany has become a wild team, flying by the quality of individuals and hoping that their occasional flashes of determination will get them through.

A last-minute victory against Sweden cannot paper over the dramatic transformation this Germany team is currently in. Once an organized and structurally superior pass-and-move machine, Germany has become a fits-and-starts team, a spluttering car of an era hoped to have been left behind.

Read more: Toni Kroos’ curler rescues Germany at the last against Sweden

Joachim Löw, a World Cup winning coach, is mirroring his team. Bold team selections, desperate and tardy substitutions and a questionable tactical approach casts even the coolest of coaches in a somewhat unfamiliar light.

Wild but wonderful?

This team has twice played the occasion more than the game. Even before the World Cup, Germany showed signs they were becoming a nervy, disconnected and only sporadically dangerous team. In Russia, they have done nothing but confirm it.

Against Sweden, they were saved but not spared. Everything about Germany looks disjointed. Not even a spectacular winner can hide the fact Toni Kroos has turned into the loosest of cannons in Germany midfield. His passing was uncharacteristically poor at times. Defensively Germany still don’t appear to be able to position themselves well and their finishing remains a serious concern.

Read more: Kevin Kuranyi: ‘Joachim Löw must find the right words’

Perhaps this is how Germany play now. Like a drunk boxer swinging wildly in the dark, hoping to land a devastating blow before suffering too many to their own head. It’s exciting, thrilling even, but not the way this Germany team wants to be.

Their title defense will end very quickly if this mayhem continues, but if it doesn’t then this will be the game when Germany turned a corner. Winning ugly is part of winning a title — remember Algeria in 2014? It will be down to Löw to work his magic once again, but in a very different way to four years ago.

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Toni Kroos’ curler rescues Germany at the last against Sweden https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/toni-kroos-curler-rescues-germany-at-the-last-against-sweden/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/toni-kroos-curler-rescues-germany-at-the-last-against-sweden/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 20:08:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663586 The post Toni Kroos’ curler rescues Germany at the last against Sweden appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany have pulled their feet out of the fire in Sochi, scoring the decisive goal deep into stoppage time to ensure they remain masters of their own destiny in the World Cup group stages.Germany 2 – 1 Sweden
(Reus 48′, Kroos 90+5′ – Toivonen 32′)

Toni Kroos delivered a last-gasp free kick to rescue Germany in Sochi, curling the ball into the top corner from an acute angle. That goal averted a draw, a result that would have put Germany’s World Cup fate out of their hands.

Kroos’ spectacular finish offers redemption, though, and means that beating South Korea in their last game would guarantee them a spot in the last 16.

Fast start, sudden slip

Having promised to make a statement after losing to Mexico, Germany started the game like scalded cats, creating a host of chances and pinning Sweden back in the opening minutes. At one point, around 10 minutes in, Germany had completed 122 passes, versus just six on Sweden’s side.

Julian Draxler went close twice, as did Marco Reus moments later in this strong passage of play. But the early pressure did not pay, and once again, Germany looked susceptible even to the simplest counterattacks. Neuer was forced into an excellent save one-on-one against striker Marcus Berg, and minutes later, it was Jerome Boateng putting his body on the line to block a Berg shot.

Sweden’s third meaningful counterattack, after Toni Kroos conceded possession in his own half, provided the shock goal that threatened to eliminate Germany. Ola Toivonen controlled the decisive ball with his chest and lobbed Neuer from close in, despite pressure from Boateng.

Suddenly, Germany were staring their first ever group-stage World Cup exit in the face.

Reus and Kroos to the rescue

Veteran striker Mario Gomez was introduced at half time, replacing Julian Draxler, as Joachim Löw desperately sought goals. Yet the equalizer, moments after the restart, came from attacking midfield.

Marco Reus scored exactly the kind of scrappy goal a team in trouble needs, fortunately converting with an awkward contact off his left knee.

Jerome Boateng’s second yellow card late in the game provides yet another headache for Germany in their final group game against South Korea. He will be suspended.

Playing with 10 men for the last 10 minutes, Germany kept pushing forward. Substitute Julian Brandt hit the post twice in the closing minutes, and Timo Werner missed an easy chance to follow up with a rebound from Brandt’s second near-miss.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, it looked like Germany would be forced to cross a free kick from a very tight angle. But instead, Kroos laid it off short to Reus, improving the angle slightly. Reus tee’d the ball up and Kroos curled it beautifully out of the reach of Sweden’s keeper and into the top corner.

It might not have been easy in Sochi on Saturday, but Germany’s World Cup isn’t over just yet.

As it happened:

FT Germany 2-1 Sweden — It’s all over, Germany are still alive in the World Cup! Kroos saves Die Mannschaft in the dying seconds with a stunning set-piece. What a finish, and Germany breathe again!

90’+5 GOAL! Germany 2-1 Sweden — Kroos scores for Germany at the death! He plays a short free-kick with Reus and then whips a stunning shot inside the far post. It’s a wonderful goal by a wonderful player, who keeps Germany in the World Cup!

90’+2 Brandt hits the post! It’s just not Germany’s night (or tournament). The Leverkusen forward lets fly from distance and the ball crashes back off the post. It comes out to Werner, but too quickly for him to get a shot away.

90′ There will be five added minutes. Germany need a goal to keep their World Cup destiny in their own hands.

89′ Germany have never failed to win their first two group games before, but it’s looking like they will pick up that particular record tonight. Unless they can pull a rabbit out of the hat in the closing moments.

87′ Gomez goes close! The Stuttgart striker sends a thumping header at goal, but Olsen reacts with a superb one-handed tip over the bar. Fabulous save as we inch towards stoppage time.

83′ Neuer forced to punch away under pressure at the resulting free-kick. Sweden might not be done yet…

82′ Jerome Boateng sent off! Things are getting worse for Germany, who lose their first choice center back for a second bookable offence. He goes through the back of Berg in a relatively harmless area of the field and Germany are down to ten men. And of course Boateng will now miss the game against South Korea, which is increasinlgy looking like it will be Germany’s last at this World Cup.

78′ As we edge closer to full time, it’s worth remembering that Sweden would only need a draw against Mexico in their final game to go through. And given that Mexico are already through, that would leave Germany on the brink of a first round exit.

75′ Forsberg goes for goal with a stinging effort, but Neuer wasn’t going to be beaten from that far out.

72′ Almost an own goal by Lindelof as he stabs clear another dangerous cross by Werner, who has been much better in the second half since moving out to the left, the position occupied by Draxler in the first half.

70′ Germany seem to be in the process of grinding Sweden down here. If Germany win this game, it will be because Sweden are exhausted more than anything else. Sweden need to get hold of the ball., or make a change.

67′ Gomez sends the ball over from close range, but he was offside anyway, much to his relief.

64′ Kroos has a go from distance and then Gomez goes close. it’s wave after wave from the Germans at the moment.

61′ Desperately close to a second for Reus, but he can’t organize his feet in time to make contact with Kimmich’s dangerous low cross from the right. Was almost Germany’s savior again there, Reus.

58′ It’s end-to-end stuff at the moment. Both sides feel they can finish the other off.

56′ Chance for Germany! Werner, who looks far more comfortable on the left, drives into the box again and this time his cross is almost seized on by Hector, whose shot is saved. Hector a real outlet for Germany when he takes a gamble and goes forward.

53′ Ekdal is booked for cutting down Müller.

51′ Müller goes close with a glancing header from Kroos’ free-kick. Germany seem completely re-energised. Whatever Joachim Löw said at half-time has worked, although Germany still need a win to give themselves a good chance of going through.

50′ Germany are suddenly full of life and look more like the Germany we are used to seeing.

49′ Kroos goes close, pulling his low shot just wide from the edge of the box. Almost two goals in as many minutes for the Germans.

48′ GOAL! Germany 1-1 Sweden — Reus for Germany! Kroos finds Werner, who drives down the left and drills a low cross into the box that flicks off the toe of Gomez and is put in by Reus. Germany are alive!

46′ SECOND HALF. We’re back underway and Germany have made another change, with Mario Gomez on for Julian Draxler.

HT Germany 0-1 Sweden — Germany are 45 minutes away from going out of the World Cup. Germany haven’t been eliminated at this stage of tournament since 1938, and then they were not the tour de force they are nowadays. Sweden deserve to be ahead through Toivonen’s fine goal. Are we witnessing the end of the Joachim Löw era?

45′ Sweden chance again! Larsson’s free-kick finds Berg, who heads towards goal but Neuer plucks it from the air again. Fantastic save — another one — and you have to say Neuer as kept Germany in this game.

44′ Boateng has a go from 20 yards, but it drifts wide. Germany look out of ideas and it’s not even galf time.

41′ Chance for Sweden, who launch a swift counter-attack down the left through Forsberg. The ball is switched to Claesson, who affords Germany some time to readjust with a bad touch and then fires over. That could and possibly should have been a second for the Swedes.

38′ Gündogan has offered a little something since coming on. He drills a shot from distance that deflects on its way through, and Olsen shows great reactions to reach it and palm it away.

37′ Kimmich gets into a good position, but his cross drifts straight out of play. It’s as if Germany have forgotten how to play football.

34′ Germany all over the place. Defense being run ragged, game passing the midfield by, and attack is impotent. Big, big problems for Germany. The goal hadn’t exactly been coming, but the Swedes have been growing in confidence.

32′ GOAL! Germany 0-1 Sweden — Toivonen scores for Sweden! It’s a wonderful goal by Toivonen, who takes the ball on his chest and, under pressure from Rüdiger, beautifully lifts it over Neuer. Wow.

29′ Sweden put Germany under a litte bit of pressure with a couple of corners, but Werner gets it clear. Rudy is looking very down and doesn’t appear to be able to continue. A blow for him, and he is replaced by Gündogan.

26′ Speaking of stemming the bleeding, Sweden appear to have got to grips with Germany now after that fast start by the defending champions.

23′ Blood is streaming from Rudy’s nose and he is forced off to get that dealt with. He was caught accidentally by Toivonen.

20′ Reus rolls a throughball into the path of Müller but Ekdal forms a human brick wall to shield it from the Bayern Munich man.

18′ Sweden launch the ball into the Germany box. Lustig knocks it down for Berg, whose volley is blocked by Boateng.

15′ Germany almost permanently camped in the Sweden half, but they’re having to be patient as they try to break them down. Germany trying a bit too hard at the moment as they anxiously try to get that first goal.

13′ Huge save by Neuer! Rüdiger gives the ball away and Berg goes clean through but Neuer stands up to make a gigantic stop. Germany absolutely torn open there, and they look nervous at the back. A definite hint of a push by Boateng on Berg too…

10′ Germany close again! This time Reus gets to the byline and tries to cut it back to Werner in the six yard box, but Lindelof gets across to cut it out.

8′ Draxler goes close! The Paris Saint-Germain forward seems to get caught in two minds and ends up poking the ball narrowly wide of the far post. Draxler has been bright in the early stages.

6′ Germany have Sweden pinned back here.

4′ A positive start by Germany against a Sweden side who have stacked nine or maybe even ten men behind the ball.

3′ Germany chance! Kimmich seizes on some uncertain Sweden defending and his cutback finds Draxler, whose shot is cleared off the line. Hector’s shot was also blocked on the follow up.

2′ Joachim Löw looks tense on the touchline. It could be a long old night for him. How he’d relish an early goal for Germany.

1′ KICK OFF! We’re underway in Sochi.

19:55 The players are out and the anthems have been sung. We’re ready…

19:50 The players are just coming in from their warm-up, which means kick off is fast approaching. Will Germany get their World Cup defense back on track? Or are we about to witness a World Cup shock of seismic proportions? Almost show time…

19:45 Former Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi is writing a World Cup column for DW throughout the World Cup. He used his first one to call on Joachim Löw to start Marco Reus and Mario Gomez against Sweden. While Gomez remains on the bench, Kuranyi warns that the World Cup could be over much earlier than planned if they’re not careful.

19:40 Thomas Müller: “We have two hard tasks ahead of us in this group, we have to win both games. There is a lot of pressure. Sweden will defend deep. Sometimes you have to play fast to break down the opposing defence. But if you are not patient, this can backfire.”

19.35 There has been a lot of soul searching in the Germany camp in the days following their defeat by Mexico (who are virtually into the last 16 following victory over South Korea, by the way). Goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer was pretty honest when he said “we are our own toughest critics and we are disappointed and angry over our performance against Mexico. No one is shying away from responsibility. We talked about the game in the bus, and we talk at every meal. We say our opinion.”

More on Germany’s reaction in the wake of that shock defeat by Mexico.

19:30 There’s also mild surprise that Timo Werner has kept his place after an ineffective performance against Mexico. Mario Gomez was tipped by many to take his place as Löw opted for a more physical forward to lead the line, but the coach has kept the faith with the young RB Leipzig striker. For now.

19:25 Sochi has turned into a sea of yellow ahead of this game. Fans of Die Mannschaft are significantly outnumbered by their Swedish counterparts, as our man on the ground, Jonathan Harding, writes: Swedish fans turn Sochi yellow as Germany try to shake off doubts

19:20 But there is some surprise that Rudy has come in, not least from Germany captain from four years ago, Philipp Lahm. He has expressed his surprise on German TV channel ARD. Many were expecting Leon Goretzka, the man who impressed a year ago in the Confederations Cup, to be the heir to Khedira’s throne. Instead, Löw has gone with a more conservative option in Rudy.

19:15 It’s a huge decision by Joachim Löw to drop Mesut Özil, who has been an integral part of Löw’s Germany team since 2008. Leaving out the Arsenal man and Sami Khedira, who has also been a key player in the Löw years, could herald a changing of the guard if Germany get a positive result tonight, and the men that have replaced them — Reus and Rudy — play well.

19:10 Here are the starting XIs for both sides tonight…

19:05 The teams are in and Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira have been dropped. Sebastian Rudy and Marco Reus come in, with Mats Hummels replaced at the back by Antonio Rüdiger. Some huge calls there by Joachim Löw.

19:00 Hello everyone, and welcome to live coverage of Germany vs. Sweden from Sochi. Quite simply, Germany must win tonight otherwise they will be staring at a first ever first round exit at the World Cup. The stakes are high!

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Arab disappointment sealed as Tunisia World Cup dream vanishes https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/arab-disappointment-sealed-as-tunisia-world-cup-dream-vanishes/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/arab-disappointment-sealed-as-tunisia-world-cup-dream-vanishes/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 17:39:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663549 Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha will officiate his first World Cup match

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Saturday was another disappointing day for Arabs in the 2018 World Cup as Belgium hammered Tunisia 5-2 in the second round of Group G. The Eagles of Carthage are the last of four participating Arab teams to make their exit out of the tournament. The 21st edition of World Cup in Russia witnessed historic Arab participation, as four Arab football teams qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time in history; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Morocco. Unfortunately, none of them could make it to the competition’s Round of 16.

Today, Egyptian international referee Gehad Grisha will take charge of his first World Cup game when England faces Panama in the second round of Group G at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

The English team aims to confirm their qualification to the knockout stage at the expense of Panama, a team in real trouble after losing their first game 3-0 to Belgium.

Gareth Southgate, head coach of the Three Lions, hopes to score early in the game and avoid the last match’s scenario when Harry Kane scored a 90th-minute winner against Tunisia in the first round of Group G.

The English team relies on a number of English Premier League stars, including two-time top scorer Kane, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, and Tottenham’s Dele Alli.

The Panamanian side, which qualified for the first time to the World Cup finals at the expense of the United States, hopes to achieve a positive result in the Sunday game and maintain its chances of qualification to the next stage.

It will be the first encounter between England and their Panamanian counterpart.

Meanwhile, the second round of Group H will see interesting clashes: Japan v Senegal at Ekaterinburg Arena and Poland v Colombia at Kazan Arena.

Senegal will enter the game with three points gained from defeating Poland 2-1, seizing second place in the group.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane and co are looking forward to surpassing the Samurai that tops Group H in the first round after defeating Colombia 2-0.

Japan will fight to achieve a positive result in the match as it will witness the presence of the Japanese Princess Takamado, the first member of the Imperial Palace of Japan to visit Russia in 100 years.

The Poland v Colombia match will be both teams’ last chance to go further in the tournament. The Colombian side, whose star James Rodriguez won the top scorer award in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, are in trouble as they seek to defeat Poland to avoid mathematical problems.

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Parliament approves factoring, financial leasing law https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/parliament-approves-factoring-financial-leasing-law/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/parliament-approves-factoring-financial-leasing-law/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:26:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663546 Bill allows firms, licensed NGOs to practice microfinance activities, says Nasr

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The Egyptian Parliament approved on Saturday a factoring and financial leasing bill at a general session headed by Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, in the presence of Sahar Nasr, minister of investment and international cooperation, according to a ministerial press statement.

Nasr emphasised the factoring and financial leasing law’s importance as it integrates with a range of other laws that contribute to the economic reform programme’s implementation, adding that the Egyptian Parliament plays a vital role in issuing important laws in collaboration with Egyptian authorities.

Nasr noted that the factoring and financial leasing bill comes as part of the country’s attention towards developing its financial inclusion plans, as well as boosting investment and pushing economic activities to increase production and employment indicators.

Nasr added that her ministry, in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority(FRA) comprehensively reviewed the factoring activities in order to set specialised development plans as it provides diversified funding tools for projects, noting, “we benefited from the international experiences on setting the factoring and financial leasing law. Investment always requires opening new windows and creative financial tools.”

“The new law merges factoring and financial leasing activities in one law which also allows firms and licensed non-governmental organisations to practice microfinance activities in light of the FRA board members’ new measures, aiming to support entities that practice microfinance activities,” Nasr noted.

Nasr mentioned that the new law will help to reach societal segments that do not benefit from many financial services, noting that the bill is an additional incentive for small industries, which will help offer new job opportunities.

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Al-Sisi, Kushner discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace process https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/al-sisi-kushner-discuss-israeli-palestinian-peace-process/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/al-sisi-kushner-discuss-israeli-palestinian-peace-process/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:24:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663539 Kushner, his Middle East peace team also met King Abdullah of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met on Thursday with Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, as part of his Middle East tour that aims to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Thursday’s meeting was attended by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Abbas Kamel, the interim chief of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service. According to the Egyptian presidency, Al-Sisi explained to the American delegation Egypt’s latest efforts to counter militancy and terrorism.

He also expressed the keenness of the Egyptian state on enhancing its relations with the American administration.

Last August, the US withheld part of its military and financial aid to Egypt, denying the state $95.7m in aid and delaying a further $195m because of “its failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.”

Kushner was accompanied by special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to the US State Department, they discussed increasing cooperation between the United States and Egypt, the need to facilitate humanitarian relief to Gaza, and the Trump administration’s efforts to facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Kushner and his Middle East peace team followed their meeting with Al-Sisi with other meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Fuel price hikes are credit positive: Moody’s https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/fuel-price-hikes-are-credit-positive-moodys/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/fuel-price-hikes-are-credit-positive-moodys/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:21:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663537 Egypt's credit rating to return back to BB+ by end of economic reform programme, says banking expert

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Last Saturday, Egypt’s new government raised fuel prices by 35.0-66.6% with immediate effect. The price hikes are part of the government’s economic reform agenda agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Moody’s announced in a report that the implemented price hikes are credit positive, pointing out that the price hikes will cut the fuel subsidy bill to 1.7% of GDP in 2019 from the government’s projection of 2.5% of GDP in the current fiscal year, and will help reduce the overall subsidy bill from its estimate of 7.5% of GDP in 2018 to 6.5% in 2019.

The corporation added that the price hikes will help Egypt meet the agreed fiscal deficit target of 8.4% of GDP in the fiscal year (FY) that ends in June 2019, from around

9.8% of GDP in 2018.

Commenting on the report, Mohamed Badrah, a banking expert, agreed with Moody’s that the latest increases in fuel prices will lead to a decrease in the budget deficit, explaining that part of the budget deficit is a result of the presence of fuel subsidies, as the beneficiaries of such subsidies are those with more cars.

He pointed out that according to Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla, the government plans to completely lift subsidies on fuel by the end of next year.

He also agreed with Moody’s that that will lead to increasing Egypt’s credit rating, explaining that part of the low credit rating is the budget deficit.

The expert explained that the more the budget deficit is slashed, the better Egypt’s credit rating will be.

This year, Standard & Poor’s upgraded Egypt’s credit rating to B.

Meanwhile, Badrah said that he expects for Egypt’s credit rating to return to BB+, which was Egypt’s rating before the 2011 revolution, by the end of the economic reform programme in 2020, adding that he hopes that credit rating is achieved before the end of the economic reform programme.

He explained that the last increase in fuel prices could save Egypt EGP 50bn, depending on global petroleum prices.

“Maybe there will be a slowdown in decreasing the deficit as a result of the increasing prices of petroleum globally,” he added.

Days ago, OPEC agreed in principle to increase oil production by 600,000 barrels per day. How that will impact Egypt remains to be seen.

Badrah explained that the issue of high oil prices is a global problem as a result of the US sanctions on Iran, which affects Iranian oil exports.

The sanctions were put back in place after US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

He explained that Iran’s oil supply to the market is up to 3-4m barrels a day, and the removal of that amount definitely affected the market, so the deficit should be compensated for by other countries in order not to feel a shortage in the market. Thus, he assured that the problem does not only concern Egypt, but also concerns the entire global petroleum market, until another country compensates for the 3-4m barrels that was supplied by Iran.

“Until this compensation happens, the world will witness increases in fuel prices, which will lead to increasing the fuel subsidy bill,” he asserted.

For his part, Sherif Al-Dewany, an economic expert and former executive director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies, said that in six months, if the global demand on petroleum increases, then the prices of crude oil will increase, so Egypt’s government will face a problem in the budget deficit and increase the subsidy bill.

Al-Dewany explained that this will lead that the government not to cut the subsidy bill, at least until the end of Q4 2018, until Egypt observes changes in the global petroleum market.

He further said that subsidies are an important factor in the deficit, but others include salaries, explaining that they increased, but not on pace with price increases, so he expects a fall in purchasing power.

Thus, Al-Dewany expects inflation to increase to 17-18% by the end of this quarter, continue into the next quarter, and then decrease.

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Careem officially raises prices of GO, GO+ services https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/careem-officially-raises-prices-of-go-go-services/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/careem-officially-raises-prices-of-go-go-services/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:13:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663530 Ride-hailing application Careem officially revealed the new prices of its services on Saturday. “Given the recent changes in the price of fuel in Egypt, Careem has decided to increase the tariffs of trips in order to provide captains with a proper work environment, with the prices also being suitable for users in Egypt,” the company …

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Ride-hailing application Careem officially revealed the new prices of its services on Saturday. “Given the recent changes in the price of fuel in Egypt, Careem has decided to increase the tariffs of trips in order to provide captains with a proper work environment, with the prices also being suitable for users in Egypt,” the company said in a statement.

The metre’s opening price in Careem’s GO service has changed to become EGP 7.5 instead of EGP 7. The price per kilometre travelled is estimated to be EGP 2.75 instead of EGP 2.47, while the wait price is EGP 37 per hour instead of EGP 35. The minimum fare of EGP 10 has not changed.

Meanwhile, for the GO+ service, the metre’s opening price starts at EGP 12 instead of EGP 10. The price per kilometre is estimated to be EGP 3.4 instead of EGP 3.1. Careem has not changed the prices of the wait time in GO+, which is estimated to be EGP 60. It also kept the EGP 20 minimum price of the trip unchanged.

Careem took measures last week to reprice the metre’s opening price for its various transportation services as a temporary compensation for drivers following the increase in the prices of fuel, until revealing the new pricing of its services.

According to the notice the company sent to its drivers, the new increase rates varied from EGP 1 for Careem Bike services to EGP 6.7 for the airport service.

The Ministry of Petroleum increased the prices of various petroleum products last week by 17.5-67%.

The price of diesel and 80-octane petrol increased by EGP 1.85 to reach EGP 5.5, up from EGP 3.65 previously—a 51% increase.

The price of a litre of 92-octabe petrol increased EGP 1.75 to EGP 6.75 compared to EGP 5 previously—a 35% increase.

The increase rate for a litre of 95-octane petrol increased EGP 1.15 to EGP 7.75 from EGP 6.60—a 17% increase. The largest increase was in the prices of home and commercial butane gas, with increase rates of 66.5-67%, making the price of the former EGP 50 instead of EGP 30, while the latter increased to EGP 100, versus EGP 60 previously.

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IDWBE SMEs portfolio registers EGP 2.6bn https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/idwbe-smes-portfolio-registers-egp-2-6bn/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/idwbe-smes-portfolio-registers-egp-2-6bn/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:12:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663498 We managed to finance 70,000 clients, link gas to 92,000 residential units in three governorates, says chairperson

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The loans of the Industrial Development & Workers Bank of Egypt (IDWBE) directed to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reached EGP 2.6bn, in addition to outstanding requests of EGP 400m, according to Maged Fahmy, chairperson of the bank.

Fahmy explained that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)’s SMEs initiative reached EGP 1.05bn, noting that the bank financed 70,000 microenterprise clients across the republic with EGP 750m.

Fahmy added that his bank attracted a large base of customers to the banking sector recently, as the bank was able to open 6,846 new accounts.

“The IDWBE played a major role in financial inclusion through expanding retail banking for development purposes, which is the role of the bank as one of the national banks leading support for development projects since its inception in 1947,” Fahmy said.

“The IDWBE has also trained the front office staff in all its branches to deal with the target groups to enter under the umbrella of financial inclusion, whose culture varies from one individual to another, so that they have the ability to offer all the products and services provided in a simplified manner to the public.”

He added that the bank achieved great success in the field of mortgage finance, as the size of the mortgage finance portfolio within the CBE initiative, directed to limited- and middle-income clients, reached EGP 523m for 5,000 clients, ranking fifth among Egyptian banks in the initiative. He noted that the bank is still studying the requests of 2,000 other clients.

Fahmy stressed that the CBE’s initiative for the financing of real estate contributed to creating a bridge of communication with the limited- and middle-income segments to deliver banking services.

In the retail banking sector, Fahmy said that the bank contracted with Fayoum Gas Company and National Gas (NATGAS) to deliver gas to 92,000 residential units in Alexandria, Beheira, and Fayoum, noting that the bank intends to contract with three other companies that cover other geographical areas.

Fahmy pointed out that the IDWBE was keen to contribute to the strengthening of Egyptian citizens and the implementation of the country’s strategy through a development plan that raises the slogan of retail banking for community service through the financing of real estate and delivery of natural gas to homes, as well as water supply and sanitation, to help low-income citizens gain access to national services with the lowest interest rates and appropriate repayment periods.

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SEBA to focus on CSR, vocational training, employment activities https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/seba-to-focus-on-csr-vocational-training-employment-activities/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/seba-to-focus-on-csr-vocational-training-employment-activities/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:00:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663526 Members discuss cooperating on new sustainable development projects in Egypt, says Taher

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The Swiss Egyptian Business Association (SEBA) will focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR), vocational training, and employment activities through hosting related events in the second half of 2018, in collaboration with non-governmental organisations, said Marwa Taher, SEBA executive director.

Taher told Daily News Egypt that the SEBA has already supported organising the 14th Autism Art Exhibition within the Autism Acceptance Month campaign, Growing with Autism, which was held in April by the Egyptian Advance Society for Persons with Autism and Other Disabilities.

Taher added that the SEBA supported the Four Biscuits Initiative that aims to empower young people with Down syndrome by providing them with training in baking skills and then selling their products at local markets and online.

Taher noted that the SEBA’s members include about 120 Swiss and Egyptian companies, adding, “SEBA’s members discuss cooperating on new sustainable development projects in Egypt.”

The SEBA is a non-governmental organisation that was founded and established in 2004 by a number of Swiss and Egyptian multinational companies in Egypt. The main objective of the SEBA is to develop bilateral economic and business relations between Switzerland and Egypt, which represents an important market and a very promising economy, according to the SEBA’s website.

The SEBA has been offering substantial support ever since and exploring potential business opportunities to fortify business relations between Egyptian and Swiss counterparts. Its current members include high-profile influential business figures from multinational corporations in different sectors.

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Amer briefs new PM on forex reserves updates, monetary, financial policy legislation https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/amer-briefs-new-pm-on-forex-reserves-updates-monetary-financial-policy-legislation/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/amer-briefs-new-pm-on-forex-reserves-updates-monetary-financial-policy-legislation/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 15:54:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663503 CBE governor discusses with communications minister enhancing cooperation to transform into digital economy, achieve financial inclusion

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Tarek Amer, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), met on Thursday with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to discuss several issues, including foreign exchange reserves and legislation on monetary and financial policy.

According to Madbouly, the meeting also included discussing financial and economic conditions, as updates were given on the development of the current foreign exchange reserves and the indices of the balance of payments, as well as developments of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed reform programme and the total foreign currency resources of the banking sector. He pointed out that the current phase will see great cooperation and coordination between the government and the CBE to achieve the best interests of the Egyptian economy.

Madbouly added that the debts owed by several governmental bodies to banks were also discussed, along with mechanisms to repay them. Additionally, the situation of foreign debts was discussed.

The meeting also tackled many proposed monetary and financial policy laws that are required to be issued over the upcoming period to help develop the Egyptian economy.

He noted that an ongoing mechanism for cooperation and coordination between the government and the CBE was agreed upon, stressing that the aim is to improve citizens’ lives.

Meanwhile, Amer met last week with Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat. The meeting included agreeing to enhance joint cooperation in terms of several strategic projects in the fields of developing the e-payments system and enhancing financial inclusion, as well as the ways to support and encourage innovative youth and entrepreneurs in the fields of financial technology, while also offering them microfinance services.

Lobna Helal, deputy governor of the CBE, and Ayman Hussein, deputy governor of the CBE for payment systems and information technology, accompanied Amer during his first visit to the headquarters of the Ministry of Communications.

The meeting was also attended by ministry leaders, including Khaled El Attar, deputy minister of planning, digital transformation, and automation, in addition to Raafat Hendy, infrastructure director at the ministry.

According to Amer, an integrated plan was laid out in order to achieve financial inclusion and turn Egypt into one of the most important investment hubs in the field of financial technology, communications, and information technology.

The plan also aims to support young talent, such as engineers and scientists, in order to benefit from their ideas and support their innovations through the initiatives launched by the CBE.

Amer stressed that he is confident these plans will succeed thanks to the minister of communications and his assistants’ experience in the field, in addition to the expertise and capabilities of the Egyptian banking sector.

For his part, Talaat stressed the importance of cooperating with the CBE to implement the state’s strategy for a digital economy in light of the important role the bank is playing to enhance the concept of financial inclusion and merge the informal economy into the formal economic system.

He explained that the ministry’s role in achieving the shift into a digital economy through cooperating with the CBE aims to enhance the role of information technology and communications as well as encourage e-commerce.

It also aims to provide a safe technological structure that supports the operations of expanding the scale of providing financial services to all segments of society, including money transfer services through phones in light of the widespread use of mobile phones, in addition to providing financial inclusion services to citizens through Egypt Post across the country.

The meeting also included discussing joint cooperation in supporting young people in the field of information technology entrepreneurship through helping fund their projects through the initiatives adopted by the CBE to encourage them to develop their ideas. The meeting also discussed offering them microfinancing and qualifying graduates to work in the field of communications and information technology.

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Saudi Arabia: Women take the wheel as driving ban lifted https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/saudi-arabia-women-take-the-wheel-as-driving-ban-lifted/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/23/saudi-arabia-women-take-the-wheel-as-driving-ban-lifted/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 14:48:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663594 The post Saudi Arabia: Women take the wheel as driving ban lifted appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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On Sunday, Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on women driving. While the few women who have driver’s licenses are thrilled about hitting the road, activists warn that the journey for full women’s rights will be a long one.Open roads as far as the eye can see, and not an obstacle in sight. It would seem impossible to have an accident here. The vast stretch of desert outside Riyadh is the perfect place to learn how to drive. “It really is the safest place to practice,” Baya tells DW reporter Fanny Facsar, who accompanied the young woman as she honed her skills in the area. “Driving schools expect a lot from us, and there is much to learn.” If she passes her driving test, Baya will become one of just a handful of women who will be licensed to drive in Saudi Arabia. It is a right that women have spent decades fighting for.

On June 24, the ban on female drivers will become a piece of Saudi history. Currently, very few women have a driver’s license — in early June only 10 had earned one. That number is set to go up soon, however. The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information estimates that some 2,000 women will get a license over the coming weeks.

The freedom to change a tire

Women are not only spending hours in the desert polishing their practical driving skills; they are also learning theoretical and technical skills at the country’s driving schools. Here they learn how to change a tire, how to correctly position their hands on the steering wheel and how to accurately assess speed.

A report from Reuters news agency suggests that most instruction takes place in front of a video screen. One young student told Reuters: “The first thing I am going to do when I get my license is drive my family around. We’ll drive off somewhere to celebrate.” Another student wants to take her mother out for a drive as soon as she gets her license: “It will just be me and my mom in the car. I am very excited.”

Read more: Women in Saudi Arabia are caught in a system of gender apartheid

Begrudging reforms

Ali Adubisi of the Berlin-based European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights says that ultimately the decision to allow women to drive is part of a larger image campaign for the kingdom. Adubisi tells DW that lifting the ban is unquestionably a big step that will be very positive for women. On the other hand, he says, the government has done little more than finally give women something that should be seen as a self-evident right.

He says it would also be incorrect to assume that the government actively promoted giving women the right to drive. “The reform has far more to do with pressure and demands from Saudi society and, to a degree, the international community. That is what led to the change.” Adubisi points out that women first began calling for a repeal of the driving ban back in the early 1990s.

Moreover, he adds, the right to drive is just the first of many reforms that must be made if women are to become legally emancipated. Adubisi tells DW that to this day women are still denied many fundamental rights and continue to live under the custody of men. For instance, they are neither allowed to travel nor may sign contracts on their own. “Women suffer greatly under those constricts every day,” says Adubisi. “Therefore, if we are going to celebrate a woman’s right to drive, we must also demand they be granted other rights as well.”

Old-school oppression

In many cases, however, the government still goes after women’s rights activists in the old-fashioned way. That was clearly illustrated in late May, when several well-known women’s rights activists were arrested and jailed. They were accused of having “suspicious contacts with foreign organizations” that supported the women’s efforts. Furthermore, they were accused of recruiting “several individuals in sensitive government posts” and offering financial support to “enemies overseas.”

Madeha Alajroush was among those arrested. The 62-year-old photographer and psychologist actively campaigned for a woman’s right to drive back in the early 1990s. Her protests antagonised the country’s conservative clerics, who called her a prostitute. All her photographic works were also burned.

Read more: Film ‘A Silent Revolution’ features Saudi women who went straight to the top

Unsustainable lifestyle

The recent arrests, says Adubisi, were meant as a warning: “The government is sending a signal that women shouldn’t make any more demands. If you aren’t careful, the subtext goes, you could be put in jail just like these well-known feminists.”

Nevertheless, activist Alajroush expects the country will continue to change. Several months before her arrest she told DW’s Fanny Facsar that change was inevitable. “Our lifestyle is not sustainable. There can be no economic growth if half of society is not allowed to develop its potential. That is why I have always been certain that the country would change one day. It was always just a matter of when. I myself have been waiting 30 years for change to come.”

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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Swedish fans turn Sochi yellow as Germany try to shake off doubts https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/22/swedish-fans-turn-sochi-yellow-as-germany-try-to-shake-off-doubts/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/22/swedish-fans-turn-sochi-yellow-as-germany-try-to-shake-off-doubts/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 20:47:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663489 The post Swedish fans turn Sochi yellow as Germany try to shake off doubts appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany might be the defending World Cup champions, but they will be up against a stubborn Sweden team and a stirring set of Swedish supporters in Sochi on Saturday. A win is a must for Joachim Löw and his side.As Joachim Löw and Mario Gomez sat down to talk to the German press, a patch of yellow was forming on the Sochi coastline just a few hundred meters away. Singing songs and building a makeshift maypole out of plastic and watering cans, Sweden fans gathered to celebrate Midsummer, one of the country’s most important festivals. With seven thousand Sweden fans expected in the Fisht Stadium tomorrow night though, it’s clear supporting this team is also part of the celebration.

The same can’t be said for Germany’s fans, who have been hard to hear so far in this tournament. A stand full of white kits flew flags at the start of the Mexico game, but they were soon drowned out by their North American underdogs. Everything about and around this Germany team needs to be better on Saturday – or their title defense could be over before it even really got started.

“We don’t need to make any fundamental changes just because of one bad game. There’s no need for us to have doubts,” Joachim Löw told reporters at the press conference. As convincing as Löw’s words might sound, Germany have plenty of reason to doubt. They were surprised by Mexico, and even the admission of that is in itself somewhat remarkable. They have brought their poor pre-tournament form to the World Cup and to beat Sweden they will have to do something they haven’t done in a long time: unlock a deep-lying team.

Read more: ‘Injured’ Germany look to leaders to deliver response

The absence of Mats Hummels, who appears to be out of the game with a neck injury, is less of a reason for Germany to doubt themselves than any of the aforementioned reasons though. As important as Hummels is, the excellent Niklas Süle is hardly a poor replacement. The 22-year-old has transitioned into international football with noticeable ease and is likely Hummels’ long-term successor. Germany will not be weaker against Sweden because of Hummels’ absence.

A familiar face likely to lead the line

They may well be stronger thanks to one man’s presence though. Mario Gomez spoke to the press the day before the game, but both he and Löw were cute enough to keep the striker’s likely inclusion from slipping out.

“It could be a message that I’m sat here, but it doesn’t have to be,” Gomez said.

It is quite remarkable that after all the development this side has been through, that the 32-year-old Stuttgart striker remains a viable solution for Löw’s team. With much of the attack lacking in the opening game and Germany more likely to need a physical nuisance rather than a pacey runner in attack, Gomez is the logical choice.

Marco Reus is likely to start as well, but for who remains a mystery. Thomas Müller could well make way after a disappointing showing, but the heavily-criticized Mesut Özil looks set to stay in the starting team.

“Mesut Özil wasn’t the only player to be criticized,” Low said. “We were all questioned, even the coach, and rightly so. But one thing is clear: everyone knows what I think of Özil. I don’t need to repeat that.”

Read more: Kevin Kuranyi: ‘Joachim Löw must find the right words’

Legend has it that in Swedish Midsummer celebrations, young women are supposed to pick seven different types of flower on their way home and then place them under their pillow. At night, their future husbands are supposed to appear to them in a dream. Joachim Löw has to make sure he picks the right 11 players otherwise his dreams on Saturday night will be of a World Cup no longer in Germany’s grasp.

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Dostoevsky, dolls and other Russian exports https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/22/dostoevsky-dolls-and-other-russian-exports/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/06/22/dostoevsky-dolls-and-other-russian-exports/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:46:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=663494 The post Dostoevsky, dolls and other Russian exports appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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From vodka to beloved opera classics – DW’s Anastassia Boutsko takes a look at World Cup host Russia’s most popular exports and clears up some cultural cliches.Whichever way you look at it, we Russians often hear that we hail from a land of bears, forests and drunkards. Those of us living abroad and flying to Russia for Christmas are warned against over-consumption of vodka. If my son recounts tales of wild bears attacking our dacha (country house) near Moscow, none of his fourth-grade classmates doubt the veracity of his story.

Have you ever searched for “Russia” in Google Images? In addition to the map of the enormous country, right near the top of the search results comes the epic Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, better known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square. There’s a general perception that this is your average Russian church.

According to recent research, the imposing church was built in the 16th century by Italian architects who also built the Moscow Kremlin and its cathedrals.

It is believed that the builders of the church, which has a foundation stone laid to mark the victory over the Tatars, were inspired by the Italian Renaissance but also by oriental architecture.

The 10 domes stand for the 10 saints who were celebrated during the siege of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible; St. Basil is one of them. In any case, the cathedral is absolutely atypical for Russian church architecture. But like many Russian stereotypes, this one is worth a second look.

Click through the gallery above to explore Russia’s most popular exports — which often tie in with the national cliches.

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