Wrap-up of Egypt’s top news July 17:New Israeli ambassador arrives in Cairo
Protesters tear down a concrete wall built in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo September 9, 2011.
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Politics

 ‘Fire’ heard on EgyptAir cockpit voice recorder before crash: probe committee

The Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee announced that data downloaded from the cockpit voice recorder of the EgyptAir jet which crashed in the Mediterranean Sea in May suggested a “fire had occurred on board shortly before the crash.”

“The cockpit voice recorder mentioned a “fire” before the occurrence of the accident but it is still too early to determine the reason or the place where that fire occurred,” the committee said in a report on Sunday.

The flight recorders were recovered from the plane’s wreckage, about 290km north of the Egyptian coast last month. In May, the passenger plane plunged into the eastern Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo killing all 66 people on board.

 

New Israeli ambassador arrives in Cairo

Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt David Govrin arrived in Cairo Sunday to assume his new post in succession of his predecessor Haim Koren, Youm7 reported.

The Israeli cabinet has approved Govrin’s appointment in April after his predecessor resigned, after only two years, citing personal reasons, according to Haaretz.

Govrin was the head of the Jordan desk at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem until February this year. He also has served in a series of positions throughout the Middle East over the years, including at the embassy in Cairo, according to Haaretz, Govrin speaks Arabic and is a doctor of Middle East history.

 

Sisi discusses funding sources for African Union activities in the 27th AU Summit

President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi arrived Saturday in Kigali where he participated in the 27th African Union Summit, said Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement Saturday.

Sisi took part in a closed door session for heads of state organized by the AU Commission to discuss funding sources for AU activities, Youssef continued.

“In his remarks, President Sisi stressed the importance of looking into increasing the sources available for implementing the ambitious projects and programs endorsed in previous summits in a sustainable manner, particularly the first 10 year plan of the 2063 Agenda, which embodies Africa’s strategic vision for sustainable development,” the statement red.

Sisi also discussed the gradual increase of member states contribution to funding AU activities, while taking into consideration the economic conditions of each country, Youssef continued.

 

Egypt’s parliament approves abolishing daylight saving time system

Egypt’s House of Representatives on Sunday approved a bill to abolish daylight saving time, Youm7 reported.

In late May, the parliament approved the then draft bill submitted by 110 lawmakers and sent it to the State Council for review. The lawmakers’ request was based on that the daylight saving time system didn’t reduce electricity consumption and would have negative impact on aviation system.

 

US Navy Commander Visits Egypt

Vice Admiral Kevin M. Donegan, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, arrived in Cairo Sunday to meet with senior Egyptian officials and discuss shared security interests, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced in a statement.

Donegan plans to discuss U.S.-Egypt collaboration and the long-standing partnership between the two countries in fighting terrorism and promoting security and stability in the region, said the statement.

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

 

Parliament fails to approve amendments to trade unions law

Egypt’s House of Representatives on Sunday failed, for the fifth consecutive time, to take a decision on amendments to the law regulating the performance of trade unions due to incomplete quorum, Youm7 reported.

Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said the house would determine the fate of the law during later sessions. A 296-member quorum (two thirds) out of 596 lawmakers is required for valid meetings and the passage of law.

 

John Lethbridge vessel arrives in Alexandria

French John Lethbridge vessel arrived Saturday Alexandria port after finishing its task in recovering all human remains of victims of EgyptAir MS804 flight that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, Youm7 reported.

Egypt had extended the period of its tasks in the Mediterranean twice to be sure that all human remains have been recovered at the crash location. It is scheduled that the remains will be transported to forensic body for DNA tests.

 

Local

 

6 sentenced to death, 3 to life in ‘Omranya incidents’ case

Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday sentenced to death six defendants allegedly belong to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, for involvement in violence-related charges that followed the dispersal of pro-MB sit-in in Giza in August 2013, Youm7 reported.

The court also sentenced other three defendants to life imprisonments for committing acts of violence in Giza’s neighborhood of Omranya. The case is known in media as “Omranya incidents.”

The nine convicts were tried in absentia, and thus, according to the Egyptian penal code, were handed the maximum penalty.

 

Pilot sickness, bad weather delay Solar Impulse 2 take off

The final leg of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), an experimental solar-powered aircraft, was indefinitely postponed Sunday due to the pilot’s health and bad weather, according to a statement published on the Si2 blog.

“The Ground Crew was already well underway preparing the pilot and airplane for takeoff to their final destination, Abu Dhabi, when the latest wind reading was too high to take Si2 safely out of the tent and onto the runway,” said the statement.

The Si2’s pilot Bertrand Piccard, who was due to take off from Cairo airport on Sunday morning had an upset stomach after falling ill, according to the statement.

The zero-fuel aircraft departed Seville on Monday at 02:20 a.m. Cairo Local Time and landed in Cairo International Airport on Wednesday after a flight of approximately 3,540 kilometers, according to the aircraft’s website.

Cairo-Abu Dhabi is the plane’s 17th and final leg. Abu Dhabi –Muscat was its first leg started on March 9 this year.

The aircraft has 17,000 solar cells on its wings, which recharge the plane’s batteries throughout the day. The wings are 72 meters long.

 

Egypt court rejects appeal for writer jailed for ‘obscenity’

CAIRO: (AP): An Egyptian court has rejected an appeal by an Egyptian author against a two-year prison sentence he was given on obscenity charges.

Documents obtained Sunday show a decision the previous day by the court in Cairo’s Abassia neighborhood rejected Ahmed Naji’s request to rescind the sentence he has been serving since February for the sexual content in his novel “The Use of Life.”

The literary and human rights organization PEN America and dozens of Egyptian and international figures in the arts, including Woody Allen, Philip Roth and Stephen Sondheim, have called on the Egyptian government to drop charges against Naji.

 

Libya arrests 8 Egyptians in IS-dominated region

Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptian Expatriates Hisham al-Naqib on Sunday received families of eight Egyptians detained in Libya, Youm7 reported.

The meeting came after the angry family members gathered outside the Foreign Ministry headquarters demanding the release of their relatives after they were told they were abducted by armed gangs in Libyan city of Misrata.

Al Naqib reassured the mob about the safety of their loved ones adding that they were arrested by Libyan authorities for being in areas controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants.

He said the ministry is in constant contact with Libya authorities to releases them and reiterated warnings to Egyptians in Libya to exercise extreme caution and stay away from regions of tension and clashes.

 

Egypt’s imports of wheat reached 5.4 mln tons in 6 months: report

Egypt has imported a total of 5.4 million tons of wheat from different countries since January and until the end of June of this year, according to a governmental report.

 

10 bln EGP spent on Egypt’s road projects: Road and Bridges Authority

The Road and Bridges Authority spent a total of 10 billion EGP on new projects, including the establishment of new bridges and roads, as well as the national road network project launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last year, Youm7 quoted the head of the authority Adel Tork.

 

Business

Kuwaiti’s Zain interested in Egypt 4G license: ministry official

(Reuters): Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain has expressed interest in applying for a fourth-generation license in Egypt, a senior telecommunications ministry official said on Sunday.

The sale of 4G licenses is part of Egypt’s long-awaited plan to reform the telecoms sector.

Its telecoms regulator has approached the three current mobile service providers, Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat, about potentially buying 4G licences.

 

EGX ends high Sunday, gains 1.2 billion EGP

The Egyptian exchange indices finished Sunday trading in collective gain, powered by Egyptians and Arabs purchases, while foreigners’ trading were mostly sale, Youm7 reported.

The main index EGX-30 has plummeted 0.22 percent to 7599.64 points while the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) index EGX-70 surged 0.09 percent to reach 360.08 points.

However, broader index EGX-100 rose by 0.06 percent to close at 770.11 points.

Market capitalization gained 1.2 billion EGP during Sunday transaction sessions to reach 405.667 billion EGP.

 

Yields rise at Egypt T-bill auction

(REUTERS): Yields on Egypt’s three-month and nine-month treasury bills rose at Sunday’s auction, data from the central bank website showed.

The average yield on the 91-day bill rose to 14.149 percent from 14.093 percent at the last auction on July 10. The 266-day bill rose to 15.570 percent from 15.320 percent at a similar auction a week ago.

 

Price of rice expected to decline by 40% next week: official

The head of rice department at the chamber of grain industry at Federation of Industries, Ragab Shehata, expected a decline in rice price by 40 percent within the next week.

Shehata noted that there will be a surplus of rice this year to reach one million and half tons, creating crop abundance.

 

Egyptians’ net trading at EGX last week reached 77.15%: report

Egyptians trading at the stock exchange recorded 77.15 percent of total transactions during the past week, according to a weekly report by the Egyptian Bourse. The report noted that foreigners’ trading reached 14.19 percent, while Arabs’ reached 7.94 percent, excluding deals.

 

Egypt purchases 300K tons of wheat: Reuters

The Egyptian General Authority for Supply Commodities said that it has purchased 300,000 tons of wheat in a tender, as quoted by Reuters.

 

Pharaonic Petroleum Co started well drilling in May: official

Pharaonic Petroleum Company started drilling a developmental well called “Tort 8” last May aiming to increase its production to 120 million feet of gas per day, Youm7 quoted official sources at petroleum and mineral resources sector.

 

Culture

Area behind Old Cairo-based Hanging Church to be changed into a theater

Ministers of Antiquities and Culture, Khalid Al-Anani and Helmy al-Namnam respectively, have inspected the Fortress of Babylon, Coptic Museum and the Temple of the Jewish Ben Ezra in Old Cairo. The tour comes in light of inspecting an area behind the Hanging Church (Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church) to change it into a theater for artistic and cultural events.

 

Sawy Wheel celebrates international Day of Nuba

Cairo-based al-Sawy Wheel will organize on July 29 a Nubian concert by the Nubian Band, marking the International Day of Nuba.

“We want to share our heritage of music as it really part of our identity as Nubian so we decided to create a new band that mix between Nubian music and western music and we are doing our best to achieve our dreams to spread Nubian music,” the band said in a statement on the wheel website.

Sports

Egypt’s Zamalek faces South African Sundowns Sunday African Champions League

Egypt’s Zamalek SC is scheduled to face its South African counterpart Sundowns Sunday at Petro Sport Stadium, Locate in New Cairo, as part of the second round of the African Champions League, according to Youm7.

The match time has been charged to begin at 09:30 p.m. local Cairo time, instead of 7:30 p.m. fater getting the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) approval.

 

Ahly, Moroccan Wydad draw 0-0

Al-Ahly sporting club drew Saturday with Moroccan counterpart Wydad in a football match held at t Borg al-Arab Stadium as part of the third round of the African Champions League. Al-Ahly has gained zero points in this champion, while Wydad gained seven points.

Al Ahly manager Martin: I will not resign

Al Ahly manager Martin Jol said that he will not resign of his post after his team has drawn against the Moroccan Wydad Casablanca in the the African Champions League, KingFut reported Sunday.

 

Egypt’s basketball team meets with Lebanese counterpart in final of the Arab Club Basketball Championship

The Egyptian basketball team will meet with its Lebanese counterpart Sunday in Alexandria in the final round of the Arab Club Basketball Championship, Youm7 reported.

The Egyptian team has beaten his Tunisian counterpart in the semi-final match, after beating Iraqi and Libyan teams.

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