Egypt’s local news digest July 31:Draft law on building new churches ‘almost’ completed: minister
Coptic Christians attend a Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of... January 07, 2014 01:10pm EST


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on July 31 here:

Draft law on building new churches ‘almost’ completed: minister

A draft of Egypt’s long-awaited bill to organize the building of churches is “almost” completed, Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Magdy al-Agaty told Youm7 Sunday.

“The only remaining item of the law is related to the adjustment of the conditions of existing churches that have been built without a license,” said Agaty, adding that his ministry is currently negotiating with officials at the Coptic Church regarding the issue.

When completed, the draft bill will be sent to the cabinet for ratification, the state council then finally to the parliament for final approval, he added.

“The law has been initially agreed upon by the cabinet. It will be presented to the parliament within 10 days,” he said.

The move came after President Abdel Fatah al Sisi met with the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Pope Tawadros II at the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace on Thursday.

Article 235 of the Egyptian Constitution passed in 2014 called for reform of the issuance of building permits for churches. “The parliament should issue a law regulating the construction and renovation of churches, so as to ensure the freedom of Christians to practice their religious rites,” the article stated.


Mob takes low-ranking police officer hostage, after killing a resident ‘by mistake’

A mob took a low-ranking police officer as a hostage on Sunday, after reportedly killing a wanted by law resident of Mazloom village in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Dakahlia, Youm7 reported.

The incident occurred after clashes erupted between locals and three police personnel, who were arresting a resident in the village.  The low ranking police officer has shot dead, by mistake, a 36 year old resident and injured another, according to Youm7.

Security forces have reinforced their presence in the village in an attempt to free the police personnel.


Mass poisoning in wedding ceremony in Egypt’s Kafr al Sheikh

Forty-six people were poisoned on Saturday night during a wedding ceremony in Egypt’s delta governorate of Kafr al Sheikh reportedly after eating contaminated meal, according to Youm7.

The invitees had symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea before they were referred to nearby hospitals to receive the required treatment.


7 Sudanese migrants arrested in Sinai over illegal immigration attempt to Israel

A total of seven African migrants were arrested in Sinai on Saturday for attempting to cross the borders into Israel without proper documentation, security sources told Youm7.

The suspects admitted they paid human smugglers in the Sinai around $3,000 each in return for helping them pass the border fence, said the source.

During the last two months, more than 700 African migrants were arrested trying to cross into Israel without proper documentation, he added.


199 m tons of cargo crossed Suez Canal in 3 months: SCA head

The total cargo load passed through the Suez Canal amounted 198.9 million tons during the first quarter of 2016, Youm7 quoted Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish on Sunday.

The average number of ships transiting the canal per day is 46.5, with an average of 2.75m totals tons of cargo, Mamish said.

The average cargo per ship is 59,130 tons, he added.



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