UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Aug. 1:Egypt’s Sisi warns tough measures to fix economy are looming
Sisi inaugurates al-Asmarat Project for building new housing units for slum inhabitants at Cairo’s Moqattam


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on August 1 here:

Egypt’s Sisi warns tough measures to fix economy are looming

(Reuters) – President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned Egyptians on Monday that tough measures would be needed to turn the country’s ailing economy around, as the government negotiates a $12 billion loan program with the International Monetary Fund.

In a bid to prepare public opinion for a series of measures that will include subsidy cuts, tax reforms, and privatizations of state-owned companies, Sisi told Egyptians the government needed their support to weather the storm.

“The problem is whether public opinion is prepared to accept the measures which could be tough or harsh,” he told young people at a leadership conference.


Egypt’s premier, IMF delegation discuss $12 b loan deal

Prime Minister Sherif Ismaiel met on Monday with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, headed by Christopher Jarvis, that has arrived in Cairo Saturday for talks on a loan reportedly worth $12 billion to suppor the country’s financial program.

A well informed source told Youm7 the mission will issue a statement at the end of its 10-day visit “briefs all the details of the negotiations.”

The delegation’s visit comes days after Finance Minister Amr el Garhy said Egypt is seeking three loan installments of $4 billion each over the next three years, with an interest rate of 1 to 1.5 percent.

“The loan will help boost international confidence in the economy,” President Abdel Fatah al Sisi said during a meeting with members of the government’s ministerial economic committee on Tuesday.

“We welcome this request, and look forward to discussing policies which can help Egypt meet its economic challenges,” Masood Ahmed, the IMF’s Middle East director, was quoted by Bloomberg on Tuesday.


Sisi amends provisions of earlier decree on sports national council  

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi has issued a decree amending some provisions of a previous decree on establishing a National Council for Sports, Youm7 reported Monday.

The amendment is mainly related to the revenues of sports establishments.

Egypt denies Israeli mediation in talks of controversial Ethiopian dam

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied media reports claiming that Egypt has asked Israel’s mediation in talks between Cairo and Addis Ababa on the Ethiopian controversial Renaissance Dam, state-owned news agency MENA reported ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement Monday.

Abu Zeid added that Egyptian foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s recent visit to Israel did not tackle the Ethiopian dam issue, noting that the talks focused only on the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

In early July, Shoukry made a rare visit to Tel Aviv, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shoukry stated that his meeting with Netanyahu tackled Sisi’s vision to revive peace talks to end Palestinians’ humanitarian crisis.

Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern that the dam could reduce the country’s annual share of more than 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Addis Ababa, however, has claimed that the dam is necessary for its development, and will not harm downstream countries.


Egyptian Jewish community dwindles to six ladies

The number of Egyptian Jewish community has decreased to six ladies after the death of 80-year-old lady, Lucy Toba, who lied in final resting place Sunday. Most Egyptian Jews left Egypt in the 1940s and 1950s, settling in Israel or other countries, or converted to Christianity or Islam and stayed in Egypt.


U.K. denies meeting between Theresa May, banned Muslim Brotherhood members

U.K. embassy in Cairo denied media reports calming that U.K Prime Minister Theresa May met with representatives from Egyptian banned group of the Muslim brotherhood, Youm7 reported an anonymous official from the embassy.

The official said that May has big role in the U.K governmental report of Muslim brotherhood activists in Britain, adding that she had voiced its concerns over the group’s ideology.


Egypt court upholds 1-year-jail ruling for Islam researcher

(AP) – An Egyptian court has confirmed a one-year prison term for a former TV host who was convicted of “defaming religious symbols” and Muslim scholars after he called for removal of what he described as “extremist material” in texts of religious interpretation and heritage.

The court of appeals upheld the March sentence Sunday for Islam Behery, a researcher on Islamic heritage who hosted a TV show discussing religious texts. He’s a vocal advocate for religious reforms and often argued that some texts of interpretation by historic Islamic scholars – including ones upheld and revered by Al-Azhar, the pre-eminent seat of Sunni scholarship – contain passages that promote extremism.

The ruling is the latest in a rash of cases cracking down on freedom of expression in the Arab world’s most populous country.


Vice-Chairman of Kuwaiti parliament arrives in Cairo

Vice-Chairman of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) Mubarak Khurainej arrived Sunday evening in Cairo on board of a flight coming from Morocco, Youm7 reported officials at the cairo International Airport.

It is scheduled that Khurainej will hold bilateral cooperation meetings and talks with Egyptian counterparts, the officials added.

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