Wrap-up of Egypt’s top news Aug. 10: Egypt beats Sweden in handball at Olympics; 2 actors accused of normalisation with Israel; 50% drop in Egypt’s inbound tourism rate
Egypt Vs Sweden At Rio 2016 Handball Match. Photo Of The Egyptian Hand Ball Federation Facebook

Politics:

 

Amendments to 2013 Protest law to be sent to cabinet: Minister 

Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Magdy el-Agaty said that the ministry has almost finalized amendments to the 2013 Protest Law, Youm7 reported.

Agaty added that the recommended amendments will be sent to the cabinet within two weeks.

Hundreds of activists have been arrested and jailed over violating the protest law that requires a prior police permit before launching a demonstration.

Since its adoption in 2013, the protest law has been largely condemned by rights groups who called for its abolishment for it curbs the right to freedom of expression that is guaranteed in the constitution.

 

Egypt slams UK’s Home Office report on granting brotherhood members political asylum

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has rejected the UK’s Home Office report, which offers political asylum to senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, Youm7 reported.

In a Tuesday statements, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said that what was issued by the Home Office “is not positive for the Egyptian British relations,” as the group is currently outlawed in Egypt.

The British Home Office has recently issued a document addressing political asylum in Britain for the Egyptian MB members who are at risk of “persecution.”

The report is based on “groundless assumptions,” said Shoukry who asserted that Egypt always briefs international partners about “terrorist acts” committed by the group.

 

Sisi appoints Hisham Badawy as new top auditor

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi on Tuesday issued a presidential decree appointing counselor Hisham Badawy as head of the Central Auditing Agency for four years after his predecessor went on trial accused of making up lies about the scale of corruption, Youm7 reported.

The decree came two months after sweeping majority of the Egyptian parliament voted for Sisi’s earlier decision which has been published in the country’s official gazette on Tuesday.

Badawi’s predecessor, Hisham Geneina, was sacked by Sisi in March following claims that government corruption had cost 600 billion EGP in four years.

A fact-finding committee, appointed by Sisi to verify the claims, has said “Genina has misled the public opinion.”

Prior to his appointment as Geneina’s deputy, Badawi served as head of Cairo appeals court and was the former attorney general of the supreme state security prosecution.

 

Egypt army kills 7 takfiris in airstrikes south Arish

Egypt’s military aircrafts have launched airstrikes South Arish city, in North Sinai, killing at least seven takfiris who were spotted in a farm, Youm7 reported.

A security source said that the strikes are still underway, and preliminary information shows dozens of militants are injured.

 

Local:

 

Inquiry against 2 Egyptian actors accused of normalization with Israel

Head of Egypt’s Actors Syndicate, Ashraf Zaki has decided to open an inquiry against actors Khaled Abu el-Naga and Basma over accusations of “normalization with Israel,” Youm7 reported.

Both actors were slammed for their role in the third season of the American drama television series Tyrant, which is created by Israeli director and writer Gideon Raff.

Abu el-Naga sent Zaki a letter denying the accusations, saying that “everyone knows that the media has smear campaigns against me,” adding that the writer of the series is American, produced by FX network and that it was filmed in Hungary.

Abu el-Naga has faced a wave of criticism after being critical of President Sisi’s security apparatus.

Khaled Nabawy, an Egyptian actor, faced the same charge after a photo shown him standing alongside Israeli actress Liraz Charhi, during the Cannes International Film Festival, where the movie “Fair Game” that he participated in was premiered.

 

Education minister sued over deliberately removing all references to Mubarak era 

A lawsuit was filed to Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadek against  Education Minister accusing him of “rigging” the Egyptian history after all references to the era of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak were reportedly removed from history textbooks, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

“ Deleting a part of the Egyptian history from the curriculum is a criminal offense in the right of millions of Egyptian people, and represents, according to the Egyptian law, fraud crime that is punishable with imprisonment and dismissal from public post,” Youm7 quoted Lawyer Azab Makhlof.

Makhlouf also filed a lawsuit against the chairman of the ministry’s curriculum development sector accusing him of involvement in removing the events that took place during Mubarak’s 30-year tenure from history books for elementary and junior high schools.

 

Parliament approves bill on army participation in securing public facilities

Egypt’s House of Representatives on Tuesday has endorsed a draft law to extend the participation of the military in securing and protecting public and vital facilities from two to five years, Youm7 reported.

Head of the parliament’s defense and security committee Kamal Amer said that “the current situation in Egypt necessitates an extension for a longer period of time,” Reuters reported.

In 2014, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi issued a presidential decree to allow the armed forces to assist police in protecting public facilities.

 

Massive fire sweeps through furniture warehouse south of Cairo

Four furniture storage facilities were completely destroyed in a fire that erupted south of Cairo on Tuesday, Youm7 reported.

The fire started at around 2:30 p.m. in a furniture warehouse in the industrial zone at the 6 October City. Firefighters spent over 9 hours before they were able to control the blaze.

No casualties have been reported. However, initial estimations suggest a 30 million EGP financial damage.

 

Business:

 

Egypt’s core inflation edges down to 12.31 pct in July – c.bank

(REUTERS): Egypt’s annual core inflation fell to 12.31 percent in July from 12.37 percent in June, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Core inflation, which strips out the price of volatile items such as fruit and vegetables, had been rising since March.

 

50% drop in Egypt’s inbound tourism rate during 1st half of 2016: official

The number of tourists visited Egypt during the first half of 2016 dropped by 50 percent to register three million down from around 6 million during the same time last year, Mahmoud Sami, head of Egypt’s Tourism Promotion Authority told Al Ahram on Tuesday.

Number of tourists visiting Egypt has sharply declined following the crash of the Russian passenger plane over Sinai in October 2015.

Tourism revenue totaled $500 million in the first quarter of 2016, around 66 percent down compared to the same quarter a year earlier, a tourism ministry adviser told Reuters in April.

 

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation stood at 14 pct in July: CAPMAS

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation stood at 14 percent in July, the statistics agency CAPMAS said on Wednesday.

Egypt’s urban consumer price inflation figure had been rising since April, when it entered double-digit territory propelled by currency devaluation and the lead up to the fasting month of Ramadan, when food prices tend to temporarily spike.

 

Social:

 

Egypt reduces fees for filming at archaeological sites in a bid to revive tourism

Fees for filming movies and TV shows at Egypt’s archaeological sites will be reduced by 50 percent as of Nov., 2017, the antiquities ministry announced in a statement Tuesday.

The decision aims to boost Egypt’s tourism sector through attracting more tourists who watch the movies and TV shows, Antiquities Minister Khaled Al Anany said.

Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

“Egypt was expected to receive 17 million tourists in 2015 but the number declined by approximately 47 percent due to terrorist attacks and consequent travel advice issued by several European countries,” Chairman of Egypt Tourism Authority (ETA) Sami Mahmoud announced earlier this year.

 

Grand Egyptian Museum restores 17 colossal artifacts

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) announced it has completed the renovation of 17 colossal artifacts, which were brought to the museum from Alexandria’s archaeological storerooms in May, Youm7 reported.

Osama Abu el Kheir, director of the GEM’s restoration centre said the artifacts, with weighs ranging from 200 kilograms to two tons, were among other sunken treasures found under the modern city of Alexandria.

Thousands of artifacts were brought to the GRED from archaeological sites all over Egypt ahead of its inauguration scheduled for August 2018.

 

Grand Egyptian museum receives 418 artifacts date back to 2,600 B.C.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) announced it has received a total of 418 artifacts from the collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the antiquities ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

All the artifacts date back to the reign of Pharaoh Zoser, better known as Djoser, the founder of the third Dynasty around 2,600 B.C., Osama Abu el Kheir, director of the GEM’s restoration centre said.

The artifacts, which include of a collection of alabaster pots, pans and jars, will be restored ahead of the inauguration of the museum, Abu El Kheir added.

 

Sports:

Egypt’s handball team beat Sweden with last minute goal at Rio Olympics

Egypt’s national handball team beat Sweden 26-25 on Wednesday to secure the first points at the Rio Olympics, Youm7 reported.

The Swedish team opened match with 7:3 lead after 14 minutes, but the Pharaohs came on 8-8 afterwards.

Egyptian playmaker Elbasiuni was a match winner after he scored a last-minute goal a few seconds before the whistle.

Egypt suffered their first defeat at the men’s Olympic handball tournament after losing 27-26 to Slovenia in their opening match.

 

Egypt’s player in hijab gets Brazilian support

(REUTERS)-As Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy went up for a block on Italy’s Laura Giombini on Copacabana’s famous sand, two cultures appeared to come together.

Elghobashy, head covered by a hijab, raised her longsleeved arms and – this time – won a point against her bikini-clad competitor.

The Brazilian crowd, who had stayed after watching their own team lose earlier in the morning went wild.

“Egypt, Egypt, Egypt,” echoed the chant around the 12,000 capacity arena on Copacabana beach as the crowd rooted for the underdog.

Elghobashy, 19, and competing in her first Olympics, has already achieved widespread internet fame. A Reuters picture on Sunday of her challenging a German player at the net went viral.

After Tuesday’s match, which Egypt lost 21-10 21-13, Elghobashy looked visibly frustrated by the media attention as she told Reuters she had worn a hijab for 10 years and felt completely comfortable in the outfit.

 

Egyptian boxer Hossam Bakr advances to last 16 at Rio Olympics

Egyptian boxer Hossam Bakr advanced to the round of 16 of Men’s 75kg category after a convincing performance against Merven Clair of Mauritius at the Rio Olympics, Kingfut reported on Wednesday.

The Egyptian boxer won all three rounds and showed real intent early on to take the first two rounds with little offense from the struggling Clair. The third round was somewhat even; however, the Egyptian weathered the storm to advance to the last 16 of the competition.

The 30-year-old will face Cameroon’s Dieudonne Seyi on Thursday. The Cameroonian defeated Colombia’s Jorge Palacios in the round of 32.

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