UPDATE: Egypt’s local news digest Oct. 2: Egypt retrieves 5 smuggled artifacts from US
Wooden coffin restored by the Egyptian embassy in Washington.


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Oct. 2 here:

Egypt retrieves 5 smuggled artifacts from US

The Egyptian Embassy in Washington retrieved five ancient Egyptian artifacts that were stolen and smuggled to the US in the wake of the security lapse caused by the 2011 uprising, the foreign ministry announced in a Sunday statement.

The restored artifacts include two wooden coffins; hand and mask of a mummy rapped in linen, said Yasser Reda, the Egyptian Ambassador to the US. The American authorities issued a decision on the right of Egypt to recover the artifacts after the embassy had provided all legal evidence that they were illegally smuggled out of Egypt, Reda said, adding that the embassy will officially receive the artifacts in November.

Egypt’s ancient sites have been targeted for thousands of years but the upheavals and the security lapse following the 2011 revolution have helped looters and tomb robbers target museums and several archaeological sites for treasures to sell on the black market.

Following the 2011 uprising, a third of Egypt’s archaeological sites “have been either looted, exposed to agricultural encroachments or illegal building or experienced illicit digging,” world-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawaas said in a statement earlier this year.

He called on the current Antiquities Ministry to push for harsher punishment on antiquities crimes by changing the crime description from misdemeanor to felony.


EgyptAir to resume Luxor-London flights after one-year hiatus

EgyptAir will resume its flights between Luxor and London as of Monday after a one-year suspension, Youm7 quoted EgyptAir Holding Company Chairman Safwat Musallam.

The flight will take off from Luxor to London on Monday at 10 a.m. Cairo local time, said Musallam.

Direct flights between Egyptian destinations and many European countries have been suspended following the crash of the Russian passenger plane that killed 224 people late October.

Several inspection teams from Europe and Russia had visited Egyptian airports to asses security measures ahead of flight resumption decision.


3 arrested over involvement in Rosetta shipwrecked migrant boat

Security forces in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria have arrested three people in connection with the migrant boat that capsized off Rosetta city coast last week, Youm7 reported.

The arrest came after security forces raided a residential apartment where the suspects were hiding.

They were detained on charges of human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter, prosecution sources told Youm7 Sunday.

The boat, named ‘Mawkeb al Rasol’, drowned about 12 nautical miles northeast of Beheira’s city of Rosetta with over 600 illegal migrants on board.

So far, more than 200 people from countries, including Sudan, Eritrea and Somali have been rescued by the Egyptian authorities over the past week.


Passenger busted at airport over drug possession

A UAE-bound passenger has been arrested at Borg al-Arab Airport over possession of drugs and hashish, Youm7 reported.

The man’s luggage was inspected by airport’s customs’ department, where they found 178 narcotic tablets, 6 pieces of Hashish and amounts of heroin.

The arrested passenger, who has been identified as an Egyptian citizen called Mahmoud will be referred to prosecution for investigations.


Thousands of Sufis march to celebrate Islamic New Year

Thousands of Sufi Muslims are expected to march Sunday to celebrate the Islamic New Year in Cairo, Youm7 reported.

The march will kick off in the afternoon, while another ceremony to be held at night where the head of the Supreme Council for Sufis and a number of religious clerics will participate.


Hep C testing debut at Egyptian Universities this academic year

Egyptian universities started Hepatitis C testing this year for the first as part of a campaign aiming for a “University Free Of Hep C.”

Both Cairo and Ain Shams universities have begun applying the tests to students, employees and teaching board members.

Gaber Nassar, the President of Cairo University, told Youm7 that the test is “compulsory” and that the university will provide treatment free of charge for those proven infected.


$3 mln project to develop 30 Egyptian reserves: Environment Min.

Ministry of Environment has announced a large project worth $3 million to develop 30 natural reserves, Youm7 reported.

The project is carried out in coordination between the ministry, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility.


Cairo to see moderate weather Sunday

Forecasters expected a moderate weather to prevail in Cairo on Sunday, with the temperature recording highs of 34 and lows of 22.

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