UPDATE: Egypt’s local digest on Oct. 8: EgyptAir suspends flights to Athens due to traffic controllers strike anticipated at Greek airports
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CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local stories in Egypt on Oct. 8, here:

EgyptAir suspends flights to Athens due to traffic controllers strike anticipated at Greek airports

EgyptAir has temporarily suspended its two daily passenger flights to Athens Airport on Sunday (October 9), Monday (October 10), due to the strikes called by air traffic controllers at all Greek airports, Youm7 reported.

In a statement released on Saturday, Egypt’s national carrier announced it will operate a flight on Monday at 10:00 p.m. Cairo local time after the strike is over.

It called on its customers booked at flights on those two days to contact the customer service center for further information.

The strikes have been scheduled for Sunday (October 9), Monday (October 10), Wednesday (October 12) and Thursday (October 13), from 00:01 to 23:59. During those days, there will no flights to and from Greek airports, Greek media reported.

 

No information available on security threats: Interior Ministry

Assistant Interior Minister for Media and Public Relations Tarek Attia on Saturday asserted that the ministry has not received any information on security threats despite the US embassy’s warning.

Measures taken by the security force are going in the framework of the strategic plans of the Interior Ministry, which has succeeded in establishing security and stability throughout the country,”  Attia was quoted by Youm7 on Saturday.

The remarks came after the Foreign Ministry expressed dissatisfaction over a security message issued by the US Embassy in Cairo advising US citizens to avoid large gatherings and public places in Cairo on Sunday, October 9, due to “potential security threats.”

“The US Embassy did not coordinate with the Foreign Ministry or notified any Egyptian official body about the reasons behind this statement or the nature of such threats, a matter that raises questions about the way in which the warning was issued,” ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

In a statement released Saturday, the Parliament’s foreign affairs committee said it was “surprised” by the security warnings despite the sound security conditions.

 

Court postpones examining challenge of Morsi in “Ittihadiya incidents” case to Oct.22

The Court of Cassation adjourned to Oct. 22 the examination of the challenge filed by former president Mohamed Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the “Ittihadiya incidents” case, Youm7 reported on Saturday.

In April 2016, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Morsi and other 14 co-defendants to 20 years in jail for inciting violence that led to the death of at least ten people during clashes outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

 

Cairo criminal court sentences “Zaytoun terror cell” leader to death

Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday sentenced leader of “Zaytoun terrorist cell” to death over charges of armed robbery, killing Coptic Christian jeweler and plotting terrorist operations, Youm7 reported.

The court also sentenced eight other co-defendants to 25 years in prison and sentenced 11 others to 15 years of rigorous imprisonment.

In June 2015, the defendants were sentenced to prison terms range from seven to 25 years before the prosecution challenged the rulings and a retrial was ordered.

The incidents took place in Cairo’s district of Zaytoun where Mohamed Fahim, the leader of the cell robbed a jewelry shop killing its owner and other four people.

Five defendants attended the trial while the rest were sentenced in absentia.

 

Aswan gears up for Abu Simbel temple solar alignment celebrations

Upper Egypt’s governorate of Aswan is gearing up to host a ceremony to mark the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple, Youm7 reported Sunday.

The celebrations will include folkloric music festivals along Aswan’s Corniche Street and in Feluccas (traditional sailboats,) the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority announced in a statement Saturday.

16 local and international folkloric bands are scheduled to take part in the festival in the presence of the governor of Aswan and Egyptian celebrities.

For most of the year, the inner sanctuary of Pharaoh Ramses II’s (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.) main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness. However, the temple was built so that a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom and illuminates statues of God Amun Re and the Pharaoh in the temple’s inner shrine twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and Feb. 22, which marks his coronation day.

Thousands of tourists flock to the temple in the early morning of the said two days to observe the phenomenon every year. The Abu Simbel temples are among seven archaeological sites in Egypt on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Abu Simbel is the seat of two rock-cut temples that were built by Ramses II; the great temple which was basically dedicated to God Amun Ra and the temple of Queen Nefertari, the pharaoh’s wife, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban previously told The Cairo Post.

“In the 1960s and during the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, UNESCO launched a universal campaign to rescue the twin temples along with other Nubian monuments to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, a massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the dam,” said Sabban.

 

7 Egyptians back home after 6-month detention by Libyan authorities: MP

Parliament member Samir Abu Taleb announced the return of seven Egyptian nationals, who were detained by Libyan authorities for the past six months, Youm7 reported.

They were released after authorities at Libya’s town of Misrata ascertained they were clear of any charges, Abu Taleb said, adding that they were arrested en route to Egypt 6 months ago. They all come from the same village in Samalout, Minya.

The Egyptian foreign ministry was closely following the situation to bring the seven Egyptians back home, he added. However, the reason behind the detention remains disclosed.

Last June, the relatives of the detainees staged a protest in front of the ministry to demand that officials intervene to secure their release.

Several Coptic Christian Egyptians have been killed in Libya in recent years. In February, the bodies of seven Egyptian Christians who had been shot were found near Benghazi.

 

PM, supply minister discuss measure to tackle growing sugar shortage

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met with Supply Minister Mohamed Ali al Sheikh on Saturday to discuss measures taken to provide enough amounts of sugar at market prices in a bid to tackle a shortage and price hike of the basic commodity in local markets, Youm7 reported.

The measures include contracting to buy 420,000 tons of Sugar from local providers during the coming period in addition to 200,000 tons of imported sugar to be allocated for the local market.

Ismail also announced the allocation of other 500,000 tons of sugar for local food industries.

The measures come after a price hike and shortage in sugar have been reported in several governorates including Cairo sparking anger amongst shoppers.

Egypt contracted to buy 400,000 tons of raw Sugar in a bid to tackle a shortage and price hike of the basic commodity in local markets, Ahmed Kamal, assistant supply minister was quoted by state news agency MENA on Friday.

The ministry will pump “large amounts” of sugar at the market and its outlets on Saturday and will continue crackdown on hoarders and black market traders so that sugar prices are “back to normal,” Kamal said.

 

Militant group claims assassination of Egyptian policeman

(Reuters) – A new Egyptian militant group, the Hasam Movement, on Saturday claimed responsibility for the killing of a policeman in the country’s north.

Gunmen shot Gamal al-Deeb, a policeman working with the Homeland Security agency, eight times outside his home in the northern Beheira province shortly after midnight, the interior ministry said. He died of a bullet to the head.

“The Hasam Movement’s assassination squad has carried out the field execution of the hardened criminal Gamal al-Deeb who committed his crimes in all ages,” the group said in a statement on social media. “He deserved the bullet of justice that found its way to his head and the seven others in his body.”

Hasam’s statements mix Islamist and anti-government political rhetoric, suggesting it is different from jihadi groups like Islamic State which is leading an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai and has killed hundreds of soldiers and police.

 

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