UPDATE-Egypt’s local news digest Oct. 22:  Egypt studies seawater desalination to improve water efficiency: Minister

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Oct. 22 here:


Egypt studies seawater desalination to improve water efficiency: Minister

Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atty said that Egypt’s water consumption is 110 billion cubic meters, of which 30 billion cubic meters is consumed in agriculture, 80 billion in human consumption and 20 billion comes from recycling wastewater.

He added that the increase in population size prompts Egypt to search for ways to improve water efficiency like studying water treatment of the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea.


Passenger busted with gold, spy camera at Cairo Airport

Customs department at Cairo Airport has thwarted an attempt by an Egyptian passenger to smuggle gold and a spy drone supported with camera that was hidden inside potato chips packets.

The Egyptian passenger arrived in Cairo on board of a flight coming from Sharjah, UAE.

Cairo Airport has frequently foiled similar attempts, where passengers were busted and investigated.


Michael Bolton visits Giza Pyramids, shines in Cairo concert 

Renowned US singer Michael Bolton left Cairo Saturday morning after he performed in front of thousands of admirers during his concert on Friday, Youm7 reported.

Bolton appeared live at the Cairo International Fair Centre Friday night in his first ever concert in Egypt under the auspices of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA.)

Bolton arrived in Cairo Wednesday and toured Giza Pyramids on Thursday where he called on the world to come and visit Egypt, which he described as “the land of peace, safety and civilization.”

Several celebrities have visited Egypt recently as part of the TPA’s bid to revive tourism sector, which has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.


UK to provide Egypt with maps of World War II mines, ambassador

UK Ambassador in Cairo Johan Casson said that his country had provided Egypt with all maps of World War II mines in the north coast area, state news agency MENA reported Friday.

He added that the UK government has provided $10 million to back efforts to eliminate landmines from Egypt’s north coast and has launched awareness campaigns for 16,000 people against landmines during the past 10 years.

The remarks coincides with the 74th anniversary of the decisive battle of f El-Alamein, which sealed the Allied victory in North Africa during the World War II.

Egypt has over 21 million “deadly undetonated devices” hidden in its sands, which represents “20 percent of all world’s landmines,” according to a report released by the Landmine Struggle Center in May, 1999.

An area of 500 square meters in Egypt’s northern coast has been cleared from landmines due to efforts exerted by the EU and the UN, said Casson.

During a meeting with the UK cross-party groups in July, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr urged members of the Parliamentary Friendship group to cooperate to “demine all of Egypt since landmines represent imminent danger, which impedes the country’s sustainable development plans” through international and private grants.

About 40 percent of mines that remained in the west northern coast area since the World War II has been cleared, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said on Friday.


Tourists flock to watch Abu Simbel solar alignment

Up to 1,100 tourists flocked early Saturday to the town of Abu Simbel and stood by the façade of Abu Simbel temple to witness the biannual phenomenon of the solar alignment on the temple’s shrine, Youm7 reported.

“At 05:52 a.m., the sun rays struck the temple’s sanctuary and illuminated the faces of the statues of Ramses II, God Ra-Horakhty and God Amon-Ra. The sanctuary went dark again at around 06:12,” tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told Youm7.

Folklore groups from across Egypt entertained the crowd with regional varieties of traditional costumes, dances and songs. Ministers of tourism and antiquities were present during the celebration.

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.

The event was held as Egyptian authorities attempt to revive the country’s tourism industry, which suffered greatly in the wake of the 2011 uprising and the political turmoil and violence that followed.

The Abu Simbel temples are among seven archaeological sites in Egypt on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.


Army kills 21 militants N. Sinai: spokesperson

The Egyptian Armed Forces killed 21 “Takfiris” and destroyed their hideouts in North Sinai governorate, military spokesman Mohamed Samir said Friday.

Egyptian air force and artillery have bombarded 24 hideouts used by the militants, while ground and Special Forces were launching an offensive simultaneously.

The operations, he added, killed 21 militants, destroyed 40 motorbikes and defused 16 explosive devices.


2 policemen killed, conscript injured in Egypt’s N. Sinai explosion

Two policemen were killed and a conscript wounded in a bomb explosion that hit Egypt’s North Sinai, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Unidentified assailants planted a roadside bomb near the Rind Road of North Sinai capital city of Arish, and the explosion took place as a patrol vehicle passed by, an official at the Interior Ministry’s media office said in a statement.

Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.

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