Asmaa El Gammal

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Latest by Asmaa El Gammal


US embassy says venue for Obama’s speech undecided

CAIRO: US embassy spokesperson Margaret White refuted local press reports that Cairo University was the most likely venue for President Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world on June 4. “No decision has been made yet, White said, adding that the embassy was not making any press statements about the venues under consideration. The local …

Asmaa El Gammal

US program debates Ashraf Marwan's loyalties

CAIRO: In a segment filled with unanswered questions, late Egyptian billionaire and intelligence agent Ashraf Marwan was the star of CBS News’ “60 Minutes on Sunday, as correspondent Steve Kroft tried to unravel the mysteries surrounding the life and death of one of Egypt’s most controversial figures. Nearly two years after he was found dead …

Asmaa El Gammal

44 suspected cases of swine flu test negative, says health ministry

CAIRO: Forty-four suspected cases of H1N1 have tested negative, the Ministry of Health has confirmed, saying Egypt still remains free of the virus. The latest of these suspected cases were reported on Sunday in the governorates of Sixth of October, Cairo and Qaliubiya, including two women, one child and one man. Meanwhile, the General Authority …

Asmaa El Gammal

US press split on Egypt ahead of Obama visit

CAIRO: While American press coverage of President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world on June 4 has highlighted his efforts to improve relations with Muslims worldwide, the choice to deliver the speech from Egypt has garnered much speculation about what critics perceive as tacit support for autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Speaking …

Asmaa El Gammal

1,821 pigs slaughtered, government continues culling campaign

CAIRO: Despite resistance from pig farmers, government plans to slaughter pigs as a precautionary measure against the H1N1 virus are moving forward, with a reported 1,821 slaughtered pigs at press time. According to Ibrahim El-Bindary, head of preventive medicine at the Veterinary Services Authority, 616 pigs were culled and another 1,205 were slaughtered in the …

Asmaa El Gammal

Egypt develops new bird flu vaccine

CAIRO: A research team at the Egyptian National Research Center (NRC) has developed a new vaccine against the H5N1 bird flu virus, which researchers say is more effective in dealing with the strain of the virus found in Egypt. The NRC has signed a contract with the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VASCERA) …

Asmaa El Gammal

Four dead, tens injured in Ring Road pileup

CAIRO: At least four people died and more than 30 were injured Monday in a road accident involving more than 20 cars on the Ring Road in Katameya. Some of those injured are still in intensive care. The accident involved a collision between a truck full of steel rods and a public transportation bus, followed …

Asmaa El Gammal

Train commuters complain of high prices, deteriorating services

CAIRO: At any given time during the day, there is a crowd of people huddled around the information booth standing halfway between the entrance to Ramses Station and the ticket counters on the other end. Students clutching notebooks, businessmen holding briefcases and travelers dragging and rolling an assortment of various-sized luggage all stretch their necks …

Asmaa El Gammal

Demography may resolve Palestine-Israel conflict, says report

CAIRO: A recent report published by the Egyptian government s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) contemplated whether the demographic rise of the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli populations expected by the year 2025 could contribute to a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The report, titled, “The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Could It Be Solved Demographically? estimates that by …

Asmaa El Gammal

When parents and pediatricians go head to head

CAIRO: When Marwa Yehia’s four and a half year-old daughter was still an infant, she was coughing up blood. But it was only five months, three pediatricians, three surgeons and one gastroscopy later that little Noora was properly diagnosed with a congenital defect in her stomach. Though doctors knew she had a stomach ulcer, they …

Asmaa El Gammal

Tamer Hosni beats Sawiris, Fairuz in Arabian Business Power 100 list

CAIRO: With Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal at a whooping number one, first-time entrant Muntazar Al-Zaidi at number three and pop singer Tamer Hosni trumping both International Atomic Agency chief Mohamed Al Baradei and Egyptian telecom guru Naguib Sawiris with his modest 63 ranking, Arabian Business’ Power 100 list of the world’s most influential Arabs …

Asmaa El Gammal

Journalists list demands ahead of 'day of anger'

CAIRO: In an effort to improve the material status of journalists and achieve a higher degree of press freedoms, the Journalists’ Syndicate freedoms committee released a list of nine demands this week, including salary increases and the cancellation of prison terms for publishing offenses. The committee called on members of the syndicate’s General Assembly to …

Asmaa El Gammal

Qaradawi bans FGM in new fatwa

CAIRO: A fatwa (religious edict) banning the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) recently posted on Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi’s website can help eradicate the practice in Egypt, say politicians and activists. “Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi has his weight in the Islamic world as a whole, and he is more credible than other institutions [like Al Azhar], …

Asmaa El Gammal

Political parties reluctant to join April 6 strike

CAIRO: Though the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) still has not answered calls for a general strike on April 6, MB deputy leader Mohamed Habib said the group’s participation could weigh heavily on its success. “The Brotherhood is a political entity enjoying widespread popularity and credibility, said Habib, “any action removed from the Brotherhood is pale and …

Asmaa El Gammal

Debate over definition of death continues

CAIRO: Despite concerns that the Sharia definition of death would delay the People s Assembly s (PA) approval of the organ transplant law, spokesperson for Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa says that doctors remain the primary arbiters of the debate. There is no explicit [religious] opinion [on the definition of death], said Sheikh Ibrahim Negm, the …

Asmaa El Gammal

Mandara Spa: On capturing serenity

From the moment you step into the peaceful serenity of the JW Marriott’s Mandara Spa, your senses are in for a treat. The soothing and almost musical sounds of trickling water, the fresh whiff of lemon grass and the friendly smile of the Thai receptionist are all designed to steal you away from the hectic …

Asmaa El Gammal

US aid cut won't dent economy, says expert

CAIRO: Despite a $200 million cut in economic aid to Egypt approved by the United States House of Representatives on Feb. 25, analysts say it is not likely to make a dent in Egypt’s economy. The cut was part of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, a bill designating federal funding for the remainder of the …

Asmaa El Gammal

Gamal Mubarak goes to Washington in unofficial visit

CAIRO: Gamal Mubarak s trip to Washington today has politicians and analysts speculating about the motives and significance for Egyptian-American relations of the President s son s two-day visit to the United States. In his first visit to the United States since 2006, Mubarak will be meeting several congressmen and US officials while attending discussions …

Asmaa El Gammal

Experts debate validity of 'Correction Wave'

CAIRO: While reaching a consensus that the push for change has taken a socio-economic rather than a strictly political direction, Egyptian intellectuals, analysts and political activists are still debating the implications of the recent Judges’ Club elections on what’s been labeled as the “Correction Wave in Egypt. Apprehension and optimism were both present at a …

Asmaa El Gammal

MP wants to ban foreign funding for civil organizations

CAIRO: In an effort to curb what he views as excessive Western influence on the Egyptian development agenda, independent MP Mohamed El Omda has proposed a draft law to ban all foreign funding for Egyptian civil society organizations. El Omda said the law proposal was mainly aimed at halting foreign funding for organizations such as …

Asmaa El Gammal

Democratic Front Party students arrested in Alexandria

CAIRO: Two more student leaders of the Democratic Front Party were arrested by police officials Saturday while participating in a campaign at Alexandria University against university security affiliated with the interior ministry. The two students, Mohamed Abdel Karim and Ahmed Gomaa, have appeared before the Alexandria Prosecutor, according to party chair Margaret Azir. “We still …

Asmaa El Gammal

Students questioned in Sharqeya for conducting campus survey

CAIRO: A survey about university student concerns became the object of state security investigations Monday when two students at the University of Sharqeya were held and questioned for distributing it on campus. Aly Ahmed and Karim Mostafa, also members of the Democratic Front Party, were released after a few hours of questioning by the university …

Asmaa El Gammal

Controversy mars results of Judges Club elections

CAIRO: The Judges Club election results will effectively hinder its role as a bulwark for judicial independence and citizen rights, say proponents of the “independence faction of the club. With 2,421 votes to 2,037 votes, Judge Ahmed El Zand emerged victorious during Friday’s elections over Judge Hisham Geneina, his main rival for the club’s chairmanship. …

Asmaa El Gammal

State Council judges banned from speaking to media

CAIRO: Judges and members of the State Council are now banned from speaking to the media without prior permission from Council Chairman Nabil Merham, according to a decision by the State Council’s highest administrative council. “It is the role of a judge to deliver justice, not to comment on judicial decisions, said Moataz Morsy, deputy …

Asmaa El Gammal

Whereabouts of arrested Brotherhood members still unknown

CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood leaders say they are still unaware of the whereabouts of 56 of the group’s members arrested during a Cairo protest in support of Gaza Palestinians Friday. According to Mahmoud Ezzat, secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group has not received word that those arrested have been presented to the prosecutor’s office …

Asmaa El Gammal

Lawyers threaten nationwide strike over syndicate elections

CAIRO: The steps of the Lawyers’ Syndicate will witness another protest today as members of the “Committee of the 100 continue to demand a speedy review of the syndicate voters’ register by the Judicial Committee. The protest, which comes on the heels of another protest held Monday, will be among a series of weekly demonstrations …

Asmaa El Gammal

Erdogan was strong and courageous, says Ahram Center analyst

CAIRO: As thousands in Istanbul gave Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a hero s welcome for storming out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, his actions are being met with similar enthusiasm in Egypt. Erdogan had left a forum panel on Thursday after a heated discussion on Gaza in which he was refused …

Asmaa El Gammal

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