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Hepatitis C: The silent killer

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been compared to a ‘viral time bomb’ with an estimated 3 percent of the world’s population (180 million people) infected worldwide and 3-4 million people being newly infected per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). HCV is particularly rampant in Egypt, which has the highest prevalence of the …

Daily News Egypt

No sex please, we're daddy's little girls

Agence France-Presse It has all the ingredients of a wedding: The proud tuxedo-clad father, the frosted white cake, the limousines and an exchange of vows. But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She s daddy s little girl, there to take a vow of chastity. In what …

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IFC financing for tissue mill supports wastepaper recycling in Egypt

CAIRO: International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is helping Lebanon’s Indevco Group go green as the company builds its presence in Egypt. Today, IFC committed a $26.4 million investment in support of the company’s new $76.8 million tissue paper mill, which will use wastepaper as its primary source …

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Egyptian, Chinese companies sign 11 deals worth $30 million

CAIRO: A group of Egyptian businessmen and representative of Chinese public companies signed 11 deals worth $30 million to export different products from Egypt, including marble, granite, oranges, linen, phosphates and petrochemicals. The signing ceremony, held Thursday night at the Four Seasons Hotel, was attended by Tao Hucheng, Chinese vice minister of commerce, and Mohammed …

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Iran's shadow hovered over Riyadh

The standard for success at Arab summits is, usually, the avoidance of implosion as differences between the various rulers take center stage and eclipse more relevant issues. The end-result is usually a diluted final statement aimed at preserving a façade of Arab solidarity. At the Riyadh summit earlier this week, appropriately dubbed the summit of …

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Lawyer for alleged spy asks court to drop charges

Associated Press CAIRO: The defense lawyer for an Egyptian-Canadian man on trial on charges of spying for Israel asked the Cairo court on Wednesday to drop the charges against his client, saying his confession was made under duress while being interrogated. Such an investigation was illegal and not based on material evidence, attorney Ibrahim El-Basyuni …

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Lebanon can use bipolar electoral order

Lebanon is unique among the Arab countries in being a democratic system based on parliamentary representation. In this regard, it is comparable to the political systems of other modern democracies around the world. However, Lebanese democracy was never able to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, respect for sectarian diversity and the …

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Egypt introduces changes, much remains the same

Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) should be congratulated for its handling of the March 26 referendum. Well-scripted, timed, and executed, it also fulfilled the public’s expectations. Everyone knew the vote would favor the institution of 34 constitutional amendments drafted by the state. They knew it so well that only an estimated 10 percent of …

Daily News Egypt

Cleric seeks damages in Italy for 'CIA kidnap'

Reuters ROME: A Muslim cleric is seeking millions of euros in damages from the Italian state, after accusing CIA agents and Italian spies of kidnapping him in Milan and flying him to Egypt for torture. A lawyer acting for Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, in his first interview since arriving in Rome on Wednesday from Egypt, …

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UN agency issues new locust warning for Northeast Africa

NEW YORK: In a new offensive against locusts, the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called on countries in northeast Africa to intensify surveys and control operations against the crop-devouring insects, particularly on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea and Sudan and in northwest Somalia. If the swarms are not controlled on the …

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Arab leaders to mandate peace drive at Saudi summit

Agence France-Presse RIYADH: Arab leaders kicked off a two-day summit in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday aiming to revive a dormant plan for peace with Israel and launch a diplomatic offensive to resolve the Middle East conflict. Several world figures, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, will attend the …

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The Arab summit can kick-start peace in Darfur

After four years of genocide in Darfur, the world continues to try managing a conflict in desperate need of resolution. Today, the Arab League will issue a final statement at its summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has recently been the primary engine of Arab diplomatic engagement on several important issues in the Middle …

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Michel Aoun can cut the Gordian knot

Lebanon is locked in stalemate as the majority and opposition remain encamped behind their red lines. But there is a way out, and the solution lies in the hands of that volatile man in Rabieh. Michel Aoun can break Lebanon’s debilitating impasse, and would gain because of it. Here’s how. For months, Aoun’s strategy has …

Daily News Egypt

Youth views: Welcome, Mr Ban, to the "most impossible job on Earth"

CAIRO: “As Secretary-General, I will make the most of the authority invested in my office by the Charter and the mandate you give me. I will work diligently to materialise our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of humanity and for the peaceful resolution of threats to international security and regional stability. With these …

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Commentary: It is now Israel's call

The Israeli government should accept the Arab initiative because it has a solemn obligation to explore any possibility, however remote, to peacefully end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel can accept the Arab initiative in principle, and as long as it negotiates in earnest, the whole world will listen to its legitimate national concerns. But any negotiation …

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Ancient Egypt, Hollywood-style

CAIRO: Associate provost and director of core curriculum in the American University in Cairo (AUC) John Swanson, mocked the Hollywood portrayal of Ancient Egypt, during a talk he gave Wednesday night at AUC. Swanson believes that people formulate an understanding about cultures in different ways. Popular culture is a tool used to try to get …

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What Riyadh will mean for Palestinian-Israeli peace

More than ever, insofar as Saudi Arabia is concerned, a serious Palestinian-Israeli settlement process is a regional necessity and not a luxury that can be postponed to an indefinite future. The Saudis have lobbied hard for their own peace proposal, which was adopted by the Arab League in 2002, to top the agenda again in …

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Analysts debate the need for more powerful political parties

CAIRO: Three political analysts debated the importance of powerful political parties and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during a panel discussion on Thursday at the American University in Cairo (AUC). AUC professor and former parliamentarian Mona Makram-Ebeid, Osama El Ghazaly Harb, Shura Council member and one of the founders of the Democratic …

Daily News Egypt

Judges club complain to void outcome of referendum

CAIRO: Secular political parties joined voices with the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the Cairo s Judges Club, and professional unions led by the Journalists and Lawyers syndicates to call for boycotting yesterday s referendum on 34 amended constitutional articles. In a clear signal to the judiciary s rejection of the amendments, the Administrative Court yesterday ruled …

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Carnegie endowment experts focus on democratic contradictions in amendments

CAIRO: In a report released March 23, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace outlined contradictions between the democratic appearance and authoritarian reality of the current constitutional amendments and analyzed the Mubarak government’s motives behind reform. It focuses on how the amendments seem to provide opposition parties with reforms they have advocated for years, such as …

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I am an exile

Ever since I was 12 years old, I have led the life of an exiled Iraqi. My parents decided not to reside under Saddam Hussein’s government and sought further opportunities for freedom of expression, particularly after my father had been jailed simply because he voiced his opinion of the failed system that we Iraqis endured.. …

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Four candles blown up

As my fingers were flipping through today’s papers, my eyes were craned to the pictures the articles embraced. The photo of the man grieving in front of his burned book store summarized the whole article. I looked into his eyes. They were as red as the blood flowing in Baghdad. They were sad and miserable. …

Daily News Egypt

Japan's rising nationalism may isolate it in East Asia

Barely half a year into his premiership, Japan’s Shinzo Abe is provoking anger across Asia and mixed feelings in his country’s key ally, the United States. But will the Bush administration use its influence to nudge Abe away from inflammatory behavior? Abe’s predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, was a mold-breaking leader, reviving Japan’s economy, reforming the postal …

Daily News Egypt

Arabs worry about Iran, but their focus is on Israel

From 2002 until late 2005, with international concern about Iran’s nuclear file at a record high, the reaction in Arab states to Iran’s activities might best be described as a resounding silence. As the international community grappled with the implications of the emerging threat and the means to convince Iran to back down, Arab states …

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When women are the real men in Iran

Iran’s government has been sending strong and persistent signals to its people that autonomous political activism will not be tolerated. As a result, any political action in the public sphere, especially in the streets, has become highly risky, and those venturing to participate in events unwelcome by the government have been asking for trouble. The …

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The bear is back: Russia's return to the Middle East

The recent visit to Moscow of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan. There he aligned Russia with the Arab consensus supporting the Saudi-mediated Mecca Agreement between the Palestinian factions, called for the lifting of sanctions against the new Palestinian unity government, discussed energy …

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Cut Hamas some slack, to contain Al-Qaeda

Last week I spoke to a group of former militants in the Khan Younes refugee camp in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Many assured me that it was only a matter of time before Al-Qaeda arrived in Palestine. The atmosphere in Palestinian areas is charged with anger and frustration, thanks to the political …

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