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Latest in Politics


Formulating the global agenda

CAIRO: Committed to improving the state of the world, goes the motto of the World Economic Forum. As with most slogans, it s catchy yet vague and difficult to contend with. Nevertheless, this annual gathering of the world s most influential people in Davos, followed by a number of regional meetings, is not without its …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Cancelled rights talk shows up lack of judicial freedom, say activists

CAIRO: The last-minute cancellation of a scheduled meeting between representatives of international rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Cairo-based Judges’ Club exposed the judiciary’s lack of independence from the authorities, local activists said. “The decision reflects the grim reality faced by the judiciary in Egypt, said Nasser Amin, director of the Arab Center …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Female journalist willing to apologize

CAIRO: After successfully appealing her indictment for libel in a Giza court, Amira Malash, a journalist with Al-Fajr, is making an attempt at reconciliation with her accuser to put “an end to this case. In Wednesday’s session, the Giza court reviewed the attorney’s request concerning the appeal and accepted a postponement of the case until …

Pakinam Amer

Sharm to be permanent home for Arab summits

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will fund the construction of a permanent seat for Arab summits in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, an Arab diplomat said Wednesday. Egypt will offer the land for the building, the Riyadh-based diplomat told AFP, requesting anonymity. The decision comes after Saudi Arabia declined during the annual Arab summit …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Demining for development

Since the end of World War II, some 8,000 people have died as a result of active landmines in Egypt s North Coast and Western Desert. Over the past 60 years, ordnance in both Sinai and the Western Desert have served as an impediment to developmental projects that might otherwise function as alleviation to Egypt …

Vivian Salama

Egypt reports ninth human case of bird flu

CAIRO: Egypt on Wednesday reported a new human case of the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, bringing to nine the number of human infections in the country, including two fatalities, an official said. The latest infection was detected in a 16-month-old child from the village of Dar Al-Salam in the southern province of Sohag, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Overnight interbank steady at 8.55 percent

CAIRO: The median overnight interbank rate on the Egyptian pound was 8.55 percent on Wednesday, little changed from Tuesday s 8.58 percent, with few banks dealing, bankers said. Four of nine banks contacted by Reuters dealt overnight at rates of 8.45 to 8.65 percent. Only one bank contacted on Tuesday had dealt overnight at 8.65 …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Depicting hypocrisy and denial in Egyptian society

CAIRO: There is a considerable amount of humor and despondency in Walid Khairy’s collection of short stories, No One Saw You as You Walked by the Café. The stories contain a multitude of themes. Among them are family, religion, sex, fantasy, violence, social aspirations and hypocrisy. In its entirety, the book mocks and exposes the …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt needs higher gas prices, says Britain's BG

ALEXANDRIA: One of the biggest gas producers operating in Egypt urged the government on Tuesday to raise domestic prices and ease access to higher value markets to attract capital for exploration. Stuart Fysh, regional executive vice president of British gas and oil company BG Group Plc, said that without revenue increases exploration capital could dwindle …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Investments in Egypt jump 500 percent compared to same period last year

CAIRO: Investments in Egypt are skyrocketing, up 500 percent over last year, according to the minister of investment. During the 4th Economic roundtable meeting held in Egypt, Mahmoud Mohieddin, minister of investment, stated that investments in the petroleum sector amounted to $1.9 billion, and $2.5 billion in other sectors, at the mid-point of the 2005/06 …

Najla Moussa

Profile of key players

President Hosni Mubarak In 1981, Mubarak, then Vice-President, became president of Egypt following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Mubarak declared on his inauguration that he would follow the political direction of his predecessor, which was marked by reconciliation with the West and peace with Israel inside internationally recognized borders. Before becoming president, Mubarak served …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

License for aspiring party delayed

CAIRO: In yet another setback for opposition groups, the Egyptian Political Parties Court has once again postponed a request by the Al-Karama (Dignity) group to officially form a party. “We are certainly going to win the case, a young member of Al-Karama, Mohammad Al-Hameedy, tells The Daily Star Egypt preceding Saturday’s court session. “We will …

Pakinam Amer

Egyptian media and the road to democracy

CAIRO: Since the dawn of satellite television across the Arab world, the media has taken on a more combative role in its review of government, once the absolute force behind what was reported. Arab governments in recent years have been forced to take a hard look at their tactics for dealing with the media, as …

Vivian Salama

Three months after parliamentary elections, opposition in shambles

CAIRO: A gunfight that broke out at the headquarters of Egypt’s oldest opposition party on Saturday served to underscore the plight of Egypt’s political opposition, in a state of disarray since parliamentary elections were held three months ago. “The incident is proof that none of the secular opposition parties are capable of resolving their rapidly …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Eight more Islamists detained in central Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces have detained eight more members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in the central city of Al-Minya, the Islamist movement s spokesman told AFP on Tuesday. Eight members of the Brotherhood were arrested in Al-Minya, one of whom is the son of a Brotherhood member of parliament, said Essam Al-Aryan. It is …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

President makes surprise visit to Sudan for talks on Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan: President Hosni Mubarak made a surprise visit to Khartoum on Tuesday, his first in more than a decade, and held talks with Sudan s president on the conflict in the Darfur region. The talks came a day after a top U.N. envoy, Jan Egeland, protested over what he called a Sudanese governmental decision …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Intel signs agreement on wireless technology with four universities

CAIRO: Intel signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday with four universities covering wireless technology, entrepreneurship and academic forums. The world s largest microchip manufacturer selected three public universities (Cairo, Alexandria and Ain Shams) and the American University of Cairo after evaluating a number of educational institutions in Egypt. The universities join some 150 others …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Illegal organ trade thrives on poverty

Head: Illegal organ trade thrives on poverty CAIRO: On the back of dire poverty, legal shortcomings and religious conservatism, a new mafia is prospering in Egypt and turning the country into the regional hub for the human organs trade, experts say. There are no official statistics, but in a country where social inequality is high …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Confessions on a dance floor

CAIRO: The queen of pop returns yet again with an album sounding a bit too familiar. Although Madonna is one of the few artists from a generation ago to still be on top, adapting to new trends doesn’t seem to have worked this time. While her new album, Confessions on a dance floor, features ultra …

Farah El Alfy

Third license bid heats up as joint Telenor-NTC bid announced

CAIRO: In yet another fresh round of bids, Telenor, a Norwegian mobile operator, and the National Telecommunications Holding Corporation (NTC), announced yesterday during a press conference that they are partnering up to bid for the third mobile license. “The partnership with NTC reflects our determination to establish an operation that will benefit from local expertise, …

Najla Moussa

Ten Islamists detained in Alexandria

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces detained 10 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in the northern city of Alexandria, the Islamist movement s spokesman told AFP Saturday. Ten members of the Brotherhood were arrested Friday in Alexandria, some of them as they were eating in a restaurant, Essam Al-Aryan said. He added that among those rounded …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Al-Wafd bloodshed dominates headlines

CAIRO: The aftermath of Saturday’s bloodshed at Al-Wafd headquarters due to in-fighting between two party factions has not yet faded, with news of the incident still sending shockwaves through media outlets as an official investigation into the incident kicks off. Noaman Gomaa, recently overthrown party leader, and others, including Ashraf Nasser, son of MP Ahmed …

Pakinam Amer

Committee recognizes new Al-Wafd Party head

CAIRO: A committee that oversees Egypt s political parties on Monday recognized the new leader of the opposition Al-Wafd Party whose previous ousted head was held for questioning after storming the party s offices. Rival Al-Wafd Party leaders sacked Noman Gomaa in January but he rejected the decision and on Saturday stormed the party offices …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

The pain of change

CAIRO: The government has been clear about the objective of its economic agenda: to reduce the dominance of the government in the economic process and increase the role of the private sector. This transition is not without opposition and the change may be painful to many involved. Ania Thiemann, the Economist Intelligence Unit s recently-appointed …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Azhar supports religious freedoms

CAIRO: Sheikh Fawzy El Zefzaf, former head of Al Azhar s Religions Dialogue Committee, denied circulating reports that he signed an accord that would grant missionary groups the freedom to work in Egypt. The news has been interpreted as indirectly allowing Muslims to convert to other religions. In a brief interview with The Daily Star …

Sarah El Sirgany

The hidden truths of Caché

CAIRO: Days following the beginning of last year s Cannes film festival, an enigmatic French thriller stormed into what started as yet another disappointing round, and left both critics and filmgoers in utter awe. The film was Caché, the latest masterwork from Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, which is now being shown in Egypt as the …

Joseph Fahim

Fatwa against statues triggers uproar in Egypt

CAIRO: A fatwa issued by Egypt s top religious authority which forbids the display of statues has art-lovers fearing it could be used by Islamic extremists as an excuse to destroy Egypt s historical heritage. Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the country s top Islamic jurist, issued the religious edict which declared as un-Islamic the exhibition …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Inquiry blames ferry captain for shipwreck

CAIRO: Initial results of an inquiry into the February shipwreck of the Al-Salaam 98 ferry in which 1,000 people died indicated that the captain was to blame, Transport Minister Mohammed Mansour said. The commission in charge of analyzing the black box concluded that it was an error of the captain which led to the sinking …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

UN health body confirms four bird flu cases in Egypt

CAIRO: The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that four Egyptians have caught bird flu, including two that died from the virus, an Egyptian health ministry official said on Monday. Nasr Al-Sayyed told Reuters that a WHO laboratory in Britain had verified the four cases. The result was received on Sunday, he said. The Egyptian …

Daily Star Egypt Staff