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Showing posts with label Egypt News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt News. Show all posts

Egypt helps ease Gaza oil crisis

Category: , By News Updater
Egypt has agreed to start supplying fuel to the Gaza Strip, to help ease a lengthy fuel crisis.

Cairo agreed to send diesel to be used at a power station, which shut down in mid-February.
This caused big reductions in Gaza's ambulance service, medical operations and taxi services, and power cuts of up to eighteen hours a day.
Officials in Gaza said enough fuel to run the power station for a day had arrived in nine trucks.
Israel is allowing the fuel supplies to go through the Karam Abu Salim border crossing.
The crisis stems from a dispute between Egypt and the Hamas government in Gaza over whether Gaza can trade with Egypt openly, or only via Israel.
At the same time Egypt cracked down on fuel being smuggled through tunnels, leading to petrol pumps running dry.

Egypt: Suzanne Mubarak detained in corruption probe

Category: , By News Updater
Suzanne Mubarak will be held in a Cairo prison, Egypt's Mena news agency says.

Mrs Mubarak, 70, and her husband have been questioned over allegations of "illegal acquisition of wealth".

The former president, who held power for 30 years, stepped down in February after weeks of protests.

He has since been detained by Egypt's Illicit Gains Authority, on charges he abused his position to illegally acquire wealth. He is also accused of involvement in the killings of anti-regime protesters.

The 83-year-old is currently under arrest in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, after suffering heart problems. His detention was extended by 15 days early on Friday morning.

The military council which has been in power since Mr Mubarak stepped down has vowed to bring to justice all those accused of corruption.

The former president, his wife, their two sons Alaa and Gamal and their wives have been banned from travel and had their assets frozen by general prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud.

More than 20 ministers and businessmen linked to Mr Mubarak's regime have been detained since his departure from office.

Last week, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was sentenced to 12 years in jail on charges of money-laundering and profiteering.

Adly also faces separate charges of ordering troops to fire on demonstrators. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Protesters keep up momentum in Egypt

Category: , , , By Echo
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Momentum held up on the 16th day of protests in Egypt as massive crowds once again jammed Cairo's Tahrir Square Wednesday, spilling over into a nearby compound housing government buildings.

The expanded protests forced the government to move parliament to another building, state television said.

Fueled by anger at the regime's incremental concessions and a denunciation of demands for President Hosni Mubarak's immediate exit, the rowdy demonstrations again drew thousands, many even from other cities and towns.

"The word 'departure,' which is repeated by some of the protesters, is against the ethics of the Egyptians because Egyptians respect their elders and their president," Vice President Omar Suleiman told a group of newspaper editors, according to a state-run news agency.

"It is also an insulting word not only to the president but for the people of Egypt as a whole," he said.

But the protesters chanted: "Mubarak is a thief." Mubarak, meanwhile, went about business as usual Wednesday, meeting with his foreign minister and Russia's deputy foreign minister, state-run television showed.

There were signs that the unrest had spread to other parts of Egypt.

Two people were killed and others were wounded in clashes with police in southern Egypt, state TV reported. A journalist said the hostilities stemmed from complaints about a member of the police force in Kharga.

In the northern town of Port Said, protesters attacked the governor's building over a land and housing dispute, state TV said.

The protesters returned in full force Wednesday, galvanized the day before by the tears and words of a Google executive who was seized by security forces and released Monday.
Perhaps the reluctant face of the movement, Wael Ghonim, told CNN Wednesday that "this is no longer the time to negotiate" with the Egyptian government -- not after hundreds of lives have been lost over the last two weeks.

Human Rights Watch has been able to document 302 deaths so far since protests erupted on January 25.

Ghonim, a Dubai-based marketing executive, is the administrator of a Facebook page called "We are all Khaled Said," named after an Alexandria activist who was allegedly beaten to death by police. The page is widely credited with triggering the first protest January 25.
Monday evening, Ghonim's tearful interview on an Egyptian television channel struck a chord with protesters. The next day, he addressed the crowds at Tahrir Square, inspiring Egyptians to keep up the fight.

"This country, I have said for a long time, this country is our country, and everyone has a right to this country," he said. "You have a voice in this country. This is not the time for conflicting ideas, or factions, or ideologies. This is the time for us to say one thing only, 'Egypt is above all else.'"

Another Facebook page created to authorize Ghonim to speak on behalf of the protesters has 150,000 fans.

Mubarak's regime said Tuesday that it had discussed a number of reforms with leaders of various opposition groups and appointed a panel to look into amending the constitution, But Wednesday, it again sought to portray the strongman's immediate exit as a recipe for chaos.
Suleiman said that "dialogue and mutual understanding are the first way to achieve stability" and that a coup would "mean miscalculated and rushed steps" and would lead to more "irrationality."

His words prompted a public show of frustration from the Obama administration.
A short White House statement on U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's telephone conversation with Suleiman used the word "immediate" or "immediately" four times.

Biden "urged that the transition produce immediate, irreversible progress that responds to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

The statement also hinted the White House harbors doubts as to whether the Egyptian government is seriously committed to reforms, referring to the regime's statements as "what the government is saying it is prepared to accept."

Egypt crisis shows little signs of ending even after talks

Category: By News Updater
Opposition activist Mohammad ElBaradei, who was not invited at the meeting yesterday too slammed the negotiations, saying they were "opaque", and "nobody knows who is talking to whom at this stage".The reforms committee has basically been tasked to suggest amendments in the constituion to put a term limit on the number of tenures of a president and on defining who can contest for the presidency. But, Vice President Omar Suleiman did not agree to an opposition proposal that the President''s powers be transferred to him in line with a constitutional provision.Obama played down the prospect of Muslim Brotherhood emerging as the main force in Egypt in a post-Mubarak era, and said the group is only one faction in a country which has a large number of secular groups as well."What Egypt needs is a peaceful and orderly transition," he said.The developments came even as tens of thousands of Egyptians observed a ''Day of Martyrs'' yesterday in remembrance of their countrymen killed in the uprising. While the regime has said that Mubarak, as president till September, would preside over a peaceful transition to a more representative government, the protesters have insisted that Mubarak should go now. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq meanwhile told CNN that Mubarak has no immediate plans to quit his position and that he intends to stay on till the end of his term in September.US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton too said that Mubarak might not be able to relinquish office as early as demanded by the protesters as the transition would take time.The talks followed a major shake-up in the ruling National Democratic Party, with resignations of most of its leaders including the president''s son Gamal Mubarak. PTI

Pipeline Attacked Near Israel-Egypt Border

Category: , By Echo
Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles & Katy Perry topped the charts (in that order) in the 16th annual Sally Beauty Best Tressed Survey. The survey polled results from 1,000 American women on the best and worst celebrity hair styles of the year.

Long layered haircuts have clearly been the trend in celebrity hair styles for the last year and more. This poll is another indication that long hair styles are here to stay for a while longer. These long hair styles have varied mostly with the cutting in of bangs or no bangs. Side swept bangs, blunt bangs, wispy bangs or choppy bangs all contribute to changing the overall look of long hair styles, so find out if bangs are right for you.

This poll also included some questions on personal hair care that had some surprising results, check it out below.

EL-ARISH, Egypt - An explosion rocked a gas terminal in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, setting off a massive fire that was contained after officials shut off the flow of gas to neighboring Jordan and Egypt, officials said.

There were no reports of casualties from the blast at a gas terminal in the Sinai town of El-Arish. The explosion sent a pillar of flames leaping into the sky, but was a safe distance from the nearest homes, said regional governor Abdel Wahab Mabrouk.

The cause of the explosion was not clear. Mabrouk told Egyptian media he suspected "sabotage," but did not explain further.

The blast came as a popular uprising engulfed Egypt, where anti-government protesters have been demanding the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak for the past two weeks. The Sinai Peninsula, home to Bedouin tribesmen, has been the scene of clashes between residents and security forces. It borders both Israel and the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas.

The pipeline transports gas from Egypt's Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea to Israel, Syria and Jordan.

Mabrouk told Egypt's Nile News TV that the fire was brought under control by mid-morning, after valves allowing the flow of gas from the terminal into pipelines were shut off.

Egyptian authorities expect gas to remain shut off for a week, until repairs are completed, Maabrah said.

Egypt has potential natural gas reserves of 62 trillion cubic feet, the 18th largest in the world.

Neighboring Israel relies on the gas pipeline to meet its energy needs and spends billions to bring natural gas from Egypt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said that it's not clear whether damage was caused to the pipeline leading to Israel. "But as a security precaution, Israel temporarily stopped, by its own initiative, the transfer of gas as procedure dictates," the statement said. Israel has alternative energy sources and is not likely to experience power shortages, the statement said.

The blast also halted the gas supply to Jordan, which depends on Egyptian gas to generate 80 percent of its electricity.

Jordan's National Electric Power Company is resorting to heavy fuel and diesel to keep national power plants running, said the company's director-general, Ghalib Maabrah. He said Jordan has heavy fuel and diesel reserves to generate electricity for three weeks, adding that the shift will cost Jordan $4.2 million a day.

The SITE intelligence group, which monitors Islamist websites, reported that jihadists had issued online posts urging Sinai Bedouin tribes to launch attacks against the pipeline. SITE quoted one Islamist website author who wrote: "To our brothers, the Bedouins of Sinai, the heroes of Islam, strike with an iron fist, because this is a chance to stop the supply to the Israelites."

Egypt began providing Israel with natural gas in February 2008 under a deal by which it will sell Israel 60 billion cubic feet a year for 15 years.

The deal raised controversy at home, with some in the Egyptian opposition saying the gas was being sold at below-market rates. Others resent Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and say Egypt shouldn't supply energy to Israel.

"The deal (to sell gas) was a blow to the pride of Egyptians and a betrayal," former diplomat Ibrahim Yousri told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Yousri led a high court challenge to try halt Egypt's sale of gas to Israel. Although the high court ruled in his favor in February 2010, the ruling was widely ignored by the government.

The Sinai gas pipelines have come under attack in the past. Bedouin tribesmen attempted to blow up the pipeline last July as tensions intensified between them and the Egyptian government, which they accuse of discrimination and of ignoring their plight.

Egypt: CNN-IBN journo's ID card, tapes burnt

Category: , By Echo
CNN-IBN video journalist Rajesh Bhardwaj was taken into preventive custody in Cairo on Thursday and his identity card and tapes burnt. Bhardwaj along with some other media personnel was reportedly taken into custody by the Egyptian Army but released after some time. Bhardwaj was shooting the anti-Hosni Mubarak protests at Tahrir Square in Cairo when the Army took him into custody.

However, Bhardwaj said after his release that those who took him into custody were not in army uniform.

"They asked me from where I was. When I replied that I was an Indian they took me near some Army tanks and asked for my identity card. My identity card was torn and burnt. My tapes were taken away and burnt them. They even took away my camera but returned it after removing the tapes from it. Those who burnt my identity card and tapes were not in army uniform," he said.

He also said that some Army personnel opened fire at anti-government protestors in Tahrir Square.

BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and interrogated. Wingfield-Hayes was arrested shortly after interviewing the advisor to Mubarak.

Passports of several journalists were also taken away by Egyptian authorities.

Indian Ambassador to Egypt, RS Swaminathan, told CNN-IBN that the Embassy had not been contacted so far by the Indian journalists present in Egypt. But he promised to get any Indian journalist under custody in Egypt released.

The Ministry of External Affairs has also decided to issue an advisory asking all Indian journalists to avoid troubled spots in Egypt. The Ministry also got in touch with the Egyptian government to get Bhardwaj released immediately after the news came out

Earlier, Army used tanks to separate supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from the anti-government protestors. The Army stepped in after fresh clashes erupted in Cairo ahead of a Friday deadline for Mubarak to quit.

The violence started again just a few hours after Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq apologised for earlier violence and promised to hold an investigation into the deadly clashes that left at least six people dead and several others injured.

Supporters of President Mubarak targeted anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square reportedly from assault rifles.

Egypt forced Vodafone to send pro-govt SMSes

Category: , By Echo
Egyptian authorities forced Vodafone to broadcast government-scripted text messages during the protests that have rocked the North African nation, the UK-based mobile company said Thursday.
Micro-blogging site Twitter has been buzzing with screen grabs from Vodafone's Egyptian customers showing pro-government text messages sent to them in the run-up to the violent clashes in central Cairo that broke out on Wednesday.
Vodafone Group PLC said in a statement that Egyptian authorities had been using the country's emergency laws to script text messages to its customers since the beginning of the unrest. The company said it had no ability to change the content of the messages.
Egypt forced Vodafone to send pro-govt SMSes
"Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable," the statement said. "We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator."
Vodafone has already come under fire for its role in the Internet blackout that cut Egypt off from the online world for several days. The company said the order to pull the plug on its Egyptian customers could not be ignored as it was legal under local law.
The company noted in its statement that the Egyptian government also has the power to compel other mobile operators, including Egypt's Mobinil and Etisalat, to send pre-scripted text messages.
It was not clear whether those companies were also involved. Vodafone did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the exact nature of the government messages, although Twitter users described them as carrying patriotic messages as well as attacks on "traitors".

Journalists beaten by Mubarak supporters

Category: , By Echo
Cairo: Amid the political turmoil and chaos in Egypt, foreign journalists have become targets of rampaging mobs, mostly aligned with embattled President Hosni Mubarak.
Journalists became targets, beaten, bloodied, harassed and detained by raging men, most all in some way aligned with President Mubarak, CNN, ABC News and other media outlets reported.
They said members of their staffs had been attacked, most on the streets of Cairo on Wednesday, a day after the 82-year-old Mubarak refused to step down to end his 30-year reign.

In several cases, news personnel were accused of being "foreign spies," seized and whisked away, and often assaulted, the report said.
"It was pandemonium. There was no control. Suddenly a man would come up to you and punch you in the face," said CNN's Anderson Cooper, describing being attacked by pro-Mubarak demonstrators with two colleagues outside of Tahrir Square, the hub of Wednesday's bloody confrontations.
Mubarak's supporters turned up on the streets on Wednesday in significant numbers for the first time and some were hostile to journalists and foreigners.
CNN's Hala Gorani, who got caught in a stampede of demonstrators, some of whom were riding on camels and horses, said: "I got slammed against the gates and was threatened by one of the pro-Mubarak protesters who was ... Telling me to 'get out, get out."
The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news network was among the worst hit, its office damaged and several of its staff targeted.
Two Associated Press correspondents were also roughed up in Cairo. State TV had reported that foreigners were caught distributing anti-Mubarak leaflets, apparently trying to depict the movement as foreign-fueled.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based advocacy organisation, detailed about a dozen incidents, accusing men, most of them described as pro-Mubarak demonstrators, of perpetrating attacks on reporters.
The group laid the blame for this violence squarely on President Mubarak's administration, accusing it of scheming to suppress and stifle news coverage.
In a statement, Jean-Francois Juillard, secretary- general of the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said "the use of violence against media personnel is especially shocking."
"We urge the international community to react strongly to these excesses. And we remind the Egyptian government that it has a duty to apply the law and to urgently restore security for everyone, including media personnel."