Russian-Turkish tensions are positive for Egyptian exports: Fresh Fruit Co. Chairman

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Central bank policies to curtail imports increased grain prices despite global decline, says El-Naggari Daily News Egypt – Basma Tharwat Fresh Fruit Co. aims to increase its exports this year to EGP 66m compared to approximately EGP 60m recorded in 2015, representing a 10% growth. Mostafa El-Naggari, Chairman of Fresh Fruit Co, said the company’s total exports increased by 9% last year, noting that opening the door to rice exports in 2015 was the main reason behind the increase in ... Read More »

Our Mediterranean, Our Survival

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WASHINGTON — All the world’s seas are bedeviled by global warming, pollution and overfishing, but the Mediterranean and the 20-plus nations that ring it face another threat: A rising flood of invasive marine species flowing through the Suez Canal. The New York Times By D. RACHAEL BISHOP On Aug. 6, 2015, over the objections of environmentalists and the reservations of many economists, the canal’s latest expansion opened to shipping. The new 22-mile channel will double the canal’s capacity, allowing 97 ... Read More »

British government makes U-turn over resettlement of Syrian children

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Home Office announces it will take in vulnerable minors already in Europe following calls from politicians and charities The Guardian – Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic editor Britain will take in unaccompanied Syrian refugee children who are already in Europe, the government is to announce, and will set aside a new £10m fund to support vulnerable migrant children. It is the first time the UK has agreed to take Syrian refugees from within Europe and follows calls from charities and politicians for the ... Read More »

Tunisia imposes nationwide curfew amid spreading unrest

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Tunisia imposed a nationwide overnight curfew on Jan. 22 in response to growing unrest over unemployment as protests across the country descended into vandalism in several cities. Ηurriyet – KASSARINE, Tunisia The curfew from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. would begin on Jan. 22 because the attacks on public and private property “represent a danger to the country and its citizens,” the Interior Ministry said, according to the Associated Press. The previous night, police stations came under attack and security officers ... Read More »

Sisi’s Fracturing Regime

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Egypt’s strongman is cracking down ahead of the fifth anniversary of the revolution — but the real threat he faces isn’t from protests. FP – By Eric Trager * Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, protests that sparked Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising, and the Egyptian government is on edge. Fearing that activists will use the occasion to launch a new round of mass protests, the regime has intensified its crackdown on oppositionists in recent weeks, arresting ... Read More »

Norway tells refugees who used cycling loophole to enter to return to Russia

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Immigration minister clamps down on the 5,500 – mostly Syrians – who entered on bicycles through the Storskog border post The Guardian – Alec Luhn in Moscow Norway has said it will send back refugees who had taken advantage of a legal loophole to cross its Arctic border with Russia on bicycles. About 5,500 people, most of them Syrians, cycled through the Arctic Circle Storskog crossing in 2015 to take advantage of a loophole in border rules: while Russia does not ... Read More »

African asylum seekers fear for safety with racism on the rise in Israeli society

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Tekrit Michael lets out a sigh as he speaks, “It could be me next,” he says his words heavy, filled with a mix of anger but also a very palpable worry. Mondoweiss – Matthew Vickery * “If it was not Habtom it was me, it is just a matter of skin color. I feel I am not safe in Israel, not safe at all.” Michael, an Eritrean asylum seeker, speaks with sadness when mentioning the name of Habtom Zarhum, a fellow ... Read More »

Al-Shabab attacks African Union base in Somalia

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Heavily armed fighters from the al-Shabab group launch coordinated assault on the base in the town of El-Ade. Fighters from the al-Shabab group have attacked a base for African Union peacekeepers in southwestern Somalia, blasting their way into the compound and exchanging fire with peacekeepers, a Somali military official told Al Jazeera. Dozens of al-Shabab fighters on Friday assaulted the military base, which is run by Kenyan troops who are part of the AU force in the town of El-Ade, ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: More reproductive rights for women in Sierra Leone than Ireland

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Women of Sierra Leone no longer have to live in a world dominated by ideas from long, long ago The Irish Times – Eamonn McCann If Edwin Poots had said in the parliament of Sierra Leone what he said at Stormont on Monday, somebody, quite likely Isatu Kabia, would have bitten his head off. Or at least given him a clip on the ear. Joining in the praise for Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster on her first day as First Minister, Poots said: ... Read More »

Ebola is Over. But West Africa’s Public Health Challenge Remains

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Today the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has formally ended. At its height in mid-2014, there were concerns social order in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could collapse. ICG – By EJ Hogendoorn | @ejhogendoorn International mobilisation, notably after the UN Security Council declared the epidemic “a threat to peace and security” on 18 September, brought an extensive intervention and steady progress in reducing the virus’ spread. Now the focus has turned to preventing the re-emergence of Ebola or a similarly ... Read More »

Ethiopia cancels Addis Ababa master plan after Oromo protests

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Ethiopia’s government has abandoned plans to expand the boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa, which have caused months of deadly protests. BBC Demonstrations by people from the Oromo ethnic group have been sparked by fears that Oromo farmers could be displaced. Human rights groups have estimated that at least 140 people were killed by security forces during the protests. The ruling party in the Oromia region said it was dropping the plan following discussions with local people. The Oromo People’s ... Read More »

Rwanda is sliding into a new tragedy. And this time we’re funding it

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British taxes support a regime that even allies admit uses murder to crush political challenge The Spectator – Michela Wrong Never lighthearted, my African political exile friend sounded particularly lugubrious on the line from Washington. His voice was low and pensive. For the past few months, he said, he’d been hearing of plans hatched by the regime back home for his assassination. ‘They are very gruesome, very gruesome indeed.’ It was not the first time. In the past he’d always passed ... Read More »

Franco-Egyptian writer Robert Solé launches novel Hôtel Mahrajane in Cairo

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The writer will participate in two public events in Cairo next week, including the Egyptian launch of his new book Ahram Online Franco-Egyptian writer and journalist Robert Solé will attend the Egyptian launch of his latest book, Hôtel Mahrajane, in Cairo next week. Solé will take part in a discussion panel, titled “Three types of writing – novelistic, journalistic, historical,” along with Egyptian writer Khaled El-Khamisi on 9 January at the Egyptian Supreme Council for Culture in Cairo. Renowned Egyptian writer ... Read More »

Burkina Faso: Transition, Act II

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OVERVIEW Roch Marc Christian Kaboré’s victory in the 29 November presidential election shows that Burkinabes aspire as much to change as to continuity. ICG – Africa Briefing N°116 A former heir apparent to Blaise Compaoré, Kaboré symbolises both the stability of the former regime and, given his split from Compaoré, the desire for change. The new government must deliver on many challenges: major socio-economic needs, demands for justice, the fight against corruption and impunity, army reform and growing regional threats. The ... Read More »

Egypt urges Israel not to normalize ties with Turkey

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Sources reveal Cairo has been worriedly asking for clarification over reports that Israel will lift Gaza blockade, let Turkey into Gaza. Arutz Sheva – By Ari Yashar Egypt recently contacted Israel requesting clarification over the rapprochement talks Jerusalem is holding with Turkey, it was revealed on Thursday. Senior clerks in Jerusalem told Haaretz on condition of anonymity that the Egyptian government expressed its displeasure with the notion of Turkey being given an official role in Gaza, and further asked to clarify Israel’s intentions regarding ... Read More »

Egypt’s Sisi attends Coptic Christmas mass for second straight year

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The Egyptian president gives a short speech to mark the Coptic Christmas mass in Cairo on Wednesday Ahram Online Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended the Coptic Christmas mass on Wednesday for the second straight year at Saint Mark’s Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbasiya district, where he gave a small speech to mark the religious event. “We do not want anything to harm us [Egyptians] whether our economic or political circumstances,” Sisi said, adding that diversity in religions, traditions and ... Read More »