AUC hits at news story
THE BANNER of the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Yom on Monday read, "The American University in Cairo and the Pentagon have a contract, for the sake of the American Navy, to pass on confidential information". The article alleged that the military contract's value is LE3.4 million, that its execution continued for two years, and questioned the "secret information" and the relationship between the Pentagon and AUC. The newspaper said it obtained the information from the website of an Arabic language news service based in Washington -- America in Arabic.
In a statement, the AUC said the newspaper carried "an account of a routine notice carried on the website of an Arabic language news service based in Washington. The account suggested that the American University in Cairo has been accepting money improperly and in secret from the Pentagon. This account is misleading."
The statement added that since 2006 AUC has had a contract with the US Naval Medical Research Unit in Egypt (NAMRU-3) to recruit and provide scientific staff in support of infectious disease research throughout the region, specifically relating to avian flu. The total value of the contract since 2006 is $1,964,035, i.e. $600,000 per year for the basic award, plus an additional $164,035 for travel expenses in the 2008 renewal. AUC's relationship with NAMRU is in keeping with the university's long-standing commitment to teaching, research and service to Egypt, the statement said.
Eleven road deaths
A SPEEDING bus overturned several times in central Sinai early on Tuesday, leaving 11 people dead and 36 injured.
The workers were travelling to a Sinai port to board a ferry to Jordan for work. The bus overturned three times, then hit a large rock before settling.
Most of the injured were in serious condition and taken to hospitals in the Sinai towns of Arish and Suez.
The injured said the bus split in two and passengers were squashed between the tyres and the coach. Some of the passengers noticed something was wrong with the bus before the accident because it kept swerving.
Nefertiti not so pretty
GERMAN researchers said Tuesday they had uncovered a second, hidden face within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artefacts, the bust of legendary beauty Queen Nefertiti.
The delicately sculpted face on the interior, revealed when the bust underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan, indicates that Nefertiti may not have been the flawless beauty depicted on the bust's exterior.
Compared to the outer stucco face, the hidden limestone visage had less depth in the corners of the eyelids, laugh lines around the corners of the mouth and cheeks, less prominently regal cheekbones and a tiny bump on the ridge of the nose.
The 3-D surface reformation of the inner limestone sculpture indicated that it was created in several steps, and the artist's makeover may have reflected the aesthetic ideals of the era.
Nefertiti, renowned as one of history's great beauties, was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton.
German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt brought the figure to Berlin in 1913, a year after it was unearthed on the banks of the Nile.
It is a prime attraction at the city's Altes Museum but will move into its own hall at the newly renovated Neues Museum when it reopens to the public in October.
The bust has long been a source of friction between Egypt and Germany. Cairo alleges that Borchardt fraudulently spirited it out of the country and has demanded its return.
German authorities have reportedly said they were willing to consider whether the statue could be returned to Cairo temporarily for display and the study's findings could help determine whether it could safely make the trip.