Saturday,18 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1266, (15 - 21 October 2015)
Saturday,18 August, 2018
Issue 1266, (15 - 21 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Shoukri at UN for vote

FOREIGN Minister Sameh Shoukri left for New York on Monday to attend the voting for Egypt’s bid to gain a nonpermanent seat at the UN Security Council in 2016-2017. The vote is scheduled for Thursday 15 October.

Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Egypt plans to rally support for its bid by shedding light on the country’s vision, priorities and targets during the two-year membership.

“Egypt is an Arab, African and Middle Eastern country. It represents a big part of the Islamic and nonaligned countries. Thus, it should present a comprehensive vision that would defend the issues of these states, especially those related to peace, security and peaceful settlements to the crises in these regions,” Abu Zeid added.

The seat is likely to contribute to the efforts of the Egyptian government to open up to the world and create a new regional and international role. It will also place Cairo in closer contact with decision makers within the UN and help it play a more constructive role regionally, and in support of developing countries in Africa and Asia.

Egypt started its campaign to seek international support for its bid for the Security Council in September last year during the 69th meetings of the UN General Assembly.

Egypt received a nonpermanent seat in previous rotations: 1949-1950, 1960-1961, 1984-1985 and 1996-1997. Nonpermanent members take part in drafting resolutions and help decide whether to present them.

Before the vote, Shoukri held bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of countries that have not yet disclosed who they will vote for, in addition to addressing the ministerial meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday. He also attended a meeting held by the Egyptian delegation in New York to rally more support for the bid on the eve of the voting.

Mubarak’s sons may be freed

CAIRO Criminal Court on Monday ruled that the two sons of former president Hosni Mubarak could be released from prison while awaiting an appeal for a case involving the theft of state funds.

The case concerns charges that Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal embezzled millions of dollars of state funds, using money allocated for upgrading presidential palaces to renovate private family residences.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were sentenced along with their 87-year-old father, who was toppled in a popular uprising in 2011 and now resides in a Cairo military hospital, to three years in prison in a retrial of the case in May.

The court ruled on Monday that the Mubarak sons had already served the requisite time in prison for the sentence while awaiting the appeal process, which is continuing.

The two still face charges in two separate cases involving insider trading and illicit gains but will not be held in custody while awaiting trial, judicial sources said.

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were previously released in January after their convictions in the presidential palaces case were temporarily overturned. They were taken back into custody after a court found them guilty in the May retrial.

Anchor ruling upheld

CAIRO appeals court on Saturday upheld a five-year prison sentence against TV anchor Islam Al-Beheri, a prominent researcher in Islamic studies, for “contempt of religion.” Al-Beheri is well known for his TV shows that tackle controversial religious issues.

Al-Beheri was sentenced in May and was released on bail. The lawsuit was filed by lawyer Mohamed Abdel-Salam.

The researcher’s show, “With Islam”, was cancelled in April. It aired on the satellite TV channel Al-Kahera Wal-Nas and tackled contentious issues, including punishment for apostasy and different interpretations of Islam.

After Monday’s ruling, a final resort for Al-Beheri will be the Court of Cassation.

TV without a licence

CENSORSHIP authorities on Saturday detained the director of the Christian TV channel SAT-7 and confiscated studio equipment on charges of operating without a licence, the channel said on Monday.

The channel released a statement on its website saying that Farid Samir, the director of its Egypt office, was detained for six hours and released pending an investigation.

A hearing was held at the prosecutor’s office on Sunday but no ruling was issued. A prosecution ruling is expected to be made in the next few days. Meanwhile, the channel’s equipment will remain confiscated, the statement said.

“The confiscated equipment remains in police custody and the activities of SAT-7 in Egypt have been severely disrupted,” the statement added.

The statement also highlighted that “the work of SAT-7 Egypt is carried out under the legal umbrella of the Coptic Evangelical Church.”

Factory fire kills five

A FIRE at a clothes factory on Monday night in Egypt’s Mediterranean governorate of Alexandria killed five workers and left 25 others injured. The factory is located in Borg Al-Arab, west of the city of Alexandria.

Ibrahim Al-Roubi, the head of the Alexandria Emergency Medical Department, told Al-Ahram that all the injured were taken to Amereya Hospital. He said that 22 of the injured will be discharged soon while three others require further treatment.

A fire in the commercial hub of Haret Al-Yahud (Jewish Alley) injured four people late last month.

Mocking Moussa

CONTROVERSIAL Egyptian TV host Ahmed Moussa presented a video clip from a popular video game on his daily show as a genuine Russian operation against Islamic State (IS) in Syria, starting a wave of online ridicule.

Moussa aired the five-minute clip on Sunday night on the Sada Al-Balad TV channel. He told viewers it was footage of a Russian strike, and heaped praise on Russia while slamming the US.

“Russia doesn’t fool around like the United States. The Americans do not attack Islamic State, just like everybody else, except Russia,” Moussa said in his introduction.

“This is Russia, this is Putin,” said the TV host before promising viewers they would see something “fearful”.

The footage was from the popular multi-platform game Apache: Air Assault, released in 2010 by Russian developer Gajin Entertainment.

Not surprisingly, Egyptian social media users have since been mocking Moussa, known for his anti-revolutionary sentiments and support for former president Hosni Mubarak.

The hashtag #Ahmed Moussa, in Arabic, has been trending on Twitter, with users posting clips from other games and presenting them mockingly as Russian strikes in Syria.

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