Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1286, (10 - 16 March 2016)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1286, (10 - 16 March 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Abul-Gheit nominated

EGYPT has officially nominated former foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit as secretary-general of the Arab League. Foreign ministers from the 22 countries constituting the league will vote on Abul-Gheit’s appointment on Thursday at a Cairo summit.

No other country has put up a candidate. Egyptian candidates are traditionally voted in to head the league. Abul-Gheit, 73, served as foreign minister from July 2004 until March 2011 when Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president.

The nomination comes following the announcement by Secretary-General Nabil Al-Arabi that he will not pursue a second term. Al-Arabi, 80, took over as league chief from fellow Egyptian diplomat Amr Moussa in 2011. Al-Arabi’s term will end on 30 June.

New AUC president

THE BOARD of trustees of the American University in Cairo (AUC) announced on Thursday the appointment of former US ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone as the new university president.

Ricciardone currently serves as vice president and director of the Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East at the US-based Atlantic Council. Before joining the council, he served as US ambassador to Egypt from 2005 to 2008.

Ricciardone will assume office as AUC’s 12th president on 1 July 2016, according to the statement issued by AUC. The university’s new president can speak and read Arabic, Italian, Turkish and French, as well as basic Farsi.

Journalist released

STATE security prosecutors on Saturday ordered the release of journalist Mahmoud Al-Sakka, detained since January, pending his upcoming trial on charges of joining an outlawed group.

Al-Sakka is charged with joining a group called 25 January Youth, which prosecutors allege tried to prevent state institutions from performing their functions, called for the overthrow of the regime, and endangered general security.

Al-Sakka works for the left-wing website Bawabet Yanayer, which was founded in 2014 by activist Amr Badr and a group of progressive journalists and supporters of the 2011 Revolution.

Free medical care

ALL universities will from now on provide students with medical care free of charge.

A ruling by the Administrative Court on 5 March came after the president of Damanhour University refused to pay for the medical treatment of a student at the university who later filed a lawsuit.

The court ruling conforms to Egyptian law that decrees that it is the right of all students to be treated by universities.

The ruling is also in line with an earlier decision by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi stipulating that every university must establish its own healthcare system and provide medicine to all students free of charge.

At public universities, at the beginning of each academic year, students pay a fixed amount to cover healthcare expenses and services.

Victims of collapse

A 70-year-old woman and her infant grandchild were killed and two young people were injured late on Sunday when their house collapsed in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena.

The three-storey building that collapsed in the Nagaa Hamadi town of Qena was made of mud brick, a material commonly used to build houses in impoverished rural areas in Egypt.

Investigations are underway to pinpoint the cause of the collapse and to examine adjacent buildings. Around 40 per cent of Egypt’s population of 90 million people live in poverty, many of them residing in Upper Egypt.

In January, a 10-year-old girl lost her life in a similar building collapse in the governorate.

Emergency relief

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi on Sunday instructed that LE50,000 in “emergency relief” be paid from North Sinai governorate’s support fund to the family of a paramedic who was shot dead earlier in the day.

The paramedic, 38-year-old Reda Ibrahim, was transferring conscripts injured in an earlier explosion to the hospital in Al-Shadaid when his ambulance was also attacked.

Health Minister Ahmed Radi granted the family of the victim an additional LE250,000.

It is unclear whether the gunmen who targeted the ambulance were also behind the earlier bombing that injured the conscripts. No group has claimed responsibility for either attack.

The paramedic’s funeral was held Sunday at his hometown in Al-Sharqiya governorate. Thousands attended the funeral, including Radi, Al-Sharqiya Governor Khaled Said, the North Sinai governor, and the head of the Ambulance Authority, Ahmed Al-Ansari.

“There is no God but Allah, terrorism is the enemy of Allah”, mourners shouted. “Down with the murderers, down with the enemies of religion.”

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