Loading...

Ayman's blog

Australian officials are pushing ahead with Sydney`s New Year`s Eve fireworks display despite more than a quarter of a million people signing a petition calling for the event to be scrapped.
Russia said on Sunday it had thwarted terrorism attacks reportedly planned in St. Petersburg thanks to a tip from Washington, bringing personal thanks again from President Vladimir Putin to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
A black rhino, thought to be the oldest in the world, has died in Tanzania at the age of 57.
Australian officials are pushing ahead with Sydney`s New Year`s Eve fireworks display despite more than a quarter of a million people signing a petition calling for the event to be scrapped.
In the global battle of ideas, Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a banner year.
A missile fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group struck a military parade in Yemen`s town of al-Dhalea, killing at least seven people and wounding several, government-allied southern separatist forces who control the area said on Sunday.
The U.S. military has carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah militia group, the Pentagon said on Sunday, two days after a U.S. civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
Israel will withold around 43 million in tax handovers to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority (PA) over its financial support for the families of slain or wounded Palestinian militants, the Israeli security cabinet said on Sunday.
Several Iraqi militia fighters were killed on Sunday in an air strike on their headquarters near the western Qaim district on the border with Syria, military sources and militia commanders told Reuters.
The U.S. military has carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah militia group, the U.S. Pentagon said on Sunday, two days after a U.S. civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
Guinea-Bissau began counting ballots on Sunday after a calm day of voting in a run-off presidential election between two former prime ministers who both promise to bring stability to the turbulent West African nation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone call on Sunday, thanked his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump for passing on an information which helped prevent "acts of terrorism" in Russia, the Kremlin said.
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine completed a full prisoner swap on Sunday after bussing remaining detainees in the five-year conflict to an exchange point in the breakaway Donbass region.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed a prisoner swap completed on Sunday between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, they said in a joint statement.
Pope Francis on Sunday urged people to talk to each other at mealtimes instead of using their mobile phones, citing Jesus, Mary and Joseph as an example for families to follow.
Two Saudi men shot dead last week in the eastern city of Dammam were driving a car loaded with explosives and were planning an "imminent terrorist operation", the SPA state news agency said on Sunday, citing security forces.
The explosion took place at an event for recruits to a separatist militia. Children were among the dead.
Voters in Guinea-Bissau cast ballots on Sunday in a run-off presidential election between two former prime ministers who both promise to bring stability to the turbulent West African nation.
A Turkish military cargo plane landed in the Somali capital on Sunday to evacuate people badly wounded in a devastating truck bombing that killed at least 90 people including two Turkish nationals.
A missile fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group struck a military parade in Yemen`s town of al-Dhalea, killing at least six people and injuring others, government-allied southern separatist forces who control the area said on Sunday.
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern regions completed a full prisoner swap on Sunday, exchanging all remaining detainees in the five-year conflict, the Ukrainian presidential office said.

Source: ECA’s website

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) has approved of Uber’s merger deal with Careem and their subsequent operations in the country in accordance to certain regulatory obligations and restrictions, as per ECA’s official statement.

In March 2019, it was announced that Uber and Careem have reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for 3.1 billion, consisting of 1.7 billion in convertible notes and 1.4 billion in cash.

Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Upon merging, Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, preserving its brand in the 14 countries and 100 cities where it operates.

Photo credit: Careem

In September, the ECA warned the ride-hailing giants of proceeding with the merge and carrying operations in Egypt without permission, citing concerns with monopoly and protection of competition.

“In the absence of regulations to manage the situation, completing the deal would lead to the creation of the following damages: increased prices, low service levels, few options available to the consumer, absence of innovation, and the possibility of damage extending to the relevant markets,” read the recent ECA statement.

The regulations which will need to be implemented concern various aspects of the applications’ services such as : setting a maximum surge price to not 2.5 times of the ride, a cap on the price increases for UberX and Careem Go rides, a limit on ride reduction prices on Uber and Careem buses, and an allocated percentage to driver recruitment among others.

Moreover, the ECA will be appointing a watchdog to monitor Uber’s compliance with the regulations which would be implemented initially for a two-year period prior to an automatic renewal of five years.

In September, a new law 2180/2019 stipulated that the companies provide Egypt’s government with customer data if requested.

Moreover, set to be operating under a proper ‘work license’, the companies would thus need to provide a VAT registration, a tax card and commercial records.

According to Al Ahram, almost 200,000 Egyptians are employed by Uber which made its entry into the Egyptian market in 2014.

Cairo’s white taxis. Source: Wikimedia

Its use, along with Careem, soared in popularity despite local criticism from Egyptian taxis which saw their means of livelihood at stake with the foreign competitors favoured for their ease and convenience.

The United States is monitoring North Korea`s actions closely and finds the situation there concerning but there are open lines of communications between the two countries, White House national security adviser Robert O`Brien said on Sunday.
The Iran-aligned Houthis said on Sunday six "sensitive" places in Saudi Arabia and three in the United Arab Emirates are on a list of military targets, suggesting the group remains prepared to fight on despite informal talks about a truce in Yemen`s war.
Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz is on the brink of returning to power as a coalition deal with the left-wing Greens is likely to be struck this week, three months after his party won a parliamentary election, both sides indicated on Sunday.
French coastguards rescued 31 migrants trying to cross the English Channel overnight after the engine of one small boat cut out and the other dinghy began to take in water, local authorities in France said on Sunday.
CAIRO - 29 December 2019: The dwellers of 400 villages agreed to jointly fund with the state the introduction of sewage networks, which will be executed by both the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities and the Ministry of Local Development.

A Ministry of Local Development’s report explained that citizens’ contributions will compose 40 percent of the projects’ costs covering the installment of regression networks and house sewer connections. Citizens will also have to provide locations to establish lift stations. On the other hand, the government will finance such stations as well as sewer lines.

The report released on Saturday indicates that the total cost of introducing sewer systems in the 400 villages in the Community Participation method is LE 8 billion, including LE 3.2 billion to be collected from beneficiaries. Of those, 93 villages are on the 2019/2020 plan of the National Authority of Potable Water and Sewage, while three projects have already been launched in Beni Suef governorate.

According to earlier data, the coverage of the water supply network in Egypt is 97 percent. The coverage of the sewage network is 54 percent. The amount of recycled water used annually is 4 billion cubic meters. The amount of water desalinated daily is 800,000 cubic meters and is planned to reach 3 million cubic meters by 2037.

Saudi state security on Sunday said two men who had planned an "imminent terrorist operation" were killed by security forces in the eastern city of Dammam, Saudi state agency SPA said.
Yemen`s Iran-aligned Houthis said six "sensitive" locations in Saudi Arabia and three in the United Arab Emirates are on a list of strike targets, the group`s al-Masirah TV reported on Sunday, quoting a Houthi military spokesman.
The fateful decision in 1979 to admit Mohammed Reza Pahlavi prompted the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and helped doom the Carter presidency.
CAIRO, Dec 29 (MENA) - The Social Solidarity Ministry is now receiving grievances of citizens excluded from a conditional cash support program on its website, www.moss.gov.eg, Nevine el Kabbaj announced Sunday.

The minister said that the Ministry will act in the coming stage to increase the number of beneficiaries from the "takaful" program.

About 150,000 new families are expected to join the program during January, Kabbaj said.

She put the number of current beneficiaries at 3.230 million families.
Greece`s Prime Minister said in remarks published on Sunday that if Athens and Ankara cannot solve their dispute about maritime zones in the Mediterranean they should turn to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to settle the disagreement.
A Saudi Arabian court sentenced on Sunday a man accused of stabbing three performers at a live show in the capital Riyadh in November to death, state television said.
CAIRO – 29 December 2019: Security directors held meetings with police officers and security personnel tasked with securing state institutions and places of worship during the New Year celebrations, to review security plans.

This comes as part of the Interior Ministry’s strategy to protect Christian citizens during such annual celebrations against any possible criminal or terrorist attempts, as terrorist groups, since the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, have targeted numerous Christians in several attacks.

The security directors, during the meetings, urged police personnel to stay vigilant and to deal decisively with any attempts to breach the law, and to give a hand to citizens in the streets, especially during celebrations.

All security directorates ordered an extensive security presence in streets and squares, and around vital installations and places of worship, to maintain security, and deal immediately and decisively with those who may try to disturb celebrations.

The Interior Ministry stressed the continuation of efforts to provide a safe atmosphere for citizens to enjoy celebrations, and called on everyone to abide by security instructions and to cooperate with police officers to implement security plans strictly and precisely.

Security authorities have earlier announced heightening security measures around worship places ahead of the celebrations, including encircling churches and vital facilities.

The plans also include installing security checkpoints; monitoring points around streets and roads; women police services to participate in inspection procedures, besides police dogs to inspect and comb the areas and fields.

Electronic gates will be installed outside churches to conduct inspections before entrance.
Russian and Syrian forces have bombed sites on a flawed U.N. no-strike list with impunity. Relief groups are giving up hope.
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said on Sunday he had ended a contest for cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammad, only hours after announcing the contentious event.
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine started a full prisoner swap on Sunday, driving all remaining detainees in the five-year conflict to a handover point and starting to unload them.
CAIRO, Dec 29 (MENA) - Transport Minister Kamel el Wazir stressed on Sunday that the comprehensive plan of developing Egyptian harbors will turn Egypt into a global hub for trade and logistics.

During an expanded meeting with an ad hoc committee tasked with studying the plan, the minister said the plan aims at achieving integration among Egyptian harbors, developing infrastructure of Egyptian ports in accordance with the latest international criteria, linking harbors to investment zones and rehabilitating human cadres.

The plan is conducted by Maritime Research & Consultation Center (MRCC).

He said the plan also seeks to develop the legislative infrastructure of Egyptian ports, securing harbors, raising environmental rating of the harbors and boosting the merchant fleet so that it can transfer 25 percent of Egypt`s total foreign seaborne trade.

He underlined the importance of finalizing the plan as soon as possible so that the maritime transport sector can play its role in boosting the national economy.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s transitional government is to postpone lifting fuel subsidies, initially planned as part of the 2020 budget, the information minister said on Saturday.

Finance minister Ibrahim Elbadawi had said on Friday the fuel subsidies will be gradually removed.

But the government met on Saturday with the former opposition which helped bring down veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir in April and agreed to not implement the decision until a conference in March where economic reforms will be discussed, information minister Faisal Saleh told Reuters.

“In light of the decisions of this conference will be determined the economic policies of the country, including policies regarding commodity subsidies,” Saleh said.

The removal of fuel subsidies is sensitive as it would hit a population suffering for years from economic crisis and high inflation.

Sudan’s transitional authorities face the tough task of turning around an economy wrecked by three decades of mismanagement under the rule of Bashir, who the military ousted in April after months of street protests.

Complicating Sudan’s recovery is its inclusion on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism. That designation has so far blocked Sudan from tapping the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for support.

Sudan’s transitional cabinet of technocrats was formed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in September after a power-sharing deal was reached between the Transitional Military Council that took over after Bashir’s overthrow and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), a coalition of former opposition and protest groups.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi said on Friday the transitional government plans to remove fuel subsidies gradually in 2020. He also said public sector salaries would be doubled to ease the impact of galloping inflation.

The decision to suspend the lifting of subsidies was made after Hamdok, Elbadawi and other ministers met with FFC representatives, Saleh told Reuters on Saturday.

Elbadawi, a former World Bank economist, told Reuters in November that public salaries would need to be increased and a social support network established to prepare for the painful removal of fuel and food subsidies. He said Sudan would need up to 5 billion in budget support to avert economic collapse and launch reforms.

Hamdok, an economist, told Reuters in November cash transfers were one scenario discussed to offset a cut in food and other subsidies.
A missile fired by Yemen`s Iran-aligned Houthi group struck a military parade in Yemen`s southern separatist-held town of al-Dhalea, killing at least five people and injuring others, Yemen`s Security Belt forces said on Sunday.
A Turkish military cargo plane landed in the Somali capital on Sunday to evacuate people badly wounded in a devastating truck bombing in the city a day earlier that killed at least 90 people including two Turkish nationals.
Residents and vacationers in part of the Australian state of Victoria were urged to leave on Sunday ahead of what is expected to be a day of extreme fire danger.
At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, officials said.
More than 1,000 people rallied in the rain in a park in Hong Kong`s financial district on Sunday, chanting slogans for democracy as they huddled under a sea of umbrellas.
At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, heath officials said.
HURGHADA, Dec 28 (MENA) - The cabinet has approved a decision to form a new ministerial group to consider tourism-related issues, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al Enani said Saturday.

Enani made his remarks during a meeting with a host of investors at a tourist resort in Hurghada, in the presence of Red Sea Governor Maj. Gen. Amr Hanafi.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi instructed the government to provide all forms of support needed to promote the tourism industry and overcome the difficulties facing investors, Anani said, highlighting the colossal importance of Hurghada for the sector`s competitiveness.

Meanwhile, Hanafi said that tourist activities are expected to witness a significant growth within the governorate.

H also highlighted the sector`s vital role in creating job opportunities for a large number of citizens, adding that efforts are underway to promote the tourism industry and attract more tourists to increase the state`s foreign currency reserves.
TRIPOLI, Dec 29 (MENA) - Libyan Parliament Spokesman Abdulla Belhiq Sunday warned that if Turkey were to opt for a military intervention, the Libyan army will take fierce action and consider such an intervention a `new colonization of Libya`.

The Libyan army has frequently targeted Turkish-run operation rooms that control military drones and offer logistic support for the militants in the conflict-hit country.

During a meeting with Speaker of Cypriot Parliament Demetris Syllouris, Speaker of Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh said that the parliament will plead with the European Union to withdraw support and recognition of the Government of National Accord.
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have started an all-for-all prisoner swap, after which all remaining prisoners of the five-year conflict should return home, the office of Ukraine`s president said on Sunday.
Citing a letter from a young Hong Konger appealing for people "not to believe the Communists", Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday the island`s democratic way of life was at risk from the danger China posed to Taiwan.
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 ... » »»
Blogger Tricks
Google this