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Egypt presidential vote to start May 23

  CAIRO: Egypt’s presidential election will be held over two days starting May 23, the state election committee said on Wednesday, as the country’s military rulers prepare to hand power to civilians after last year’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. The committee’s head Farouk Sultan told a media conference that Egyptians abroad will be allowed to …

Agencies

British couple caught smuggling artifacts in Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian police prevented a British man and his wife from smuggling 19 artifacts out of the country, an antiquities official told AFP on Sunday. The couple were stopped in the southern Luxor airport with an assortment of relics including figurines and pots dating back to several eras, said Hassan Rasmi, who monitors the movement …

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Ex-interior minister to be tried with Mubarak

CAIRO: A court postponed on Monday the trial of Egypt’s former interior minister over the killing of protesters until next week so that he will be tried alongside ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The ruling followed a weekend of clashes involving protesters demanding swifter reforms and faster prosecution of Mubarak and his officials after February’s revolution. …

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Egyptian jailed for 25 years for spying for Israel

CAIRO: A state security court on Thursday sentenced an Egyptian businessman to 25 years in prison for spying for Israel, court officials said. Presiding judge Gamaleddin Rushdy also sentenced two Israeli citizens in absentia to 25 years in jail. The businessman, Tareq Abdel-Razek, was arrested in August and charged four months later along with the …

Agencies

Egypt, Libya, Sudan consult ahead of south vote

KHARTOUM: The leaders of Egypt and Libya were in Khartoum Tuesday for talks with Sudanese leaders on the future of Africa’s largest country ahead of a referendum that’s likely to break it into two. The talks come less than three weeks before a Jan. 9 vote in the mainly animist and Christian south of Sudan …

Agencies

Egypt police shoot dead Sudanese migrant at Israel border

EL-ARISH: An Egyptian security official says a man from Sudan’s Darfur region was shot dead trying to sneak across the border into Israel. Egyptian border guards surprised a group of Africans and their Egyptian smugglers trying to cross into Israel six miles (10 kilometers) south of the Rafah border town, said a security official. The …

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Egypt raises security alert in airport following intercepted ‘mail bomb’

CAIRO: An Egyptian security official says authorities have begun manually inspecting all packages being sent abroad or brought to the country aboard cargo planes, especially those coming from Yemen. The tightened security measures follow the discovery of explosives in parcels on cargo planes in the United Arab Emirates and England that raised fears of a …

Agencies

Israel to begin work on Egypt barrier in November

JERUSALEM: Israel will begin building a huge barrier along its southern border with Egypt "within weeks" in a bid to curb the entry of illegal immigrants, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday. At a meeting of the 15-member security cabinet, defense officials told ministers that work would begin on the 250-kilometer (155-mile) border fence …

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Clashes as Israeli extremists march through Arab town

UMM AL-FAHM: Israeli police and Palestinians clashed in northern Israel on Wednesday as a group of extreme right-wing Israelis tried to march through the Arab Israeli town of Umm Al-Fahm. Hundreds of police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse angry Palestinian youths, many with scarves wrapped around their faces, …

Agencies

Iraqi PM seeks reconstruction support from Egypt

CAIRO: Iraq’s prime minister said Wednesday he will ask regional states to play a role in a wide-scale effort to rebuild his war-torn country if he secures a second term in office. Nouri Al-Maliki told reporters he had invited Egyptian companies to work in Iraq and mentioned other possible joint endeavors. Al-Maliki’s trip to Cairo, …

Agencies

4,000-year-old priest’s tomb unearthed in Egypt

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest who conducted prayer rituals before statues of a dead pharaoh more than 4,000 years ago, the antiquities council said on Monday. The tomb, which belonged to the priest Rwd-ka and dated back to the Fifth Dynasty of 2514 to 2374 BC, was found near the …

Agencies

Sudan official says delay inevitable in vote on oil district

KHARTOUM/ JUBA: A vote due in January on whether the contested Sudanese oil district of Abyei should remain part of the north or join the south can no longer go ahead on time, a senior Khartoum official said on Thursday. "We have reached agreement that it is not possible to hold the vote in Abyei …

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EU grants Egypt 609 million euros for development

CAIRO: The European Union has granted Egypt €609 million to be spent between 2009 and 2013, with most of the money to be spent on economic and social development projects, the government said on Monday. Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said at the signing ceremony in Cairo that an Egyptian-European partnership agreement, which came into …

Agencies

Sudanese migrant killed on Egypt border with Israel

EL-ARISH: Egyptian police shot and killed a Sudanese man, and arrested two others, as they tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official said on Thursday. The three Sudanese migrants were trying to cross Egypt’s Sinai border into Israel on Wednesday when a routine police patrol spotted them. "Police warned the migrants …

Agencies

British film ‘Neds’ wins top prize at San Sebastian festival

A coming-of-age tale set in 1970s Glasgow, “Neds,” by Scottish actor and director Peter Mullan, won top honors on Saturday at the San Sebastian film festival in northern Spain. The jury, headed by Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic, awarded the Golden Shell to the film. It was a sweet victory for Mullan, whose early directorial ambitions …

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UN atomic watchdog throws out resolution against Israel

VIENNA: A 151-nation meeting of the UN atomic watchdog narrowly defeated an Arab push Friday to censure Israel for shielding its nuclear programs from inspection in a closely watched result that the US said was a positive signal for ongoing Mideast peace talks. The International Atomic Energy Agency, on the last day of its annual …

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Egypt police kill Sudanese trying to cross into Israel

AL-ARISH: Egyptian police shot and killed a Sudanese man as he tried to cross the border illegally into Israel on Friday, a security official told AFP. "Police ordered him by loudspeaker to stop, but when he did not obey they shot him," the official said. The 26-year-old died of a single shot to the head, …

Agencies

Nile barge sinks in Egypt, causing a 100-ton diesel spill

CAIRO: A river barge sank on the Nile in Egypt’s south on Saturday, causing a diesel spill that threatened drinking water in the area, the official MENA news agency reported. Almost half of the 240 tons of fuel that was being transported by the vessel, owned by the Nile Company for River Transportation, leaked into …

Agencies

US pastor has legal right to burn Quran

MIAMI: Pastor Terry Jones will undoubtedly offend and infuriate many people around the world if he follows through on a plan to burn Muslim Quran at his church this weekend. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protecting free speech will cover him, in the same way it allows the Ku Klux Klan to burn …

Agencies

Burning Quran endangers troops, says top US commander

KABUL: The top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church’s threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book the Quran could endanger US troops in the country and Americans worldwide. "Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world …

Agencies

Burning Quran endangers troops, says top US commander

KABUL: The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church’s threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book the Quran could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide. "Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world …

Agencies

Clinton to attend Mideast talks in Sharm El-Sheikh

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a second round of peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders later this month in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, a State Department official said Sunday. After the Sept. 14 talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, …

Agencies

Mubarak hopes all parties seize the opportunity in upcoming Mideast peace talks

PARIS: President Hosni Mubarak said Monday he hoped "that all parties will seize this opportunity" in this week’s Mideast peace talks in the US. Mubarak met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris before heading to Washington for the talks. Sarkozy warned that success in this week’s Israeli-Palestinian peace talks depends on speedy progress and …

Agencies

Egypt seizes weapons ‘bound for Gaza’

EL-ARISH: Egyptian police in the Sinai Peninsula have seized 190 rockets from which the explosives were to have been removed for smuggling into the Gaza Strip, a security official said on Saturday. The rockets, as well as landmines and 1,500 rounds of ammunition, were found in several caches and date back to Egypt’s wars with …

Agencies

Israeli settlers warn PM could face ‘day of judgment’

JERUSALEM: Israeli settlers warned on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will face his "day of judgment" if he caves in to pressure to further limit settlement construction in the West Bank. "This is not a time to mince words as this is literally a day of judgment for our prime minister and government," said …

Agencies

US troops in Iraq below 50,000, says US military

BAGHDAD: The number of US troops in Iraq fell below 50,000 Tuesday ahead of a declaration of an end to combat operations next week, a key milestone seven years on from the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. The number is a watershed — American forces will no longer conduct combat operations in the country but …

Agencies

Embassy ‘hostage taker’ an ex-Israeli informant, says lawyer

JERUSALEM: The Palestinian who broke into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and tried to take hostages was a former informant for Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency, his lawyer claimed on Wednesday. Avital Horev said his client, Nadim Injaz, who was born in the West Bank city of Ramallah, was also wanted by the …

Agencies

6 African migrants killed in Egypt in desert clash

EL-ARISH: Six African migrants trying to cross into Israel were killed in clashes with Bedouin traffickers and Egyptian border guards in the Sinai Desert, security officials said Saturday. The traffickers had tied up around 300 of the illegal migrants, but several managed to escape and grab weapons from their captors, setting off Friday’s fighting, the …

Agencies

US lawmaker cuts 100 million dollars aid to Lebanon military

WASHINGTON: A top US congressman has blocked 100 million dollars in aid to Lebanon’s military, saying he cannot be sure the country’s armed forces are not working with Hezbollah. Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement Monday that he had placed the hold on August 2, pointing …

Agencies

Israel threatening to quit UN probe into flotilla

JERUSALEM: Israel has threatened to pull out of a U.N. inquiry into a deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla heading for Gaza, after the U.N. chief said there is no agreement that the panel would refrain from calling Israeli soldiers to testify. Last week Israel agreed to participate in the U.N. probe into the May …

Agencies