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Newsreel
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 22 - 11 - 2018


Speeding up GERD talks
PRIME Minister Mustafa Madbouli on Sunday said Egypt will hold talks with Ethiopia within two weeks to settle a number of pending issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). After his recent visit to Addis Ababa to attend the African Union Summit and a meeting with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed, Madbouli said the two sides agreed on speeding up the talks. Ahmed expressed his keenness on Egypt's water rights to the Nile.
The two countries, in addition to the Sudan, had held a series of meetings without reaching an agreement. Egypt views the dam, to be built on the Blue Nile River, as a threat to its water resources, saying it will disrupt the flow of water coming from Ethiopia via Sudan. In August, Ahmed announced that the building of the $4 billion dam may take several more years after it was due to be completed in 2020.
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Pharmacist killed
IMMIGRATION Minister Nabila Makram on Saturday said she was following up developments after the killing last week of an Egyptian pharmacist in the southern Saudi city of Jizan. While offering condolences to the family in Cairo, Makram said she would work with the Egyptian consulate for the quick return of the body to Egypt.
On 15 November Ahmed Taha, 29, was on night shift in Al-Nahdi Pharmacy when a Saudi customer sought to return pampers which he had previously bought from the pharmacy. Taha informed him of the pharmacy's policy which requires a receipt upon the return of a product. The Saudi insulted Taha and a quarrel ensued. The Saudi then stabbed Taha seven times using a bladed weapon. Taha was transferred to hospital but died upon arrival after the sharp object pierced his heart.
Details of the incident were recorded by the pharmacy's surveillance cameras, with a video released on social networking sites. Saudi police arrested the attacker on the same day, stating that he suffers from a psychological disorder. Investigations are still ongoing.
Taha was single and had gone to Saudi Arabia for work to help his parents financially.
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Abul-Fotouh appeal delayed
THE CASSATION court on Saturday adjourned the hearing of an appeal brought by chairman of the Strong Egypt Party Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh contesting his placement on a terrorism list. The hearing will restart 19 January to review documents. On the same day, a Cairo criminal court extended the detention of Abul-Fotouh, 67, for 45 days on several charges including publishing false news.
Abul-Fotouh, a dissident from the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB), took part in the 2012 presidential elections, finishing fourth in the first round of voting with 19 per cent.
He was arrested in February upon his return from London. An Interior Ministry statement then said Abul-Fotouh contacted the international arm of the MB and was tasked with mobilising the public and “spreading instability” ahead of the March presidential polls.
Following his arrest, the Cairo Criminal Court placed Abul-Fotouh on a terrorism list upon a request by the prosecution-general “for committing hostile acts against the state and its institutions”. The prosecution also ordered Abul-Fotouh's assets frozen for suspected ties to terrorism. According to the Terrorism Entity Law, individuals placed on the terrorism list are banned from travel, added on a watch list and are liable to an asset freeze.
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Killed by a falling fence
TWO pedestrians died on Saturday after part of an iron fence on Saft Al-Laban Bridge in Bulaq Al-Dakrour district fell on top of them. Security forces arrested the driver of a car which crashed into the fence, unhinging it. The driver was remanded for four days pending an investigation. The prosecution accused him of negligence. The car was seized and examined by a technical engineer and a blood sample was taken from the defendant to determine if he was driving under the influence of drugs.
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Lawyers angry
LAWYERS from Sharqiya governorate suspended work on Saturday at courts across Belbeis city to protest against the murder of a fellow lawyer by security forces a day earlier. An Interior Ministry statement, identifying Ahmed Al-Sayed, 33, as out of work, said he died during an exchange of fire with security personnel. The Bar Association countered that Al-Sayed did not have a gun and had no intention of resisting authorities. The syndicate revealed details of the incident, accusing the security apparatus of premeditated murder.
Al-Sayed had been sitting with two clients, finalising a contract for the sale of a piece of land in Belbeis. Police shot at the three, claiming the clients were wanted criminals. The syndicate stressed that Al-Sayed did not practise any political activity and was well known for his professionalism and good reputation. A legal team from the syndicate will be present during prosecution investigations.


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